I’m tired of the charade. Every time a chain rolls out some new frankenfood, we all look at each other nervously and then someone clears his throat and harrumphs, “Personally I find the thought of putting a sloppy joe between two Cinnabons revolting,” and the rest of us murmur our agreement. And meanwhile all we’re thinking is: When does it come out?
We relish lowbrow excess. We have nothing to apologize for. You see this guy right here? I watch “The Walking Dead” every week, and not only do I watch it, I blog about it. And you people read it. We might as well be wearing those hats with beer-holders on the sides. There’s a reason cultural decadence is so seductive: It’s delicious. I’m going to order one of these, not skimping on the mustard garnish, and celebrate every queasy tummy rumble and ensuing toot as a reminder that we live in a country where such things are not just possible but encouraged.
I’m done feeling ashamed of the fact that a sausage with raspberry-donut filling really doesn’t sound half-bad.
According to a company spokesperson, “We wanted to do it in a way that was true to the way that an American would interact with two of their favorite foods. We haven’t done it this way anywhere else around the world and we think we really nailed it. Especially with the mustard on the side [instead of a mustard drizzle].”
The mustard isn’t the only thing they changed. Unlike its predecessors, which were surrounded by one continuous, hot dog-filled crust, the American version will be surrounded by 28 individual hot dog bites, making this a truly customizable experience.
What I like about this is that it’s not so much a food experiment as an experiment in gluttony. They’re not mixing flavors. There’s no mystery what this tastes like. All they’re doing is stitching some pigs in a blanket to a pepperoni pizza by a strip of dough, like the band of skin that connects Siamese twins. (This is the closest we’ve yet come to true “frankenfood.”) Odds are you’ve got frozen cocktail franks and frozen pizza in your fridge right now and could make the same thing with 20 minutes of effort, but it’s never occurred to you to do that because who the hell would drop a grease bomb like pizza on top of another grease bomb like mini hot dogs? Well, Pizza Hut would. And now you’re curious: What would that experience be like? What would it mean to scarf six dogs in a pretzel crust slathered in mustard and then take out three slices of doughy, cheesy, oily pie? This isn’t a meal so much as it as a dare.
And the best part is, it represents Pizza Hut dumping its lame new strategy of pandering to younger diners who supposedly want silly “artisanal” crap with exotic flavors. No one with any pizza options at all goes to a chain like the Hut for something different. You go there because you want something that’s not different. It’s cheap, it’s fast, it’s filling, it’s familiar — precisely what this new monstrosity is. I can picture the CEO screaming at his VPs over sales numbers for the “artisanal” items and saying in an absent-minded moment, as an absurd example of the sort of indulgent crap Hut customers crave, that the company would be better off selling pies with cocktail franks in place of the crust. And, voila. I’m actually surprised they didn’t put buffalo wings on top instead of pepperoni.