The city of Naples celebrated late into the night on February 5th after the European Union (EU) awarded its coveted Traditional Specialty Guaranteed (TSG) label to traditional Italian Neapolitan pizza. The new TSG listing puts Neapolitan pizza on the EU’s list of foods that are protected against being copied by substandard imitations and is a recognition that Italian pizza makers have been seeking for the past 25 years.
Now that the designation is official, only pizzas made in the traditional Neapolitan recipe can be called “Neapolitan” and they can only be served in restaurants that have received the TSG certification label. All Neapolitan pizzas must now employ the original Naples recipe including hand-stretched dough made of hard wheat flour, fresh yeast, water and sea salt. The toppings must be olive oil, tomatoes, mozzarella cheese (from buffalo milk), and fresh basil. All pizzerias seeking to serve Neapolitan pizza will have to apply for the TSG seal.
Naples’ pizza makers have been trying to get the EU to recognize their favorite food for many years and the city hosted a spontaneous street-party after receiving news of the award. As part of the celebration, free Neapolitan pizzas were handed out by the first pizzerias that received their certificates.