Pizza Makers from Pizzeria Brandi in Naples Celebrates the Expo in Milan
What better way to celebrate the Expo in Milan than by creating a new pizza, one of Italy’s most delicious and popular foods? Of course, it was designed in the home of pizza, Naples.
This past Thursday, pizza makers from the Pizzeria Brandi baked the first Neapolitan “controlled designation of the origin" pizzas. It serves as the symbol of the Expo world fair in Milan, whose theme is “Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life.”
Pizzeria Brandi is also supposedly the place where Italy’s iconic margherita pizza was first created.
Originally, pizza was known as a dish for poor people, sold in the street. The story goes that in June of 1889, to honor the Queen of the consort of Italy, Margherita of Savoy, the Neapolitan pizza maker Raffaele Esposito created “Pizza Margherita.” The pizza had bright red tomatoes, white mozzarella, and green basil to represent the national colors of Italy and the Italian flag.
The pizza makers were inspired by the farmers’ association Coldiretti to use all local specialties, such as buffalo mozzarella from Campania, Sorrento extra virgin olive oil, San Marzano tomatoes and Vesuvio cherry tomatoes. All of these classic ingredients follow the European Union’s system of geographical indications.
The pizza for the Expo also represents the national identity of Italy, and reminds consumers of the importance of Italy’s agricultural business. Too often pizza served today is made using stored curd from Eastern Europe instead of milk, tomatoes from America or China, Spanish olive oil instead of Italian extra virgin and French, German or Ukrainian flour instead of flour made from Italian wheat according to Roberto Moncalvo, the president of Coldiretti. These replacements make Italy’s iconic food lack Italian authenticity, as well as destroy employment opportunities. The Neapolitan “DOC” pizza for the Expo is a refreshing use of traditional and local materials.
Only six in ten pizza makers in Italy are Italian, and there are 6,000 available pizza-making jobs all over. 100,000 people are employed regularly, while another 50,000 are hired on the weekends.
It is no coincidence that the pizza was created on the same day the Italian UNESCO commission was expected to pass a proposal to include the art of the traditional Neapolitan pizza maker in the UN cultural organization’s Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage.
The campaign to include the art of the Neapolitan pizza maker on the UNESCO list of Intangible Cultural Heritage was started in March of 2011 with the strong support of Coldiretti and former agriculture and environment minister Alfonso Pecoraro Scanio.
Coldiretti stated that the “inclusion of pizza in the UNESCO list protects a business that generates 10 billion euros in Italy alone, in the roughly 63,000 pizzerias and take-away joints, outlets serving pizza by the slice and providing home delivery.” Five million pizzas are baked every day in Italy, leading up to a total of 1.5 billion pizzas a year.
A curiosity: according Società Dante Alighieri 'pizza' is the most famous Italian word in the word, followed by 'cappuccino', 'spaghetti' and 'espresso'.