The next destination in the Atlanta Pizza Days is taking us on a different path, fast food pizza. A division of Yum! Brands, Pizza Hut is the world’s largest pizza purveyor with over 10,o00 restaurants worldwide. They seemingly come up with a new pizza offering every few weeks, and I’m pretty sure they were the first to pimp the stuffed crust pizza, which by the way, has the foulest “cheese” I’ve ever tasted.
Side note – Upon visiting Pizza Hut’s website, I was amazed by the amount of © ® ™ symbols all over the place. Do they really have to come up with unique names for every new item they create? The “Pizza Mia”, the “P’Zone”, the “Pizza Bowel Flush”. OK, I made that last one up.
The fact of the matter is, people buy their pizza, including the offering in Japan pictured above and below. It has a hot dog crust and squid. Seriously.
You can buy their pizza online, via text message, or via a quick call to someone who may or may not be speaking the same language as you. In a short amount of time, you will have hot pizza delivered to your door for a very fair price.
The question is, is it worth a damn? Can it even be judged? Is it pizza? There’s nothing I love more in the summer than drinking a few cold ones and grilling a 2″ thick handmade burger. But during a retched hangover, God help the person that tries to pry the $0.99 Junior Bacon Cheeseburger and Doublestack from my hands. My point is, the fast food burger satisfies a totally different craving for me.
This is another post where I didn’t abide by the official tasting rules set forth. I didn’t bust out the official score sheets and I didn’t save slices for blind tasters. You will just have to trust my input and use the pictures to guide you.
We ordered two pizzas on this fabulous Friday afternoon, one of the new “The Natural” pizzas, with Meat Lover’s toppings, and one thin crust cheese pizza.
Here are some interesting facts from the Pizza Hut website regarding “The Natural”. It has a multi-grain crust, the sauce doesn’t have high fructose corn syrup, the sausage doesn’t have artificial color, the pepperoni doesn’t have added nitrites, and they use all natural mozzarella.
What were we eating before????
I guess the explicit listing of the qualities of The Natural pizza doesn’t necessarily indicate that their other pizzas were all using preservatives, nitrites, artificial colors and flavors in every aspect of the pizza, but it kinda rubs me that way, no?
This is actually the 2nd one of the “Natural” pizzas that I’ve eaten, the previous one being plain cheese. You can see the darker multi-grain crust, other than that it pretty much looks like a fast food pizza. The toppings weren’t any different to me and the cheese tasted the same. The slices were smaller, which is nicer from a portion control perspective. The dough was lifeless and was like cardboard to me, worse than their regular gut-bomb buttery pizza dough.
Really, while this pizza may be less chemically enhanced, it’s still clearly fast food pizza.
Pictured above, the upskirt of the lifeless “Natural” pizza.
Pictured above is the thin crust cheese. You can see the crust is totally different here. The crust is quite thin and crunchy, with the endcrust being pretty much hollow. There is no dough structure or flavor. It was slightly overcooked on the edge, but no big deal. The dough on this pizza is simply, as I call it, a “topping delivery system”. It’s only function is to hold the sauce, cheese, and toppings and deliver it to your face.
The cheese is nicely browned/burned, and there was lots of it. Pretty much zero sauce to speak of, and the small amount that was beneath the 2lbs of cheese was flavorless.
The cheese was rubbery but satisfying in that “oh my God I just ate a sackful of Krystal’s” kind of way.
Final Thoughts: My comments are pretty bad, right? This is clearly not real pizza, agreed? Well why did I eat six slices? Because it was free and I was really hungry, and these pizzas are designed by a 11 billion dollar company that knows what they are doing. They have an R&D department for crying out loud. It’s some poor schmuck’s job to figure out how to best implement additives so that they can make a 25% margin on it while ensuring that I will crave each bite and something will trigger that junk food salt/fat/grease mechanism in our psyche which plagues our fat American asses.
Somewhere along the way I think we’ve understood this, and to some extent, we are ok with it. I don’t know anyone that says “hey, let’s go out for pizza” and suggests Pizza Hut. But ordering it in is a different story. When we’re watching a football game or sitting around playing poker, no one will hesitate to pickup the phone and order a few pies from one of these establishments. And I don’t groan or bat an eye.
It’s not a pizza destination, it’s a cheap, consistent food product delivered to your doorstep for a fair price. You know what you are going to get, and you know it’s going to satisfy some sort of craving. Touché Pizza Hut.