Naples has long been known for its incredible cuisine, but when it comes to their pizza, foodies can’t cant stop gushing. Not only are their pies regularly referred to as the best in the world, but they also lay claim to creating the Neapolitan here in the early 1700s. So what makes their pizzas taste so great? Well, according to a recent investigation, it might be a special flavor provided by corpse-aged coffins. Cue the retching.
Over the last few years, Italy’s cemeteries have seen a rash of grave robberies and vandalism that have had the authorities concerned. in 2009, nearly 5,000 flower pots went missing from a local graveyard, only to resurface on the black market. But flower pots aren’t the only thing being resold.
According to Italian police, there’s reason to believe that coffins, even some hundreds of years old, and being dug up, chopped up, and sold to many low-end pizzerias in order to fuel the wood-stoves essential to the classic recipe. That delicious margherita pizza you ate while visiting Naples a few years ago? There’s a good chance it tasted a little bit like a dead guy, and you didn’t even know it.
“Pizza, one of the few symbols of Naples that endures … is hit by the concrete suspicion that it could be baked with wood from coffins,” the Italian newspaper Il Giornale wrote. “A gang might have set up a market for coffins sold to hard-hearted owners of bakeries and pizzerias looking to save money on wood.”
In order to follow up on their suspicions, the local police launched an investigation in 2010, but so far, there’s been no break in the case. That’s not exactly surprising, since Italy’s roughly 25,000 pizzerias employ nearly 150,000 people and make loads and loads of money. Imagine what might happen to the pizza industry if tourists found out that their gourmet pies were flavored with old corpses. Oh. Whoops.