20 years ago, when I first introduced the Neapolitan Pizza in Japan, I could have never anticipated that I would today be writing a page in a book dedicated to the “Art of Neapolitan Pizza” being added to UNESCO’s intangible cultural heritage list.
After arriving in Japan, I made it my mission to teach the Japanese population that pizza making was not the job of a chef, but the job of a specialised and trained artisan – the Pizzaiolo – a task, easier said than done. I am therefore especially grateful to my loyal students who have followed me all these years, devoting themselves to the preservation of the traditional method of Neapolitan pizza making. A huge thanks also goes out to my strong team of pizzaiolos and other partners like Makoto Onishi and Pasquale Makishima to name a few, who have successfully spread the message within Japan, that Naples is the original birthplace of the pizza.
My aim to share the official rules of Neapolitan pizza-making continues today, in China, Korea, Taiwan and soon in other Asian countries. Together with a passionate group of Neapolitan pizza professionals and representatives, we made it our duty, not only to make it known internationally where pizza originates from, but also to preserve the art of pizza-making by having it recognised by UNESCO as one of Italy’s important cultural heritages.
I, Salvatore Cuomo, hope that all future pizzaiolos in Asia and the rest of the world will safeguard the rules of our treasured national dish, passing on the know-how and traditions to future generation artisans, thereby preserving its status as a cultural heritage of Italy.