Tuesday, March 24, 2009
(ANSA) - Rome, March 16 - Italian pizza makers said Monday they were unfazed by news that a Rovereto businessman has developed the world's first automatic vending machine for freshly made pizza.
''Something that comes out of an automatic machine has nothing to do with Italian pizza,'' said Pino Morelli, head of the Association of Italian Pizzerias (API), dismissing 56-year-old entrepreneur Claudio Torghele's 'Let's Pizza' invention.
''It might be alright for McDonalds and other fast-food chains or for foreign markets like the US, China and India, but anyone wanting to eat a real pizza has to go to a traditional pizzeria''.
Torghele's machine, which is set to debut in Italy and neighbouring countries this summer, cooks pizza from scratch in three minutes, first beating flour and water into dough and stretching the mixture into a disc before adding tomato sauce and fresh ingredients.
Torghele told the New York Times that customers can choose from four varieties (cheese and tomato, vegetable, ham or bacon) and pizzas will cost as little as 3.5 euros - a couple of euros less than the price in a sit-down pizzeria.
Customers can follow the progress of their pizza through little windows in the machine.
Morelli said he did not think the public would abandon pizzerias as a result of the invention, pointing out that Italian pizza-makers are ''envied and in demand across the world''.
''The craft of the pizza-maker has been rediscovered and the number of people wanting to learn the art of the pizza is growing,'' he said, noting that professional courses saw a 25% increase in uptake this year.
''It's a reliable and well-paid craft - for instance, an Italian pizza-maker can earn 7,000 euros a month in Australia, excluding food and lodging''.
Morelli added that while pizza makers ''certainly do not fear competition from any machine'', the image of the Italian staple could be at risk from the venture.
''The pizza is a symbol of the Made in Italy brand, and we should let it live and prosper in peace,'' he said.
The photo above is from Brandi Pizzeria in Naples, Italy, inventor and home of the Pizza Margherita made of the first time for Queen Margherita in 1889. The ingredients of the first Pizza Margherita remain today the colors of the Italian flag, basil is green, mozzarella is white, and tomato is red. The next time you travel to Naples Italy be sure to visit Brandi Pizzeria.