In Italy, as you may have heard, there’s a new law that doubles as “a marketing tool to brand Naples forever as the cradle of pizza,” reports Al Baker in The New York Times. The law was passed in May, “at the behest of the Association of Real Neapolitan Pizza, a group with 2,500 members worldwide,” with the support of Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi himself.
Support for the pizza law grew as “imposters worldwide” (and across the European Union) increasingly became viewed as a threat to the real thing. “Everyone in the world is trying to do this type of pizza,” says Alfonso Cucciniello, a Naples pizza-maker. “In Japan, in China, in the United States, in Miami … Pizza with pineapples? That’s a cake,” he says.
According to the new law, a “pizza must be round, no more than 35 centimeters (13.8 inches) in diameter. The crust cannot be too high. The dough must be kneaded by hand. Only certain flour, salt and yeast can be used. Extra virgin olive oil is a must, as are tomatoes from the Mount Vesuvius region and bufala mozzarella. For cooking the classic pizza Margherita, only mozzarella from the southern Apennine Mountains is allowed.” “Now this product is protected,” says Carmine Stentardo, proprietor of Ciro a Santa Brigida, www.ciroasantabrigida.it, in Naples. “It’s protected as a brand-name product.”