Pizza Hut upped the ante in the stuffed crust pizza game a couple years ago with its Three-Cheese Stuffed Crust Pizza. Because true pizza innovators never sleep, the chain is now introducing a Triple-Cheese Covered Stuffed Crust pizza, which is available at 6,300 Pizza Hut locations across the country.

Parmesan, asiago, and cheddar cheese are baked on top of the crust; the new stuffed-crust is also loaded with the three cheeses. So you will get crispy baked cheese and melty cheese in one bite of crust. Praise Cheesus.

Crust innovation today knows no bounds—but do you remember the days when crust was just, well, crust? Before 1992, there was no such thing as crust loaded with cheese inside of it. Then marketing mastermind and product developer for national chains, Tom Ryan, came along and changed the crust game forever.

In an interview with First We Feast, Ryan relayed the story of how the stuffed-crust pizza came into this world:

“Because Bigfoot failed and we didn’t have a traditional pizza offering [on the menu], the question became, How can we get in the traditional pizza business and differentiate ourselves? That’s like saying to somebody, Well, we need some white bread, but it can’t be white bread.

Over the years of working on pizza I learned two things: that cheese is the most important thing that drives most people’s value perception of pizza (the more cheese the better—no matter how much you put on it, there’s never enough); and, dogs get to eat the crust, because most consumers who aren’t bread lovers eat the pizza and then flip the crust to their dog. And I heard that over and over again.

One day it dawned on me: What if we took the most valued element of the pizza, the cheese, and put it interestingly into the most devalued part of the pizza, the crust? So we went to the store, we bought Armenian string cheese—because back then [around 1992–1993] the little snack cheeses weren’t in the market—and we made some dough and pressed in [the cheese] and baked it. It came out looking like a tire, but we cut into it and it was really cool.

The real work came after we realized it was [good] idea, and we had to figure out how to fit [the cooking process] into our operation. Baking a pizza with cheese in the crust and baking a thin pizza is like baking a turkey and a chicken wing at the same time. And so there was a lot of technical work that went into how you design the dough and the pan it’s cooked in, so that you can have the [two elements of this] product coming through the same oven in the same amount of time. The vision is only as good as the execution, so we had to [experiment] a lot to make the execution work. It took us a year and a half.”

[via Pizza Hut]