“If we don't have an answer by September we will take the proposals to another country and try to get the law passed there,” said Enzo Prete, president of Italian pizza makers' association, Amar.
“We're already in discussions with a country but I can't say which one for reasons of privacy,” he told The Local.
Prete has been campaigning for the pizza makers' law (Pep) for a few years, and in spite of having had draft legislation presented in the Italian parliament by pizza-loving senator Pietro Iurlaro, so far little has been forthcoming.
Prete hopes the threat of another country regulating the trade is enough to get the Italian government to consider his proposals more carefully. “Hopefully it will blow away some of the cobwebs around the law,” he said.
But why is a license for pizza makers needed at all?
The draft Pep bill stated: “The preparation of pizza is an art that has been handed down over centuries. Italy is responsible for ensuring the quality of it's traditional foods and should institute a roster of pizza makers through a European pizza makers license.”
Under the proposals, aspiring pizza makers would have to attend a course of at least 120 hours. These would be broken down into 70 hours of practical pizza making, 20 hours of food science studies, 20 hours of hygiene and food safety classes and 20 hours of foreign languages.
“We need to certify the pizza makers,” said Prete. “It's in the interest of the consumer too: I don't want to eat a pizza made by someone who doesn't know what they are doing.”
While the idea of being able to grab a slice of perfect 'authentic' pizza on the streets of Glasgow and Berlin is enough to set mouths watering across the continent, implementing a pan-European pizza maker's license won't be easy.
The likely costs of implementing such a license, whether issued in Italy or abroad, as well as the backlash from artisanal pizza makers across Europe who will find themselves suddenly unqualified to do their job, just might make it a half-baked idea.