Running as part of the Melbourne Food & Wine Festival, Australia will – for the first time – welcome the AVPN Pizza Festival to its shores next week.

Running from 4-6 March along the Riverwalk, Southbank, from 12-9pm, the festival is traditionally held in Naples each year, but is this year heading Down Under.

The Festival will educate guests on the procedure of making traditional Neapolitan pizza, with six traditional wood fired ovens deliverig pizzas made by some of the best pizzaioli from around the world.

The Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana (True Neapolitan Pizza Association or AVPN) was founded in June 1984 as a not for profit organisation with the mission of promoting and protecting the integrity of traditional Neapolitan pizza both in Italy and across the globe.

According to the AVPN, there are only two types of pizza that can achieve the accreditation: pizza marinara (tomato, oil, oregano, and garlic) and pizza margherita (tomato, oil, mozzarella or fior di latte, basil). These two dishes need to adhere to strict guidelines: the pizza dough must be made from Type 00 flour, only Italian San Marzano tomatoes can be used, the oil must be extra virgin olive oil, the mozzarella has to be of a high quality and the pizza oven must adhere to a certain standard.

Only a handful of pizzerias in Australia have certification, including Johnny Francesco’s 400 Gradi, Queen Margherita of Savoy in Cronulla, Aperitivo and Firechief.

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