Today's Google Doodle Celebrates Pizza With Interactive Graphic

The Google Doodle for today, December 6, celebrates pizza, one of the world's most popular beloved dishes worldwide, in the form of an interactive game. Today marks the anniversary of the "Art of Neapolitan Pizzaiuolo'" receiving UNESCO status.

Back in 2017, the pizza-spinning art form hailing from Naples (the southern Italian city widely credited as the birthplace of the pizza we know today—dough layered with tomato and cheese), was inscribed on UNESCO's "Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity."

An estimated five billion pizzas are eaten across the globe each year, with around 350 slices consumed per second in the U.S. alone, according to Google.

Today's Google Doodle game features various pizzas, from margherita and pepperoni to Hawaiian and teriyaki mayonnaise pizza, challenging players to "slice based on the type of pizza ordered."

Contestants are encouraged to "keep a close eye on the requested toppings and number of slices—the more accurate the order, the more stars you earn," according to Google Doodle.

The pizza-twirling practice originates from Naples, the capital of Italy's Campania region, where about 3,000 "Pizzaiuoli" live and perform the culinary art, according to UNESCO.

Neapolitan pizza makers showcase a pizza.
Neapolitan pizza makers showcase a pizza outside the Pizzeria Brandi in Naples to celebrate the UNESCO decision to make the art of Neapolitan "Pizzaiuolo" an "intangible heritage" in December 2017. TIZIANA FABI/AFP via Getty Images

There are three primary categories of bearers, who are considered "a living link for the communities concerned." They include the Master Pizzaiuolo, the Pizzaiuolo and the baker, as well as families in Naples who practice the art in their own homes.

The Neapolitan Pizzaiuolo process entails four phases relating to the preparation of the dough and baking it in a wood-fired oven and involves a spinning movement carried out by the baker.

The art form represents "culinary know-how related to pizza-making, involving gestures, songs, facial expressions, local slang, the skills of manipulating pizza dough, performing and sharing," the international body described at the time.

"Stemming from the poor neighbourhoods of Naples, the culinary tradition is deeply rooted in the daily life of the community. For many young practitioners, learning to become a Pizzaiuolo also represents a way to avoid social marginality," UNESCO said.

The Association of Neapolitan Pizzaiuoli and Academy of Young Pizzaiuoli have regularly organized courses centered around the pizza-making art in a bid to maintain its history and tradition.

The Association of Neapolitan Pizzaiuoli, launched in 1988, runs an academy known as a "bottega" that accepts new apprentices on a yearly basis. Back in 2013, the association set up the first international Pizzaiuoli museum charting the history of pizza-spinning, CNN reported in 2017.

"It's a recognition to the world of the sacrifice, creativity, fantasy of a lower class which has never had many rights but has invented one of the best comfort foods of history," Marino Niola, the coordinator of the Laboratory of Social Anthropology at the Suor Orsola Benincasa University of Naples, said at the time of the UNESCO designation.

The Italian Ministry of Agriculture has also promoted Neapolitan Pizzaiuolo across Italy and globally by establishing specific measures aimed at safeguarding the art form.

Italy's Pizzaioli Acrobats Coldiretti "twirling" pizza.
Members of the Pizzaioli Acrobats Coldiretti "twirling" pizza in Naples to celebrate the UNESCO decision to make the art of Neapolitan "Pizzaiuolo" an "intangible heritage" in December 2017. TIZIANA FABI/AFP via Getty Images