The art of Neapolitan pizza making won world heritage status yesterday, joining a horse-riding game from Iran and Dutch wind mills on UNESCO's culture list.
UNESCO accepted the art of Neapolitan "pizzaiuoli," or pizza makers, on the world body's list of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
Italy argued the practice of the "pizzaiuoli" - preparing and flipping the dough, topping it and baking it in a wood-fired oven - was part of the country's cultural and gastronomic tradition.
Tradition holds that the Margherita pizza was created in 1889 by a local chef in honour of Queen Margherita, who was visiting Naples, south of Rome on Italy's Tyrrhenian coast.
As pizza has become a favourite dish around the world, foreign innovations in toppings have often left Italians perplexed and aghast.
Matteo Martino, a customer at Fiore's pizzeria, said before the expected announcement, "I think, and I hope, that this could be the chance to make foreigners understand how pizza is made, without Nutella or pineapple."