5 February 2010
Pizza makers in Naples are celebrating after gaining official European Union recognition. It's the end of a battle that began 25 years ago and is aimed at protecting Neapolitan pizzas from imitations.
Click to hear the report:
For 25 years pizza makers in Naples have been trying to get their product protected, and now it is, being granted a TSG, or Traditional Speciality Guaranteed label by the EU. The head of the pizza makers' association said the trademark was a great honour.The EU's agriculture commissioner said Neapolitan pizza was now part of Europe's food heritage.
It means that all pizzerias aspiring to supply the real thing are, in future, supposed to be vetted by a special commission that will check standards. They include using only San Marzano tomatoes and fresh buffalo mozzarella cheese.
The Italian farmers' association says that half of Italy's 25,000 pizzerias currently use the wrong ingredients, like East European cheese or Ukrainian flour.
Italy now tops the EU chart for products that are protected. It has 180, more than Spain or France. Protected status enables producers to not only boast about their exclusivity but also charge a premium. And now pizza makers from Naples will get their slice of the action.
Duncan Kennedy, BBC News, Italy
Click to hear the vocabulary:
- to get their product protected
to have the thing that they make (here, pizzas) given special treatment
given (usually in an official way)
boss or leader of an organisation
name or a symbol which is put on a product to show that it is made by a particular producer or has a special status and which cannot be legally used by any other producer
- food heritage
food belonging to the culture of a particular society, (here, Europe) which still exists from the past and which is important historically
places (restaurants, cafes etc.) which make and sell pizzas to customers
- the real thing
genuine (not fake) things (here, Neapolitan pizzas)
checked or examined something carefully to make sure it is acceptable or suitable
- boast about their exclusivity
express pride in the uniqueness of their product
- charge a premium
put the price of something up because it is in some way special