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When two become one: the hot-dog crust pizza

Casey Morell
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It's like a beholder made of cheese and dough.

America's War on Health has had many weapons.

We've seen the advent of a taco shell made with Doritos, and a chicken sandwich where the fowl serves as bread.

In an effort to reach such heights, Pizza Hut has stepped forward with its latest creation: a pizza with hot dogs lining the crust.

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Now, upon hearing this idea, I twitched slightly. I'm not a fan of hot dogs -- in pizza or otherwise -- and Pizza Hut pizza is not exactly haute cuisine. I wondered whether the hot dog would serve as the actual crust (i.e., having to grip the tubular meat in order to hold my slice), or if it would be thinly sliced across the pizza in order to fool myself into thinking it was proscuitto, or if it would be something else entirely. It made me think mostly of the line Jeff Goldblum (as Dr. Ian Malcolm) delivers in  Jurassic Park when referring to the notion of the fantasy world in which he finds himself:

"Yeah, yeah, but your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could that they didn't stop to think if they should."

As I awaited the pizza delivery to the newsroom, I wondered what exactly I was getting myself into. I double-checked to make sure my health insurance registration was up-to-date, just in case something were to go awry -- well, more awry than having hot dogs in a pizza, anyway.

The pizza arrived shortly after noon, and the task was put before me.

The hot dogs were placed on the pizza crust pigs-in-a-blanket style. You could even put your fingers betwixt the individual dogs to give yourself pizza knuckles, but they'd likely prove to be a bit ineffective when trying to finish someone a la Mortal Kombat.

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The pizza even -- courteously -- came with its own side of mustard for dipping purposes. Who said chivalry was dead?

Gingerly, as if holding a fragile document that could rip at any time, I lifted a piece from the box. Its greasy footprint glistened under the newsroom's fluorescent lights, like a misbegotten explorer's first steps into a brave new world.

I bit into the pizza. The cheese and dough -- the crux of the pizza itself -- tasted like any other Pizza Hut creation. The cheese was slimy, the sauce overpowering, the dough maddeningly cooked.

So far, familiar territory.

Turning the slice 180 degrees, I bit into one of the hot dogs. The

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recognizable taste of overcooked pork hit immediately, as if at a Super Bowl party where somebody left the pigs-in-a-blanket in the oven for maybe four minutes longer than needed. The dough surrounding them had a different consistency than the rest of the pizza: it was flaky, like a crescent roll, but still had (somehow) that same patina of greasy malfeasance as the rest of the pizza did.

Adding mustard didn't help.

I finished the slice and said aloud, "Well, that wasn't as bad as it could have been." And, in many ways, that's true. If the bar is set at not spitting food out upon mastication -- or vomiting it up later -- then verily, this bar is cleared. 

But now, not 20 minutes or so after consuming it, my head hurts. The sheen of grease still lingers in my mouth. My colleagues' reactions are mixed; some said it was delicious, others said it wasn't that great.

Consider me in the latter camp.

Casey Morell is the coordinating producer of Nevada Public Radio's flagship broadcast State of Nevada and one of the station's midday newscast announcers. (He's also been interviewed by Jimmy Fallon, whatever that's worth.)