Globally known as pizza, this meal, which has served millions of people across the world is more than just a tasty meal. Like some notable cuisines and foods around the world, pizza has played a significant role in strengthening the diplomatic ties between Italy and countries around the world, including the United States of America.
Over the years, pizza has become a symbol of Italian cuisine and culture such that it is today part of the American food culture. In this instance, the popularity of this dish has helped to promote economic and cultural exchanges between the two countries.
The United States and Italy have a long history of cultural exchange and diplomatic relations. For instance, their opposing and antagonistic roles during the dark days of the World War 2. They have since reached a rapprochement and improved on relations between the two countries. As part of the growing harmony and diplomatic relations between them food was essentially a handy tool. Pizza even if slightly significant became an increasingly important tool in strengthening these ties.
The United States has a pizza history. The first pizzeria in America is widely believed to be Lombardi’s, which opened in New York City in 1905. The founder, Gennaro Lombardi, had emigrated from Naples, Italy, where pizza was already a popular meal. Lombardi’s served a simple pizza made with tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, and basil, which became an instant hit with customers.
However, it was only after World War II that pizza gained widespread popularity in the US. Today, it is one of the most popular foods in the country, with countless pizzerias and chains serving up slices to hungry customers.
However, it’s not just the popularity of pizza in the US that has strengthened culinary diplomacy between the two countries. In recent years, Italy has also recognized the importance of pizza as a cultural export and has been working to protect its traditional pizza-making methods.
In recent years, Italy has recognized the importance of pizza as a cultural export and has been working to protect its traditional pizza-making methods. In 2017, the art of Neapolitan pizza-making was added to UNESCO’s list of intangible cultural heritage. This recognition not only helped to preserve the traditional methods of pizza-making in Italy but also helped to promote the food internationally. It also provided an opportunity for Italy and the United States to work together to promote the cultural significance of pizza.
On September 8, 2019, Rome hosted the world’s largest pizza party, which was certified by the Guinness Book of World Records. The world record was achieved after 1,146 people sat down together to eat slices of pizza during the fourth edition of the Pizza Days festival at the Ippodromo Capannelle.
The annual “World Pizza Championship,” held in Italy, is one example of this collaboration. This event which began in 1991 brings together pizza makers from all over the world to compete in various categories, including the traditional Neapolitan pizza category. American pizza makers have been participating in this competition for years, and have even won several awards. This competition, along with other cultural events, has helped to strengthen the diplomatic ties between the two nations.
From April 18th to 20th, 2023, more than 800 pizza chefs from around the world will gather in Parma, Italy for the 30th edition of the World Pizza Championship. The event will feature three days of competitions, cooking shows, and seminars, all in celebration of the world’s best-loved tricolor dish: pizza.
In addition to its role in cultural exchange and diplomacy, pizza has also played a role in promoting economic ties between the two countries. The pizza industry in the US is worth billions of dollars, and many American companies have begun to expand their operations into Italy. Similarly, Italian pizza companies have also begun to open locations in the US, creating jobs and contributing to the economy.
Hence Pizza became a symbol of culinary diplomacy between Italy and the United States. Its popularity in the US, combined with Italy’s efforts to protect and promote its traditional pizza-making methods, has created opportunities for the two countries to work together and celebrate their shared love of pizza. Whether it’s through competitions, cultural events, or simple pizza parties, pizza has proven to be a powerful tool for strengthening the relationship between these two nations.