If you think putting pineapple on pizza is sacrilege, you may shudder at what Pizza Hut is doing to innocent pies in China.
It's called durian pizza, made with the unmistakably pungent -- some would some revolting -- spiky greenish-brown fruit known as "the King of Fruits." The basketball-sized durian was memorably described by Julia Child as reminiscent of "dead babies mixed with strawberries and Camembert," according to The Wall Street Journal.
So what's it doing on pizza? Though it's smelly, the durian's smooth, succulent flesh is adored by many in Asia. What's more, when placed on a pizza pie, the fruit's overpowering flavor becomes less so, to some people's dismay, thanks to its submersion in cheese and dough.
A cafe in Shanghai seems to have been the first to try its hand at selling durian pizza in 2013, and it was a hit, selling about 70 pies a day, the Journal noted. A bakery in Singapore has also experimented with the product.
Pizza Hut tested out the concoction in the southern province of Guangdong before rolling it out in several Chinese cities this year. And it reportedly has "created a lot of buzz" with Chinese consumers and been a hit in the south.
Prices range between 59 yuan ($9) for a half-durian, half-Hawaiian pizza and 97 yuan for a stuffed-crust durian pizza.
So how's it taste? It depends who you ask. Of the 10 Wall Street Journal staffers who taste-tested the durian pizza, four gave the dish a thumb's up, three were decidedly unimpressed and three pronounced the concoction as "interesting," the newspaper reported.
Durian pizza is just the latest in a seemingly endless array of foods geared to foreign palates, such as McDonald's McChoco Potato, which debuted earlier this year in Japan. The menu item consists of "McDonald's French fries drizzled with two types of chocolate sauces -- chocolate with cacao flavor and white milk chocolate," which "creates a wonderful salty and sweet harmonious taste."
We'll take MickeyD's word for it.
Other odd food combos in recent years include:
- Taco Bell's WaffleTaco: A waffle wrapped around a sausage patty or bacon, with scrambled eggs and cheese, served with a side of syrup. This "Egg McMuffin alternative" debuted with Taco Bell's breakfast menu in 2014, only to be shelved a year later.
- Pizza Hut's hotdog stuffed crust pizza: Just as it sounds, Pizza Hut took a few hot dogs and jammed them into the crust. Think of it as a pizza surrounded by pigs-in-a-blanket. Thankfully, the menu wasn't available in the U.S.
- Burger King's KuroPearl Burger: Sold in Japan, this odd creation, which resembles a burger on burnt bread, features a beef patty topped with black cheese on a dyed-black bun and an onion-garlic sauce with squid ink.
- Wendy's Lobsterand Caviar Burger: This one doesn't sound half bad, if you like lobster. Offered only for a limited time in Japan, Wendy's debuted this concoction in 2012. It featured a single patty, topped with a lobster claw and sprinkled with caviar.
- KFC's DoubleDown sandwich: Nearly universally panned by food critics, the Double Down was essentially strips of bacon and some cheese sandwiched between two breaded chicken cutlets. One reviewer found this Frankenburger to be "actually pretty tasty," despite containing more than half the daily dietary allowance for sodium.
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