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Lesson Transcript

Hello, and welcome to the Culture Class- Holidays in Italy Series at ItalianPod101.com. In this series, we’re exploring the traditions behind Italian holidays and observances. I’m Becky, and you're listening to Season 1 Lesson 23, Pizzafest.
I'm willing to bet that you’ve eaten pizza at least once in your life. Did you like it?
It’s probably one of the most famous Italian foods. In Naples, where pizza first originated, there’s a festival in its honor called the Pizzafest, and it's celebrated in the third week of September. So in this lesson, let’s talk about pizza and why the Italians love it so much.
Now, before we go into more detail, we’ve got a question for you- Do you know which city has the highest consumption rate of pizza in the world?
If you don't already know, you’ll find out a bit later. Keep listening.
The Pizzafest is an event organized by the Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana, an association founded to promote knowledge of the original pizza recipe and to protect it from false imitation. The dough must be very similar to that of bread and must be devoid of fat: therefore, only flour, water, yeast and salt must be used. Pizza is a very ancient dish with its origin in Naples, but the dish has spread to all of Italy and to the rest of the world in its different variations.
The most important event of the Pizzafest is definitely the “Pizza Judging" competition. Lots of pizzerias from around the world compete, all offering a set menu consisting of a pizza, soda, coffee and limoncello, for the price of no more than ten euros. The public tastes and rates them. It’s no surprise that the first edition of this competition was won by an Italian pizzeria!
It’s true that a true Neapolitan pizza is only topped with buffalo mozzarella, or mozzarella di bufala, but it’s also true that the different kinds of pizza that exist in Italy are equally good. For example, romana, is a thin and crispy pizza, while the pizza al taglio is composed of pizza slices cooked in large trays and cut into a rectangular shape.These are definitely one of the cheapest lunches around and are loved by Italian students.
The famous pizza Margherita is so named in honor of Queen Margaret. In 1889 a Neapolitan pizza maker created this recipe for her using toppings the colors of the Italian flag- green basil, white mozzarella and red tomato.
Now it's time to answer our quiz question-
Do you know which city has the highest consumption rate of pizza in the world?
The answer is not an Italian city, but New York, where Italian immigrants have always been present in large numbers. If you can believe it, an average New Yorker eats more than ten kilograms of pizza per year!
Well listeners, how was this lesson? Did you learn something new?
Is there a traditional pizza recipe in your country?
Please leave a comment telling us at ItalianPod101.com.
See you next time!