Pizza Police Pursue Posers

Deep-dish, go home: Italian law governs aims to enforce Neapolitan authenticity
By Ambreen Ali,  Newser User
Posted Mar 12, 2008 3:20 PM CDT
New York pizza, made at joints like the one pictured here, is one of many varieties of the dish, thought be originally from Naples. Italy is concerned that its national cuisine is losing its authenticity...   (Magnum Photos)
camera-icon View 2 more images

(Newser) – Think that pineapple-and ham-concoction is a pizza? Not according to Italian law, Julie Reno writes in the Smart Set. Only hand-kneaded dough, rolled to no more than 14 inches in diameter, topped with San Marzano plum tomatoes and baked in a brick wood-fired oven qualifies. La Pizza Polizia crown such authentic Neapolitan pies with Guaranteed Traditional Specialty status: Only two NYC pizzerias have made the cut.

Italy joins Japan and its sushi police in an effort to safeguard a national cuisine from copious posers. Critics say the Italians are trying to copyright a food whose varieties also hold cultural meaning in certain places. As for the Japanese, they unleashed a global hunt for sushi imposters, but take no issue with dousing their pizzas with mayonnaise.