The economic recession in Italy has produced an unforeseen side-effect: a severe national shortage of pizza makers.
With money too tight to mention for many Italian families, they've turned away from lavish, expensive lunches and back to an old peasant lunch staple - a slice of pizza.
As a result, said FIPE, an Italian business federation, there's a shortage of 6,000 pizzaioli.
"Notwithstanding the economic crisis and unemployment, it is proving difficult to find them," the association said in a report. It blamed the long hours and modest rates of pay offered to pizza makers for the shortfall.
FIPE says efforts to recruit Italian pizza makers have fallen short, even though youth unemployment in the country — as a result of the European financial crisis — is 35 percent. A majority of new pizza makers are immigrants.
Pizza is in the cultural DNA of Italians. The food was invented there. Popular history has it that the first pizza, a margherita, was made in Naples in 1889.