Roughly every half century, humanity takes a giant leap forward. The industrial revolution created the modern age of progress and spurred technological advancements. Fifty years later, we detonated the atomic bomb and man left the safety of our planet for outer space. Then, in 1995, Pizza Hut invented stuffed crust pizza and changed the world forever. While the standard course of history should have caused Pizza Hut to yield the next great technological achievement to another, fate simply wouldn’t allow it. If you’re not sitting down already, I strongly recommend that you take a seat or convince someone to catch you after you faint. Seriously, do not read another sentence until you are fully prepared to have every emotion simultaneously and uncontrollably erupt out of your body.
Last week, Pizza Hut released a pizza that has hotdog stuffed right into the crust. Already offering crusts stuffed with cheese or hotdog, it is only a matter of time before they release the crust with cheese stuffed hotdogs. This all begs the question, “What else has Pizza Hut been keeping from us?”
My initial reaction to this hotdog stuffed crust news was exactly the same as my reaction to the cheese stuffed crust and several videos some of my less upstanding friends have emailed to me.
Then I found out that it was only available in the United Kingdom and became outraged. First of all, even though I don’t have any proof of this, I’m fairly certain that America invented both the hotdog and the pizza. If not, then we at least mastered the art of stuffing one food inside of another. I also thought that the heartlands of America were the places that chain restaurants demoed ridiculous foods like this. I remember once driving from Detroit to Chicago and happening across KFC’s Famous Bowl in Indiana well before they unleashed that terror across the rest of the globe. The same was true of the Double Down, which is a bacon and cheese sandwich where they have replaced the bread with two hunks of fried chicken. Sure, I’ve heard that they have a Chicken Nugget Burger in Germany, but that seems pretty tame compared to Domino’s pizza made entirely out of Oreo cookies and vanilla icing or Wendy’s Baconator Double. You can also make a nugget burger on your own. In the past I have habitually inserted nuggets and fries into my hamburgers because I live in America and that’s something we do.
I’m not saying America has a lock on unhealthy foods but we’ve certainly put the time in to at least make that claim. Things are changing though and the healthy food craze is taking the nation by storm. While this is definitely a positive thing, I hope that it doesn’t come at the cost of our chicken and waffles or fried frozen Cokes. We need to understand that these are all dare foods. You are not supposed to eat them all of the time, you’re supposed to get them once in a while and then regret it. When you have a three day weekend and you’re drunk with a friend in the middle of the afternoon, that is the time to indulge in your most disgustingly decadent of food pleasures. However, if you just happen to be on your way home from work, you don’t need to put frozen yogurt into your pastrami submarine sandwich. Dare foods are a novelty and all about the experience, not about getting as much of them into your body as you can before it realizes that it doesn’t want anymore.
As I’ve gotten older I have started to understand the temptations of food a little more, but not to the extremes that some people take it. I don’t know if you’ve ever listened to The Splendid Table, but that woman talks about food like a registered sex offender talks about sixteen year olds. I once had a child in my car and they heard her talking about an egg she ate in France and I had to turn off the radio because I worried that it was doing psychological damage. She once had a twenty minute conversation with someone about the impact different types of bread have had on her life. While undoubtedly important, I rarely ever reflect back on the breads in my life when I’m not already eating a piece. It’s absolutely ridiculous. The food television networks are better but I’ll still occasionally get the impression that the food is supposed to deliver some sort of higher pleasure to the person consuming it than it should. It’s usually when they strategically light the food to look good and then shoot it with a soft filter like it’s in some sex scene on an vintage soap opera that I’ll start to feel like something is amiss.
I, admittedly, enjoy reading up about consumables but food culture sort of misses me. I think a part of me wants to understand because I really do love a variety of foods but I always seem to fall short once it starts to sound like an erotic novel about rare ingredients. Then again, I suppose the alternative isn’t much better:
“I cooked some beef today because it was on sale and I hadn’t had any in a while. I was going to cook a nice chicken curry with rice but then realized that it was going to be just me and I needed to eat that beef because it was starting to stink. It needed some salt, so I salted it. I’d say it was pretty okay because I didn’t get all that sick.”