Page last updated at 23:45 GMT, Thursday, 4 February 2010

Naples pizza makers celebrate EU trademark status

By Duncan Kennedy
BBC News, Rome

File pic of pizza maker in Naples
Neapolitan pizza is now officially part of Europe's food heritage

Naples has celebrated the first day of official recognition for the Italian city's most famous culinary creation: the pizza.

The European Union ruling marks the end of a battle that began a quarter of a century ago and aimed to protect Neapolitan pizzas from imitations.

The Traditional Speciality Guaranteed label on Naples pizza was approved last month and came into effect on Thursday.

The pizza makers' association head said the trademark was a great honour.

The EU's agriculture commissioner said Neapolitan pizza was now part of Europe's food heritage.

Slice of action

I've never had better pizza and ice cream than in Naples. Bellissimo!
Northern Soul, UK

The TSG label 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, such as 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.

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Financial TimesAce service in San Francisco - 21 hrs ago
Telegraph McItaly burger fails to impress - 27 hrs ago
CNBC Neapolitan Pizza Gets Protection: Report - 29 hrs ago
Reuters UK Italy critics trash McDonald's nationalist food bid - 29 hrs ago
UPI Naples celebrates pizza honor - 30 hrs ago
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