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Hot Dog Pizza Primer!


So let’s talk Hot Dog Pizza for a minute.

As if Americans’ health and waistlines aren’t being put through the paces enough, Pizza Hut, in its infinite wisdom, has decided to import and “embellish” a pie hybrid that it previously introduced in its Korean market. The original Hot Dog Pizza consisted of full-sized wieners wound around a pizza periphery and securely rolled into the crust. Some marketing and product development geniuses were no doubt thinking, “How can we create the ultimate all-in-one food that capitalizes on a foreign audience’s love for American kitsch?” There are those who might call it genius. Others (including me) would opt for the words “despicable” and “vile.”

After watching the Korean commercial, I’m left with many questions that I’m not so sure I want answers to. I’ll say this for it: I’d never thought I’d see someone shoot a hot dog arrow into a pizza target (a new Olympic sport?). And while the Korean version of the pizza is certainly nothing I would eat (consentingly), it’s a beaut’ compared to the pizza that debuts here on June 18.

Enter the Hot Dog Pizza Bites Pizza.

This re-engineered pizza–hot dog hybrid consists of 28 mini hot dogs—looking a bit like kid digits or that ultimate ’70s party food, pigs in a blanket—encircling the pizza proper, to be torn away as desired by the eater. You can choose from a regular or (extra salty) pretzel crust. And as if that weren’t all enough to digest, it comes with a side of neon yellow mustard.

Better (and certainly healthier) than experiencing this monstrosity myself, is watching The Washington Post’s taste test panel tackle this beast of a pizza. The Post approached the subject in a very scientific way, assembling 12 tasters (7 men and 5 women). The pizza arrives in a box marked “The Flavor is Now.” (Yeah, it’s okay to roll your eyes. I did.)

One particularly trepidatious tester, after taking her first bite (and stifling a gag reflex) proclaimed, “This is a bad choice.”

Other quotables?

  • “I think the handling is awkward because if you want to get the hot dog and pizza at the same time, you end up holding it by the side.”
  • “That’s what this pizza is about, YOLO”
  • “We’re eating pizza hot dogs on camera. When do we get our Pulitzers?”

Ultimately, this pizza is a failure on all levels, according to the esteemed panel of tasters. The pizza ranked pretty low for taste: one taster generously gave it an F+. Presentation was even worse, as one taster called it “terrifying looking,” and another likened the hot dogs to four fingers. A third taster was more forward-thinking, noting that although his pizza slice resembled a foot, that was “a good thing.” Good for this guy, because I instantly got to thinking about toe jam, and there’s no way I’m reaching for a slice after that mental image. The pizza scored highest for creativity, with the YOLO commenter noting that “I appreciate this, I’m a busy woman, I can have it all, maybe.”

But do we want it all? In this case, probably not.

Feature Photo Credit: Pizza Hut

Johnisha Levi

Johnisha Levi is a Boston-area pastry cook and one of those very rare (think Pegasus) D.C. natives. If ithere's a documentary on food or true crime, chances are that she's seen it (or it's waiting in her Netflix queue). She's a culinary history nerd who is eager to spend her summer at culture learning more about cheese.

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