December 12, 2017

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Can't Be Topped: Neapolitan-Style Pizza Making Wins UNESCO Heritage Status

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A pizza is prepared at a restaurant in downtown Naples. On Wednesday, the traditional art of pizza-making was given UNESCO cultural heritage status. Andrew Medichini/ASSOCIATED PRESS hide caption

toggle caption Andrew Medichini/ASSOCIATED PRESS

When a UNESCO World Heritage Site comes to mind, perhaps it has the natural splendor of the Great Barrier Reef or the imposing mastery of the Pyramids of Giza. Now one may look no further than the humble pizza for world heritage status. No, not the frozen kind, the old-school kind baked in a wood-fired oven. On Wednesday Pizzaiuolo, the art of Neopolitan pizza-making, was added to UNESCO’s Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

UNESCO says the designation is meant to safeguard and raise awareness about forms of cultural heritage — often passed down from generation to generation — before they die out. Around three dozen other cultural practices were also added to this year’s intangible list, including Kumbh Mela— an event in India when pilgrims bathe in a sacred river and Uilleann piping— a type of Irish music played by a particular bagpipe.

As for pizzaiuolo, it is more than a slice of

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