The fast-food industry has a history of doing questionable things to pizza. Over the years, cooks have taken the classic Neapolitan flatbread and folded it, deep-fried it, and filled it with everything from cheese to Nutella.
Pizza’s clearly come a long way since the world realised just how delicious it is. Whether that’s always a good thing is up for debate.
Many of the most successful pizza twists try to stick to the traditional formula of bread, tomato and topping. However, if you look beyond the world of hipster by-the-slice pop-ups, it turns out that playing with pizza isn’t confined to Italian imitators. In some cases, cuisine that seems about as far removed from Italy as it’s possible to get can do things with the pizza blueprint that are silly, outrageous and absolutely awesome all at the same time.
Watch as Hugh makes a Shawarma Pizza in Dubai:
At Poke Burri in Atlanta, Georgia, chefs take the idea of fusion food to elaborate new extremes. With a menu boasting both poke bowls, sushi burritos and sashimi doughnuts, it definitely isn’t a restaurant that’s afraid to cross continents. But, despite the potential excitement of a crab and teriyaki seaweed roll, it’s the sporadically available “sushi pizza” that has really helped Poke Burri steal headlines.
Made with a triangle of nori, topped with rice, fresh fish and a “crust” stuffed with slices of sashimi, the sushi pizza does a brilliant job of nodding to both Nobu and New York. Although not available as a permanent option, the dish has gone through various iterations, the kitchen experimenting with combinations like spicy ahi tuna and crab salad.
Given that they look as though they were designed by Instagram committee, you could be forgiven for thinking that sushi pizza slices are all style and no substance. However, plenty of people who’ve been lucky enough to try them are convinced that there’s a lot more to the dish than just looking pretty. As prominent food influencer The Hunger Diaries explained in a post on Instagram:
“Honestly though, putting aside the “instagrammable”-ness of these dishes, they’re delicious. Poke Burri’s fish is so, so fresh and cut thick so you know you’re getting your money’s worth. Yeah, sushi pizza might be a little messy to eat, but so are chicken wings, and I still eat the F out of those.”
It might be easy to sneer from the sidelines, but clearly you shouldn’t knock sushi pizza until you’ve tried it.