The culinary world has been set aflame with The Guardian's food critic Jay Rayner ditching the Michelin-starred restaurants this week, in favour of reviewing Pizza Hut's 2,880-calorie cheeseburger crust pizza, relaunched after a brief stint on our shores last summer. It's not the first time Pizza Hut's
disgusted wowed us with bonkers creations, however. I'd suggest not eating your lunch while reading this article.
Jay Rayner at The Guardian's initial view of the pizza did not sound healthy:
"There is a scab of waxy cheese and flaps of pink salami the colour, worryingly, of a three-year-old girl's party dress. What matters is the crust. Each of the 10 slices has a loop of crisped dough and in the circular fold made by that loop there is a tiny puck of burger, four or so centimetres across and smeared with more cheese. It looks like a fairground carousel realised in food."
Reviewed during the pizza's first appearance last year, Manchester Confidential couldn't even finish theirs:
"I managed one burger but the sight of it, wrapped in dough and covered in cheese, was just that bit too much like when my dog covers up its waste by kicking up some turf. Dogs apparently do this so that an enemy does not find them from the scent. Likewise, I wouldn't want my worst enemy to find this either."
"I soon neared the end of my slice and its bedoughed, pink-brown phallus. I took a tentative bite.
It was a hot dog sausage. It was rubbery and processed and salty and smoky. How, in its own filthy way, could it be anything other than delicious? I peeled back its pappy cladding and gazed in conflicted seduction. I finished it. I had another slice. I put the box away. I came back a few minutes later and had another slice. I put the box in the bin."
...whereas Foodbeat seemingly forgot it was reviewing a hot dog-stuffed crust pizza:
"The hot dog inside is quite normal. It reminded me of a sausage roll. One of our team members loved it, while another spat it out. I thought it was alright, but it certainly didn’t taste healthy. Sometimes you can pretend that pizza could be good for you if you cover it in vegetables. This had the taste of a cardiac arrest in the making."
If you missed its brief appearance at Pizza Huts around the country, never fear -- here's how to make your own. Or, keep an eye out at Domino's, which launched its very own hot dog-stuffed crust pizza about a year after Pizza Hut:
Junk4lunch was suitably underwhelmed by Domino's efforts:
"Well, it is a pizza with a frankfurter stuffed in its crust. It was not unpleasant but nothing great as well. The hot dog casing could have more bite and we detected only a slight hint of mustard. Would I have it again now that my curiosity has been satisfied? Nah!"
...while Edinblogger was actually repelled by it:
"The hot dog was the lowest form of meat, super salty, with a rubbery texture and no sign of the promised mustard. It was dry, disgusting and something I would never repeat."
Developed by Chef Wiley Bates III (yes, really) in a secret Texan kitchen bunker early in 2013, Pizza Hut's Crazy Cheesy Crust pizza has 16 edible "pockets" of oozy cheese around the crust. "You notice how the dough actually nestles around, the chef told The Exchange. "The hand-tossed [crust] lends itself to absorbing some of those wonderful flavours, while again maintaining the integrity of the cheese."
Serious Eats felt rather seriously about it:
"The cheese--a blend of provolone, asiago, mozzarella, fontina, and white cheddar--was rock hard and profoundly unappealing...There's a slight crunch to the greasy, golden crust before it gives way to the bread. Tender and sweet, the pizza may not merit a Eureka! moment, but it certainly has the makings of a decent chain pie.
While BrandEating cut straight to the next-morning chase:
"While cold pizza is a breakfast staple for some, the Crazy Cheesy Crust isn't so great cold as the crust hardens a little and the cheese congeals into a thick coin and doesn't taste so great. Heating it up in a toaster oven works wonder though: the cheese in the crust becomes stretchy and the crust itself delivers a satisfying crunch."
I don't know what a Crown Crust Carnival is, but judging by that photo above, I don't think I like it. Part of the collection which first introduced the cheeseburger pizza to the Middle East, Pizza Hut saw fit to sprinkle a trio of chicken on this...creation. Featuring crumbed chicken fillet nuggets on the crust, it was decorated with chicken strips and "breaded chicken tenders." There's nothing tender-looking about this pie.
SeriousEats walked once more through Pizza Hut's doors:
"Each stuffed cone was made of pliable, curled-up pizza crust that was far softer and more cushiony than the usual peripheral pizza bones. Pizza Hut had stayed true to its promise, dusting the cones with granules of parmesan that formed a crunchy outer casing, though failed to impart any real cheesy flavor that one would associate with nutty Parmesan.
The chicken stuffing in the cones was shockingly edible. Not only had the chicken strips been pulverized with sweet honey mustard, but Pizza Hut had gone above and beyond by adding little bits of green pepper and onion to the mushy chicken mix. Without these occasional flecks of vegetal crunch, the chicken scoops might have been as pointlessly uni-dimensional as the cones piped with baked blobs of Philadelphia cream cheese."
Singapore's famous for its food, from Singapore Noodles to Singapore chilli crab, to Singapore Slings (ok, that's a drink, but it's still delicious and famous). So what Pizza Hut was thinking, launching the Double Sensation on the small island in late 2012, I'll never know.
Almost like two pizzas in one, the outer crust is stuffed with three cheeses (mozzarella, parmesan and cheddar), with that pie decorated with turkey ham, peppers, mushroom and salsa. On the internal pizza, the crust is stuffed with chicken sausage and cheese, with the actual pizza bit decorated with chicken, courgette and a pepper alfredo sauce.
There's even a cherry on top. I want to cry.
But what do I know? SG's Complain Queen loved it:
"They have got to be the most perfect combination ever in pizza history, in my opinion!! I love it that it is not "lumpy" and the pizza tastes as good as it looks, if not even better!"
Of course Pizza Hut's Canadian arm sells a poutine pizza. Of course. Poutine, in case you didn't know, is fries topped with gravy and cheese curds, which is like an even filthier take on the popular Northern delicacy.
So Good Blog was suitably impressed:
"Overall, this pizza is a delicious hot mess with excellent flavour profiles and some smartly executed restraint. Well, except the fries."
...while Ottawa Citizen's writers' opinions ranged from "this is a friggin' horror show," to "this is the ultimate hangover food."
A late contender comes in via reader Kate, who tells me she spotted this delicacy when travelling in Asia, but failed to actually step foot inside Pizza Hut. For shame. With tempura prawns, Alaskan pollock fishfingers and pineapple, you can't find something more tropically Italian I'd wager.
...and if all of this has simply whet your appetite for pizza but you're lactose-intolerant / on a diet / not actually insane enough to eat the above, then lock your eyes on eBay as Pizza Hut Canada created 110 bottles of pizza-
stenchingsmelling fragrance. Someone's got to be selling a bottle, somewhere.