ROME — Pizza-makers beware: Italy has issued strict guidelines to protect the real Neapolitan pizza from bogus copies.
The regulations touch on everything from size to ingredients to the type of oven — and rule-abiding restaurants will receive a special label attesting that real pizza can be eaten there.
The rules, issued by the Agriculture Ministry and printed Tuesday in the country’s Official Gazette, are part of Italy’s efforts to protect its cuisine across the European Union, although it was not immediately clear what steps would be taken for enforcement.
Were she still with us, I’d have suggested a good stern talking-to by my grandmother as the enforcement mechanism. There’d be no concern about recidivism, that’s for sure.
The standards recognize only three types of real Neapolitan pizza: Marinara, with garlic and oregano; Margherita, with basil and mozzarella from the southern Apennines; and extra-Margherita, with fresh tomatoes, basil and buffalo mozzarella from Campania, the region that includes pizza’s hometown, Naples.
The dough must be rolled out manually and baked in wood-burning ovens that can reach the required temperature of 905 degrees.
The regulations were approved after surveying pizza-makers in Naples and surrounding areas.
Restaurants that abide by the rules will get a label saying their pizza is a “guaranteed traditional specialty.”
“These norms protect one of the most ancient and most important gastronomic traditions,” said Antonio Pace, owner of one of Naples’ oldest pizza restaurants and the president of a pizza-makers’ association.
“We don’t want the others not to make pizza, only we want them to make it as we make it — as it should be done,” he said Wednesday.
I just want to say that fresh buffalo mozzarella is quite possibly nature’s perfect food. I like other stuff on my pizza too much to get hung up on what constitutues an Official Real Neapolitan pie or not, but any pizza that starts with buffalo mozzarella is going to be worth eating.
Damn. Now I’m hungry.