Somewhere along pizza’s beautiful journey toward culinary glory, a road branched off in a very odd direction. While some chefs focused on getting just the right amount of char on their dough and using the highest quality mozzarella available, other pie-makers (mostly chains) were going completely nuts with their choice in toppings.
The genre of gross-out pizza was born.
We’re currently living in the golden age of over-the-top ‘za creations, where the once-sacred ground reserved for (at the very weirdest) anchovies or pineapple is now a completely blank canvas, ready to be dressed up with anything from wasabi mayo, to peaches and barbecue sauce.
Primarily offered by inventive Pizza Hut outlets across Southeast Asia, these craziest pies seems to have no rules whatsoever, even going so far as to stuff hot dogs into the crust (a move that, rather distressingly, has now reached the U.S.). As much as we respect the creativity, a lot of these pizza looks straight-up disgusting.
While the future will surely shock and dismay us all, here are 10 pies that will go down in pizza’s storied history as stepping stones on the road to the most ridiculous pizza of them all.
1. Shrimp tempura, mayo, and hot dog pizza
Mayonnaise seems to be quite the trendy pizza topping across Asia, but when it’s combined with seafood, things might go a little too far. This Pizza Hut pie is a strange amalgamation of basically everything you never wanted to eat together, including shrimp tempura, steamed shrimp, squid rings, fish cakes, pineapple, wasabi mayonnaise, and a hot dog-stuffed crust. “The pineapple’s tang, the tempura’s rancidity, the squid’s funk, and the sinus-scorching zing of the wasabi-mayonnaise all clash in your mouth,” wrote The Shanghaiist in a review. “They are vying to see who can trigger the gag reflex first.”
Uh, we’ll pass. (Photo: Shanghaiist)
2. Prawns, eggplant, and cheesy stuffed-crust pizza
Who makes it: Pizza Hut
Pizza Hut has turned out a number of prawn-based pies for its Malaysian customer case, but the wacky trifecta of eggplant, cheesy stuffed crust, and prawns is worrisome. But hey—there’s always hope that the so-called “Atlantis Pizza” doesn’t actually exist in real life…just like the city of Atlantis.
3. Scallops, seafood, cranberry, carrot, and okra pizza
Part of a double whammy of supremely disgusting pizzas released by Pizza Hut in early 2015 for a voracious Hong Kong audience, the “Double Sensation II: Seafood Sensation” is oddly reminiscent of Thanksgiving and a summertime vegetable garden all at once. The two-ring circus features shrimp, cherry tomato, red onions, bell peppers, and a dill Thousand Island sauce on the inner ring; on the outer ring, seafood, scallops, carrots, cranberry, okra, bell peppers, red onions, and an orange mayo sauce. Everything-but-the-kitchen-sink never sounded so bad. (Photo: Pizza Hut Hong Kong)
4. Barbecue sauce, beef, cherry tomato, pepperoni, cherry, peach, and tartar sauce pizza
After tasting the second (beefier) version of the Double Sensation II, a brave reviewer in Hong Kong noted, “The first thing that hits me is the smell, which I can only describe as if someone heated a bag of Cheetos and some old sandwich ham in a microwave. It’s overpowering and I try not to breathe…I take a bite. Oh god, it’s disgustingly sweet. That’ll be thanks to the fruit combo in the inner ring. I actually have to ask a staff member what the dark and pruned objects on the pizza were before I realize they’re dried cherries.” (Photo: Coconuts Hong Kong)
5. Creamed Corn Pizza
Nothing says cafeteria food quite like creamed corn, and now you can have the sloppy, gloppy side dish of your nightmares baked on top of a pie. Textural issues aside, there can’t be much that’s tasty about a starch-on-starch party, and—let’s face it—there’s nothing worse than a soggy crust. (Photo: Little Pizza Party)
6. Crown Crust Carnival Pizza
From: Middle East
Who makes it: Pizza Hut
Crown Crust Carnival Pizza wasn’t as much a pie across the Middle East as it was something of a new-fangled, food mash-up revolution. Like some songs that just shouldn’t be remixed together, the pizza offerings in this series include cheeseburger “crust” pizza, chicken tender “crust” pizza, and cream cheese and meatball “crust” pizza. This takes crust-shaming to a whole new level.
7. Flying Fish Roe Salmon Cream Cheese Pizza
This smoky, salty pizza is not for the faint of heart, or those with an aversion to fishy flavors. The pie’s crust is stuffed with salmon cream cheese and fish eggs, then topped with one of two seafood explosions. The first (dubbed the “Crayfish Seafood Deluxe”) mashes together crayfish, scallops, shrimp, clams, cherry tomatoes, peppers, red onions, and Thousand Island sauce. The second, fruit-forward option combines sausage, pepperoni, cherry tomatoes, peaches, mushrooms, peppers, berry sauce, and pomelo. It’s difficult deciding which is the lesser of the two evils. (Photo: Brand Eating)
8. King crab, shrimp, beef, broccoli, onion, corn, egg, potato with fried shrimp-crust pizza
Like a bad Chinese buffet that’s simply been dumped on top of a pizza, this pie makes the serious mistake of combining beef and seafood into one swirling mess. The strangest part, though, is the pull-apart–style fried-shrimp crust, which makes the pie function like two (or three, or four) snacks in one. (Photo: Calorie Lab)
9. Scallop, Butter, and Soy Sauce Pizza
Of all the nasty pizzas out there, this one seems almost strangely like it could be appetizing. When butter is listed as an actual ingredient, though, you know you’re in for a gooey, completely bad-for-you ride. Soy sauce adds an unnecessarily salty kick, and we’ll never for the life of us be able to understand why leaving the shells on seafood, on a pie, makes any sense at all. (Photo: Rocket News)
10. Star Edge Pizza
From: South Korea
Who makes it: Pizza Hut
If you’re always looking for a way to eat your dessert and your dinner in one go, Pizza Hut Korea has you covered. Its 2014 “Star Edge Pizza” creation is shaped (roughly) like a ninja star, and combines shrimp, calamari, homemade sausage, bacon, and steak on a turnover-style crust filled with cranberry and cream cheese, or cinnamon apple nut and cream cheese.