pizza

The plot thickens: Pizza Hut Japan’s feline employees disappear overnight, forcing store closure 【Video】

Back in August we brought you the news that Pizza Hut in Japan was now under the control of four bossy cats. Along with millions of other pizza and cat fans, we couldn’t get enough of the adorable antics of Tenchō, Hime, Dora and Detch as they manned (catted?) the phones, were startled by the sound of the cash register, and rode a rumba around the store.

This week, the chain announced the emergency closure of its Pizza Cat store, citing the mysterious disappearance of the four plucky feline workers. Where could they have gone? And why? We did some detective work to try and find out.

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Domino’s Japan offering discounts to customers who pound the wall, show mementos from old flames

While it may not have the hippest image in the U.S., Domino’s Pizza has built a fanbase for itself in Japan with a string of unique promotions and weird humor. So we’re sure plenty of people were sad to hear that on October 26, Domino’s Japan is closing down its online store where you can order pizzas for delivery or pickup.

Luckily, this has turned out to be just another one of the chain’s quirky jokes, since it’s also opening a new online store on October 27. In other words, it’s just a website redesign, but in addition to serving up plenty of tongue-in-cheek drama, Domino’s is also offering discounts for customers who play along with the joke and say goodbye in a variety of ways.

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Mega Burger Pizza rises from its cheesy grave, available again for a limited time

This year, one of our favorite Japanese monsters has returned. Gigantic and terrifying, we still can’t help but cheer at its reappearance, even as we realize it’s likely to destroy us.

Are we talking about Godzilla? No, our dark idol is far tastier: the Mega Burger Pizza.

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Pizza Hut in Japan is now run by four bossy felines in new adorable campaign

In Japan, there’s the phrase “neko no te mo karitai” (literally “want to borrow even a cat’s hand”), meaning that you’re so busy, you even want the cat to help. Well, Pizza Hut took this idiom to heart in its new campaign, hiring four rough-and-tumble cats to manage a franchise called Pizza Cat! As you’ll see in the dramatic “movie trailer,” these cats are fired up and can’t wait to rescue people who’re too busy to prepare dinner.

Read on to learn more about the comical and kawaii campaign, and to watch a few of the 15-second promotional videos that reveal what would happen if cats really lent a paw. Plus, if you live in Japan you may even have a chance to win a Pizza Hut hat for cats. So are felines one opposable thumb away from world domination, or are we slowly approaching a utopia in which pets will fetch us pizza? And hey, didn’t Samurai Pizza Cats already get started on both?

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Japanese people react to reading that “pizza is a vegetable in America”

If you live in the States, you may remember a few years ago when Congress blocked a proposal that aimed to make school lunches for children healthier. One of the provisions which stirred up considerable debate involved increasing the amount of tomato paste necessary to be considered a full serving of fruits and vegetables, but the proposal was eventually nixed, effectively maintaining that the tomato sauce used on pizza could count as a serving of vegetables.

After a Japanese news site broke the story fashionably late last month, Japanese people were incredulous to hear that from a legal standpoint, “pizza is a vegetable” in the U.S. Read on to learn more about the ongoing debate and some reactions of readers.

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Pizza Hut Japan’s caramel marshmallow pizza tastes great, but does it need hot sauce? We find out

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.

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20 bizarre fast food items from Japan

Japan has always had a knack for taking Western ideas and turning them on their head, churning out some weird and wonderful gems in the process. So it’s not surprising that the fast food world in Japan is an absolute goldmine of unusual creations and bizarre taste sensations. From towering burgers to chocolate sauces, we take a look at some of the most mind-boggling limited edition releases we’ve seen in Japan over recent years.

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Drone-delivered pizza in Mumbai sparks excitement, angers authorities

In theory it makes perfect sense: when you need to get something from A to B in a hurry and the roads are packed with cars, bikes and people, you fly over it. No traffic lights, no congestion, no fuss.

That’s precisely what Franceso’s Pizzeria, a restaurant in the Indian city of Mumbai, recently did. By strapping their pizza pie to a four-rotored drone about the size of a small coffee table, they were able to remotely pilot the food over the heads of pedestrians and traffic jams and get it to its destination 1.5 km away while still piping hot.

The authorities, however, were not quite as pleased about the stunt as netizens.

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Chinese consumers are completely obsessed with pizza

China is going through a pizza renaissance. 

Because Chinese consumers see pizza as an iconic part of the American diet, demand for the food is expected to continue surging, writes David Stringer at Bloomberg.

China’s biggest cheese supplier, Fonterra, predicts demand for mozzarella cheese will surge 20% in the next two years because of the trend, according to Bloomberg.

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Kit Kat pizza!? Japanese pizza and cafe chains get creative with the new bakeable snack!

We were already perfectly full and happy having had a chance to try Japan’s new bakeable Kit Kats, and felt that the chocolatey snack had been taken about as far as it ever could. But apparently there’s still more to look forward to from these unique Kit Kats than just the novelty of “toasting” them at home: Kit Kat pizza!

