Japanese candy maker Morinaga’s Milk Caramel line has been around for 100 years, which is essentially an eternity in the fiercely competitive, constantly evolving Japanese snack food arena. To celebrate the milestone, Morinaga is partnering with a number of restaurants to bring caramel to bold, baffling new worlds.
We recently talked about the caramel banana and caramel mayonnaise corn sushi that started the ball rolling, and now Morinaga has teamed up with Pizza Hut to create a caramel pizza. Not unique enough? Don’t worry, it also has marshmallows. Still not weird enough for you? You’ll be happy to know it also comes with chili sauce.
Intrigued by the sweet offer but somewhat self-conscious about being seen eating something so bizarre in public, we called our local Pizza Hut and had one of the 800-yen (US $7.90) pizzas delivered to the office. According to the website, the caramel pizza isn’t meant to be served piping hot, so instead arrived appetizingly warm and filling the room with a sweet aroma.
It goes without saying, but the caramel marshmallow pizza is meant to be eaten as a dessert. But this isn’t some kind of fancy, mildly sweet tidbit that you nibble on while sipping your chamomile tea either, we soon realized when we flipped open the box’s lid.
▼Behold! The Caramel Marshmallow Pizza!
We’re not sure if Pizza Hut was worried about customers thinking the pizza was too sophisticated, but in any case the multi-colored selection of marshmallows serves as one more reminder that this isn’t a stuffy dessert for a black-tie affair. There are plenty of sliced almonds, though, which lend just a trace of refinement.
The taste is just as sweet as you’d imagine. As a matter of fact, it’s enough to make you weak in the knees, either from joy if you’ve never met a grain of sugar you didn’t like, or from the overloading of your taste buds if sweets aren’t ordinarily your thing.
But in the midst of all this sweetness, our eyes kept being drawn back to the plastic packet taped to the side of the delivery box.
In Japan, it’s extremely common for people to put Tabasco on their pizza, especially at less expensive or authentic restaurants. But still, green chili sauce for a pizza already topped with caramel and marshmallows?
We had a hard time believing the chili sauce packet got there by accident, though. The combination sounded pretty frightening to us, but maybe Pizza Hut knew something about the sense of taste that we didn’t?
Placing our faith in the immensely successful chain’s judgment, we tore open the pack, and with the fiery smell immediately stinging our nostrils, we drizzled some onto a slice.
We took a bite, and the spiciness hit us first. But before the intense heat had even started to die down, the sweetness came rushing in. As we made our way through our piece of pizza in its full, as-suggested regalia, it was like the two equally intense flavors were trying to outrun each other in our mouths.
In the end, we’ve got no idea what the green chili sauce is doing here. There’s really no reason to ever eat a dessert pizza unless you’re rewarding yourself with a treat, but adding in the unnecessary spiciness just makes the whole thing into a punishment. In coming up with the unorthodox combo of caramel, marshmallows, and pizza, Morinaga and Pizza Hut were crazy like a fox, but adding hot sauce? That’s just crazy like crazy.
[ Read in Japanese ]