Italians wonder which pizza is the best
In Naples, Italy, a debate has started over the city’s famous traditional dish, pizza.
Billionaire Flavio Briatore has slammed the simple, cheap pizzas in Naples. He called them “dough bricks with a tomato puddle”.
The kind of pizza that Briatore was criticizing is called the Neapolitan Margherita. It’s a simple pizza, made only with dough, tomato sauce, cheese and basil.
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) aims to protect cultural arts, including cooking. UNESCO considers the making of Neapolitan pizza, or “Pizzaiuolo”, an “intangible cultural heritage” of Italy. This means that making pizza is a skill or idea passed down from generation to generation and important to Naples, Italy and the world.
Many Napoli bosses reacted to Briatore’s comment angrily. Chef Sergio Miccu, president of the Neapolitan pizzaiolo association, said Briatore betrayed the legacy of pizza. “Pizza has fed entire generations, overcoming… war and cholera,” he said.
Gino Sorbillo, one of Italy’s most famous pizza makers, also publicly reacted to Briatore’s comments. He served free pizza outside his family restaurant in central Naples as a response. He said the low cost pizza could also be very good.
“(Briatore) says cheap pizza isn’t good? We do it like that, we taste it and we tell me what it looks like,” Sorbillo told RTL radio.
Briatore has restaurants that serve pizzas very different from the classic Margherita. This pizza comes with lots of toppings and can cost up to $68.
Sorbillo suggested that Briatore let his cooks prepare dishes alongside the Neapolitan chefs in his restaurants, “to allow his customers, used to gourmet pizza, to taste a typical Neapolitan pizza, in a healthy challenge”.
I am Matthew Caputo.
Giulia Segreti reported this story for Reuters. Matthew Caputo adapted it for VOA Learning English.
words in this story
Dough – nm a mixture of flour and water used to make bread and similar foods
intangible – adj. not consisting of physical substance; not being able to be touched; not tangible
inheritance – nm the traditions, achievements, beliefs, etc., that are part of the history of a group or nation
chief – nm a professional cook who is usually in charge of a kitchen in a restaurant
to betray – v. hurt someone by not supporting or helping them
overcome – v. successfully manage or take control of (something difficult)
customer –nm a person who pays for goods or services in a store, restaurant or hotel
gourmet – nm a very high quality food or meal
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