That’s right, several pizza and cafe chains in Japan will be offering special menus for a limited time using the “Bake ‘N Tasty Mini Kit Kats Custard Pudding Flavor” (Kit Kat Mini Yaite Oishi Purin Aji), and we have to say, they look pretty darn sweet.

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Never agonize over your fast food decisions again – Pizza-Burger is here!

Ever had that terrible indecision between pizza and hamburger? Japan’s got your problem solved! It’s not quite as out-there as the bizarre creations we’ve become used to – in fact, maybe this time they’ve actually got things right.

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Thinking of ordering a pizza on a snow day? “Screw you!” tweets Japanese delivery driver

With record snowfall this weekend, not many people were keen to get out of their houses to do anything but buy emergency supplies and make snowmen. Of course, that doesn’t mean there’s no money to be made–after all, crappy weather is the perfect time to order a pizza, isn’t it? Really, is there anything better than curling up under the kotatsu with a giant steamy pizza, some hot chocolate, and a few DVDs from Tsutaya?

Well, unless you’re the delivery driver, I suppose. Then you might have a very different take on the matter, as one Japanese Twitter user pointed out.

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Share a special heart-shaped treat for Valentine’s Day — from Domino’s Pizza Japan!

While it may seem like chocolate is the main product on offer in shops and restaurants in Japan this time of year, Valentine’s Day apparently isn’t just all about chocolate. If you don’t have a sweet-tooth, how would you like to try this lovely Valentine’s offering from Domino’s Japan? Yes, it’s Japan’s very own, heart-shaped Valentine’s pizza, and as far as we can tell, the treat looks sure to be tasty, even if it’s not chocolate!

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Pizza Hut Japan’s latest promotion gives “golden crust pizza” new meaning

Though it may not be a traditional holiday dish, pizza is often the perfect entrée for the holiday season. After all, between Christmas and New Years, there’s bound to be an opportunity to throw a party for your friends, and for those who’d rather not slave away in the kitchen for a day, pizza is often the best way to provide food to a group.

Well now Pizza Hut Japan has given us a new reason to party: in its latest promotion, the company is giving away actual gold necklaces worth nearly a thousand dollars each.

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Video game maker’s Akihabara pizza joint has great food, not a single maid

Aside from software development, Japanese video game maker Nitroplus has worked on novelization and illustration work for popular anime franchises such as Puella Magi Madoka Magica, Psycho-Pass, and Guilty Crown.

Yes, Nitroplus has its fingers in a lot of pies, including, surprisingly enough, pizza.

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10 crazy pizzas from Japan

Whether you love it or hate it, Japanese pizza exists. McDonald’s manages to provide homesick foreigners in Japan with a similar (and arguably better) product from back home, but somewhere along the line, chain pizza stores in Japan got it all wrong. We’re sure there are those who enjoy the typical Japanese-style pizza, but after reading through internet forums of hungry foreigners, those who joyfully eat a slice from Japan are in the minority.

Let’s take a look at 10 pizzas that can be purchased in Japan, some sprinkled with corn, others topped with seaweed and many of them drenched in mayonnaise, so much mayonnaise!

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Hot wheels: We find a wood-burning stove inside a food truck in Nagano

Food trucks are all the rage in the United States, but we doubt there’s one like this in any of the 50 states. We tracked down a mobile pizzeria in Nagano, Japan that has a wood-burning pizza oven. That’s right, an open-flame in the back of a van! We just had to try a pizza from such a bizarre place.

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Ministop convenience stores to begin selling Pizza (America) Dogs

Japan has a somewhat confusing take on hotdogs compared to other countries. For example, you’d be hard pressed to find packs of hotdogs on sale at any supermarket let alone buns, and yet they’re readily available on the breakfast menu of every McDonald’s.

Also, people may envision a true American hotdog to have been boiled in murky water on the side of the busy street, slathered with ketchup, onions, and relish and all served on a bun that may or may not have been used as the vendor’s pillow a few minutes earlier. However, in Japan, an “American Dog” is the common lingo to a pancakey kind of corn dog.

Now, Japanese convenience store Ministop is taking the “America” out of American Dogs and replacing it with pizza for some junk food hybrid goodness.

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It’s a burger! It’s a pizza! It’s Megaburgerpizza!

Ever have trouble deciding whether you want to have a burger or pizza? Kyoto pizza parlor Pizza Little Party is hoping you choose to have both with their Megaburgerpizza. They’re also apparently tired of being called “little” as this beast weighs in at approximately 1.2kg (2.65lbs).

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Domino’s Pizza Japan offers dinner and a show with new toppings and a Hatsune Miku mini-concert

With the majority of its pizzas costing over 2,000 yen (US$20), even in medium size, Domino’s Pizza is positioned a bit more upmarket in Japan than its native U.S. Sure, the convenience of home delivery is worth paying a slight premium for, but with prices stretching beyond what you’d pay in a reasonable Italian restaurant in Tokyo with full table service, Domino’s Japan has to offer something more than just a slab of cheese and sauce.

The pizza giant recently convinced us to open our wallets, though, with a three-pronged attack that’s two parts delicious pork and one part high-tech entertainment.

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