Ramen pizza? Crazy mashup revealed by Pizza Hut Taiwan
Maggie Hiufu Wong, CNN •
(CNN) — You may need chopsticks for this pizza.
Pizza Hut Taiwan has teamed up with Menya Musashi, a popular ramen joint from Japan, to dish out the world’s first ramen pizza.
The new pizza has the toppings of a Tonkotsu ramen (pork bone soup ramen) including thick ramen noodles, pork slices, white sesame, fresh chili, and a half-boiled egg in the middle.
Spring onions and bamboo shoots are served on the side.
It isn’t the first boundary-pushing gimmick from Pizza Hut Taiwan.
It’s the team behind some of the previous wild pizza mashups including durian pizza, bubble tea pizza and stinky tofu pizza.
The latter two are part of its “best of Taiwan street food series.”
Pizza purists who are still getting over the travesties of deep-pan bases and pineapple and chicken toppings may be pushed over the edge by the double-carb attack of noodles on pizza.
But with Pizza Hut’s global innovations over the years including a mac ‘n’ cheese topping and cheeseburger-stuffed crust, it seems they’ll keep experimenting and we’ll keep eating.
Bringing fun to Taiwan
Pizza Hut Taiwan tells CNN Travel that these creative pizzas are a way to bring fun to their customers.
“Taiwanese consumers live a high-pressure life with long working hours and high cost of living. The creative food scene has become an exciting and creative escape. Taiwanese are looking for quick moments of joy to relieve daily pressures,” says Lily Chou, the marketing director of Pizza Hut.
Chou says that the new series is a nod to Taiwan’s love for Japanese culture.
They have rolled out a sweet matcha pizza earlier in March 2020 with matcha, red bean and mochi as toppings.
“We called it ‘WOW Product Series’ which means you never expect to have these toppings served on pizza but taste so great. It adds fun to your pizza moment,” says Chou.
Menya Musashi Taiwan issued an “apology” on its Facebook that said, jokingly, (in Chinese): “First, Japan introduced bubble tea ramen, offending the Taiwanese people and worsening the Japanese-Taiwanese relationship. This time, Menya Musashi has decided to join hands with Pizza Hut Taiwan to cross both the Japanese and the Italians.”
Even if it’s purely a marketing gimmick, the new pizza has successfully stirred debate on the Internet.
On Taiwan’s popular discussion forum PTT, one netizen flagged an important question, “How should the half-boiled egg be divided?”
Another said that the combination is similar to an okonomiyaki, a type of Japanese savory pancake with wheat-flour batter, pork, cabbage, and, sometimes, noodles.
Pizza Hut isn’t the only pizza joint playing around with unthinkable toppings.
The surprising popularity of Domino’s bubble tea pizza has secured its spot on its regular menu.
Some forum users offered suggestions on what other things could go on pizza — spicy hot pot pizza and oyster vermicelli pizza, for example.
As to answer whether one should use hands or chopsticks for the new pizza, Chou says, “We welcome different innovative ways on how to consume our new ramen pizza, but definitely it’s the first ramen to be consumed by hand.”