I Have Been to the Edge of Mediocre Pizza

You think you know about pizza? Well, forget what you know.  Prepare to have your mind blown to Madasgascar. I’ve discovered what might be the greatest technical innovation to hit pizza since somebody figured out you can get cheese inside the crust.

I present to you, directly from Pizza Hut’s Hutseum, the Edge:

The EDGE™ Pizza has toppings all the way up to the edge. This pizza, overflowing with toppings and no outer crust, was originally introduced in 1997. Everywhere they turned, Americans were challenged with, “Have you been to the edge?” A schoolkid standing on a desk, a football coach, Elvis Presley and Mikhail Gorbachev were among the many to ask this provocative question.

When I think of delicious pizza, literally the first things that pop into my head are Tom Coughlin, Russian world leaders, and a rock star hunched over the toilet, dead from drug overdose.

The Edge is no longer just a crappy movie starring Hannibal Lecter and Pete Schweddy.  It’s now a pizza.  This is Pizza Hut basically admitting, “We’ve ran out of ways to shove more stuff in, so now we’re just going to take stuff away.” Then they package it as some kind of extreme breakthrough in pizza technology. Guess what, Hank: they’re just giving you less pizza. Next week they’ll be pimping the new and improved Toppingless Deep Dish, in which they find a way to give you more cheese and sauce then you ever dreamed of! Before too long, the delivery guy will just show up with a tomato on a bagel. Call it the Minimalist Lover’s Pizza.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been eating a perfectly fine piece of pizza, only to get to the end and get visibly upset when I’m forced to eat the crust. Seriously, has anyone ever felt cheated by eating crust? How much pepperoni do you need?  If anything, pizza crust staves off my eventual heart attack by forcing me to eat less cholesterol-heavy meat, even if it hastens my eventual descent into the cruel grip of diabetes brought on by my massive carbohyrdrate intake.

The commercial treats the idea of crustless pizza as if it’s liberating toppings from the oppression of crust.  You thought it was just a piece of pizza? Oh no, friend. This is antebellum Savannah. I’d like to see them take this idea further. Start a topping civil rights movement. I see Photoshop doing wonders for them here. Take out a full page ad in the New York Times with a picture of four pieces of Italian sausage staging a sit-in at a piece of pizza designed to look like a 1950’s Mississippi restaurant. Put out another one with two pieces of crust in police hats turning a huge fire hose on a bunch of peacefully protesting green peppers. Then close it out with a commercial showing a fake speech from the hero of the movement, Anchovy Luther King, Jr.

This speaks to a bigger problem in the pizza industry – the constant need to meddle with pizza. All the major pizza companies feel the need to introduce new concepts and innovations. How about just seeing who can make the best one? Left to its own devices, pizza is one of the most simple and pure food items we have left. No need to get the boys down at the lab working on this one. There are a neverending influx of new shapes, designs, and flavors of pizza. It’s like their trying to mess up one of the hardest foods to mess up. I remember eating Pizza Hut’s Big Foot back in the day, and that was a big deal because it was square. The only thing is that shape has no bearing on taste. That’s why you don’t see Mrs. Fields come out with a new octagonal cookie and then act like they discovered the cure for polio.

I just hope no other institutions follow the path Big Pizza has gone down. How would you like to see Morton’s come out with a new eXXXXtreme Filet Mignon, with baked potato shoved inside a steak covered in sour cream and butter? I can see the ad now: “Had it with Filet Mign-yawn?!? Then bring yourself down to Morton’s, where you can get Fil-laid Mignon!!! Seriously, if a girl sees you eating this steak you’ll be sure to get some cheeks.”

The verdict? The Edge belongs in the Hutseum, next to all the other pizza artifacts culled from the history of human existence.

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