The art of Neapolitan pizza making won world heritage status yesterday, and was added to UNESCO's culture list.
It accepted the art of Neapolitan 'pizzaiuolo' on the world body's list of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
'Congratulations #Italy!' it said in a tweet after a meeting in Jeju,South Koreawhere the decision was made.
Pizza-maker Gennaro Bruno prepares pizzas in a restaurant in Naples, southern Italy
Italy had argued the practice of pizzaiuolo - from preparing and flipping the pizza dough to baking it in a wood-fired oven - was part of the country's cultural and gastronomic tradition.
UNESCO has recognised the art of 'pizzaiuolo' – twirling the dough in the air to stretch it and then and baking it in a wood-fired brick oven.
It said the tradition has been handed down for generations, and encompasses rituals of social songs, stories and gestures which take place between pizza chefs and customers in Neapolitan neighbourhoods.
Traditional Neapolitan pizza has a relatively thin crust with the exception of the rim, which, when baked, bloats like a tiny bicycle tyre.
It is rigorously made in a wood-burning brick oven and has two classic versions: Marinara (tomato, garlic, oregano and oil) and, the most famous, Margherita (tomato, mozzarella, oil and basil).
Tradition holds the Margherita pizza was created in 1889 by a local chef in honour of Queen Margherita, who was visiting the city. It has the red, white and green colors of the Italian flag.
Italy had argued the practice of pizzaiuolo - from preparing and flipping the pizza dough to baking it in a wood-fired oven - was part of the country's cultural and gastronomic tradition
Locals say they are baffled at foreign topping innovations such as pineapple, which appears on the Hawaiian pizza and so-called 'sweet' pizzas topped by spreads like Nutella.
'I think, and I hope, that this could be the chance to make foreigners understand how pizza is made, without Nutella or pineapple,' Matteo Martino, a customer at a Naples pizza restaurant said.
Two million people had signed a petition to support pizzaiuolo's application.
UNESCO also accepted Chogan, an Iranian horse-riding game accompanied by music and storytelling, and the craft of millers operating windmills and watermills in the Netherlands.
Traditional boat making on the Indonesian island of South Sulawesi, and Nsima, a maize-based culinary tradition from the African country of Malawi, also joined the list.
Food culture already on the UNESCO list includes Turkish coffee culture and tradition, the gingerbread craft of northern Croatia and the traditional ancient Georgian method of Qvevri wine-making.
The cultural body gives out world heritage status to raise awareness of cultural traditions around the world. The status will not stop others from replicating that tradition to make pizza.