Pizzerias in Naples
will be celebrating today as the pizza, the Italian city's most famous culinary creation, is now part of Europe's food heritage and protected under its new EU trademark status.
Today's European Union ruling signals the end of a long battle as locals from Naples sought to protect Neapolitan pizzas from imitations produced around the world.
From today, the 'Traditional Speciality Guaranteed'
label (below left) will be displayed by pizzerias who make their pizzas in accordance with the original recipe and techniques. Those outlets aspiring to supply the 'real thing' are in future supposed to be vetted by a special commission that will check standards.
According to the application submitted in February 2005
, the Pizza Napoletana
is a "round product baked in the oven with a variable diameter not exceeding 35 cm and a raised rim and the central part is garnished
"The central part is 0,4 cm thick, with a tolerance of ± 10 %, and the rim is 1-2 cm thick. The overall pizza must be tender, elastic and easily foldable into four
It is distinguished by "a raised rim, a golden colour characteristic of products baked in the oven, and a tenderness to touch and to taste; by a garnished centre dominated by the red of the tomatoes, perfectly mixed with oil and, depending on the ingredients used, the green of the oregano and the white of the garlic; by the white of the mozzarella slabs which are laid either closer together or further apart, and the green of the basil leaves, which are lighter or darker depending on the baking.
It should also be easy to cut, "emits a characteristic aroma
", and should be consumed immediately: "it cannot be frozen or deep frozen or vacuum packed for later sale
, the Italian farmers' association had said that half of Italy's 25,000 pizzerias currently use the wrong ingredients, such as East European cheese or Ukrainian flour, but under the new rules, to be regarded as authentic, the chefs may only use San Marzano tomatoes
and fresh buffalo mozzarella cheese
While authorities disagree its original birthplace, the pizza in its modern form seems to have appeared in Naples in the 18th century. In fact, the pizza margherita
dates only from 1889, and was invented by a Neapolitan pizzaiolo
, Raffaele Esposito
, for the visit to Naples of the wife of King Umberto I
. Its colours are intended to reflect those of the Italian flag.
So when you want an authentic Neapolitan pizza - look for the logo.