The Italian Almanac

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automatic pizza

Automatic Pizza

Italian pizza makers said they were ``unafraid`` by news that a Rovereto businessman has developed the world`s first automatic vending machine for freshly made pizza. ``Pizza 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.