If the world’s growing supply of eccentric takeaway menus is to be believed, you can technically put anything on a pizza. When I was at uni, the multifaceted chippy-chinese-kebab house next door to us sold a dessert pie, featuring nutella, peanuts, chocolate shavings, banana and custard, all for only £7.50. You could feel the entire population of Naples baulking all the way from Nottingham. However, even monstrosities like this pale into comparison against the mad creation of one particular Taiwanese pizzeria.
Even the most well-travelled food lover could be forgiven for having never heard of Foodie Star in Chiayi City. From the outside, it looks just as unremarkable as any of the other million nondescript takeaway joints that dot street corners around the world. However, peel back the curtain and glance at the menu and it becomes clear that this is not your ordinary kitchen. These cooks are unencumbered by the need to honour tradition or tastebuds. Their ambitions are much more artistic. For, while there are a few corporate crowd pleasers on offer, Foodie Star is also home to what might be the world’s first bubble tea pizza.
The pizza, which has unsurprisingly caused quite a stir on Instagram and across social media, is certainly a statement. In addition to more traditional ingredients like dough and cheese, the dish is covered in a collection of jet black boba balls, giving it the look of a blueberry punnet that’s been accidentally drenched in PVA. The boba “pearls” are reportedly identical to those that you would find in a regular bubble tea, making this possibly the first example of an east-meets-west, food-and-drink mashup.
Understandably, the inclusion of boba has prompted mixed responses from the internet. One Instagrammer who had been brave enough to try it for themselves wrote that, “Their pearls have a very strong ‘black sugar flavor’. The crust is generally crispy but the pearl is really amazing. Perfect harmony with the cheese, salty and sweet interlaced.” Others were less effusive, with one Twitterer simply responding, “Noooooo”.
Even if bubble tea pizza sounds like a cheese-drenched nightmare, curious visitors to Taiwan may yet be tempted into trying it. According to Unilad, one pizza will only set you back about 139 New Taiwan Dollars, or around £3.70, meaning that even if the experience is utterly horrible, you won’t be left out of pocket. Whether that’s enough to tempt the sceptics remains to be seen. But it certainly isn’t for the faint of heart.