When Pizza Hut brought out a hot-dog stuffed crust for their English pies, journalists around the world either proclaimed the imminent collapse of civilization or else whined that they wanted one in their country, too.
All that hoorah inspired Pizza Hut to get really creative. Meet the cheeseburger crown crust pizza now on sale in Dubai:
That’s an actual photo of a medium pizza. The large variety is featured in Pizza Hut commercials:Taste testers are unanimous in saying that the cheesburger crown crust pie is pretty bad. Leaving aside the precooked burgers (that the ad says are “grilled” — a lovely food word — and “juicy”), the second-rate crust soggy with mayo, and process cheese instead of real mozza — leaving all that aside, the pizza is poorly designed: you cannot taste all the toppings in one bite, you have to pull the little burgers off, then deal with the mound of iceberg lettuce and tomatoes in the middle. And here let me say that shredded lettuce does not belong on a pizza. Even if you scatter hamburger and cheese chunks on a good crust with a decent sauce and call it pizza, you do not heap salad on top of that. Taco pizza? God no!
Pizza Hut also has a version with chicken nuggets in the crown:That looks really bad. Why wrap a nugget in dough? It’s already breaded and, hopefully, crisp. Dunk it in high fructose corn syrup sauce and it can pass as food, but surround it with crust and it’s an abomination.
Speaking of abominations, how about a pizza with cream cheese? In the commercials people spread it over the mid-part of the pizza. According to taste testers that little ball of Philly is only melty on the outside; there’s a solid lump of congealed milk by-product in the center. Anyway, you can get 800% of your daily fat requirements in a single slice. Or crown nodule or whatever those cups of crust are called. You can get your cream cheese lumps with meatballs in Kuwait:
Then there’s the Korean shrimp roll pizza:
And the Malaysian version that adds cheese and pineapple:The Malay pie actually bridges cultural divides and unites families (it says in the commercial) but I think those little cups of molten cheese will cause serious oral injury. Melted process cheese is like napalm, it sticks to flesh — the roof of your mouth, say — allowing huge blisters to form underneath. But perhaps the Malaysian cheese, like the Kuwait cream cheese, isn’t melted all the the way through, maybe there’s a cold chunk of Velveeta immersed in that yellow liquid.
Then there’s Canada’s contribution (not from Pizza Hut): the donair pizza. Donairs/doners are mid-East style sandwiches of flatbread and shredded processed lamb or beef with veggies and sauce. You can scatter that sandwich on a round of dough along with mozzarella and tomato sauce and bake it… But why? Somehow, though, that flavor of pie is popular enough so that it is sold as frozen supermarket pizza in England (home, let me remind you, of the hot dog stuffed crust).
Here’s a taste test on a blog devoted to disgusting English comestibles called Shite Food and, as you can see, the doner pizza is right up there with the worst England has to offer. It’s sold under the brand name “Iceland” which is probably an attempt to disguise the pie’s British origin by blaming it on the folks behind the banking crisis and the Cod War. I’m just happy that they didn’t label it as Canadian.