Traditional pizza from the Italian city of Naples has been added to the European Union’s list of protected foods, following a 25-year struggle to differentiate the dish from imitations. Neapolitan pizza has now been awarded the Traditional Speciality Guaranteed (TSG) label, which will stipulate stringent rules concerning its preparation and allow it be served only in restaurants that have received the TSG label.
The rules will regulate which ingredients may be used, including San Marzano tomatoes and fresh buffalo mozzarella cheese, and its preparation according to traditional methods – the dough stretched by hand and cooked in a wood-fire oven. The Italian farmers’ association reports that currently half of Italy’s 25,000 pizzerias use the wrong ingredients, such as cheese from Eastern Europe or Ukrainian flour. Pizzerias now wishing to serve the authentic dish will be checked by a special commission.
Receiving the trademark was a great honor, said the president of the Neapolitan Pizza-makers Association. The city of Naples celebrated the achievement on the first day of the official recognition earlier this month with a street party and free pizzas handed out by the first pizzeria to be awarded the TSG certificate.
“I have always loved Neapolitan pizza which has now entered the EU’s TSG list”, said the EU’s Agriculture Commissioner Mariann Fischer Boel, “Neapolitan pizza is now part of Europe’s food heritage”.