KILKENNY -- I used to have stone-baked pizzas when visiting Sicily and the Italian-Americans who ate slices with me insisted those pizzas were not authentic. Made in Sicily by a Catanian? Not authentic? It turns out the cheese used in the Sigonella Inn was not mozzarella from the southern Apennines--therefore not truly a Pizza Magherita.
In an attempt to save the true Neapolitan pizza from extinction, the Italian parliament is to debate a bill that defines it for posterity. The proposed law, of eight clauses and six sub-clauses, was published in the official gazette this week.
This is the first step towards codifing Neapolitan pizza among products recognised by the EU as guaranteed traditional specialities.
We need to mount the same campaign for "Kilkenny Beer," so we can copyright that important element of Irish culture.
What makes an authentic Neapolitan pizza, one authorised to carry the Italian initials STG on their menus and in advertisements?
- Specific types of flour, yeast, salt and tomatoes must be used.
- Dough has to be kneaded by hand.
- The cheese on the classic pizza margherita must be mozzarella "from the southern Apennines" and to qualify as a pizza margherita extra, the mozzarella needs to be made from buffalo milk.
- A genuine Neapolitan pizza is round and no more than 35cm (14 in) across. The rim must not rise by more than two centimetres.
In Kilkenny, the closest you will come to Neapolitan pizza is at the Italian Connection. I don't mind paying a little more for consistently high quality of service.
John Hopper -- "Rome seeks to copyright the crisp Neapolitan pizza"