Italy dishes up world record with 1.5km pizza

Italy served up a sizzling margherita over 1.5km long at Milan's 2015 Expo.
Italy served up a sizzling margherita over 1.5km long at Milan's 2015 Expo.PHOTO: AFP

MILAN (AFP) - Italy beat the world record for the longest ever pizza on Saturday, serving up a sizzling margherita over 1.5km long at Milan's 2015 Expo.

Guinness World Records judge Lorenzo Veltri handed Italy the crown for a 1,595.45m long masterpiece made with 1,500kg of tomatoes, more than 1.5 tonnes of mozzarella and a river of extra-virgin olive oil.

The 80 chefs from all over Italy who took part in the creation snatched the title from Spain, which had held the record with a pizza 1,141.5m long.

Admiring crowds in Milan gathered alongside the cheese-topped bonanza, which was stretched out over 800 tables, before hungrily getting in line for a slice.

It was first come first served for the 30,000 or so visitors to the Expo, with 300m of the pizza destined for the city's Banco Alimentare food bank.

The Italian delicacy, which took three minutes to cook per metre and was prepared in five specially adapted ovens, was made to celebrate the 126th anniversary of the margherita.

The recipe was first whipped up in 1889 by cook Raffaele Esposito of the Brandi pizzeria in the grand Bourbon palace in Naples in southern Italy - a summer residence for the kings of the Two Sicilies - for Queen Regina Margherita.

Pizza-lovers hope winning the record will help boost international support for Italy's bid to get the classic dish on the Unesco cultural heritage list, with pizza associations gathering over 300,000 signatures so far.