I was bombarded with ads for Pizza Hut’s new line of all-natural pizzas while watching football last Sunday, and while I scoffed at the concept of an all-natural pizza from Pizza Hut, by halftime of the Eagles/Giants game, I was really hungry and curious enough to go online and order one. It was the first delivery pizza I’ve ordered in years, and honestly, I thought it would be an interesting post. :)
The new pizzas are part of Pizza Hut’s transition to using all-natural ingredients across their entire menu. Here’s some details from Chain Leader magazine:
Pizza Hut’s new ingredients include all-natural sauce from vine-ripened tomatoes with no high-fructose corn syrup; all-natural pepperoni with no artificial preservatives, no nitrites or nitrates added; all-natural Italian sausage with no artificial colors, flavors or preservatives; and 100% real beef with no fillers. Pizza Hut customers will notice the company’s commitment to real taste with a new signature red Pizza Hut pizza box made from 40% recycled materials that will debut across the country today.
All that marketing speak sounds great, but was the pizza good?
I ordered the Natural Rustica Pizza, which featured marinated vine-ripened tomatoes, roasted red peppers, and sliced Rustica Sausage. The toppings were surprisingly good, esp. the tomatoes and peppers. The sausage was okay, but I thought it would have been more “rustica” if it was crumbled sausage instead of sliced sausage.
The weakness of this pizza is the multi-grain crust, which I found kinda spongy. You can see how it sort of resembles the original Pizza Hut crust, but since it’s not fried in oil (which isn’t the point of this pizza anyway), it’s not crunchy and not nearly as tasty. The crust did improve with time as it was pretty good cold out of the fridge since it firmed up a bit. I also heated up a slice in the toaster oven to crisp up the crust and this was definitely the best way to enjoy this pizza.
I’m not a regular Pizza Hut customer and generally shun all forms of delivery pizza, but the reality is that Pizza Hut feeds a lot of people around the world and should be applauded for adopting this all-natural philosophy. I sincerely hope it succeeds and encourages other chain restaurants to follow suit.