True Neapolitan pizza is in peril. It faces a barrage of Ranch dressing, pineapple, vegan cheese and other encroaching cultural atrocities. To save its very soul, two million Italians have reportedly signed a petition—and by sign it probably means click yes on a web page—asking UNESCO to recognize their country’s pizza with World Heritage status.
To our Italian compagnos, we say: Let us at The Takeout be among the first to endorse your bid for World Heritage protection. We recognize your pizza’s invaluable contributions to our world’s culinary landscape as well as the insides of our stomachs. Please use these authenticated, 100 percent-certifiable Takeout staff signatures to your liking, Italian friends:
Neapolitan pizza would not exactly join the ranks of UNESCO sites such as the Grand Canyon, Great Barrier Reef, and the ruins of Agrigento. UNESCO would instead add pizza to its list of “Intangible Cultural Heritage,” which includes Belgian beer, French gastronomy, falconry, and a Mongolian camel coaxing ritual.
This is not to say that Mongolian camel coaxing isn’t also a fascinating tradition worthy of recognition and preservation. We’re merely saying that, pound for pound, San Marzano tomatoes have done more for us personally than camels have. There are only so many battlefields upon which we can take a stand.