Gohan Pizza My Box is full of new surprises.  

“Pizza” can mean a lot of things in Japan, where you can find unusual toppings like matcha and fish and chips, and even find it on top of sushi. Now, the pizza is set to undergo another new transformation in Japan, with the announcement that Pizza Hut will be introducing local customers to…Rice Pizza.

Rice Pizza, or “Gohan Pizza” as it’s being called in Japanese, swaps the traditional dough base for one made with rice. While rounds of shaped rice like these are usually seen in place of burger buns at Mos Burger and McDonald’s, this time Pizza Hut is using the concept to replace the wheat in pizza, calling it “a new sensation”.

The new pizzas will be available as part of the “Gohan Pizza My Box” set, which is designed for one person, and includes three mini pizzas, measuring 7.5 centimetres (three inches) in diameter, and a side of fries and two chicken nuggets.

▼ Each pizza includes a base made from 100-percent Japanese rice, topped with Gouda cheese, toppings and a special sauce.

There are three sets to choose from: the Japanese Style Set, the European Style Set, and the American Style Set. The Japanese Set contains Yakiniku Beef Ribs, Teriyaki Chicken, and Mentaiko (Spicy Pollock Roe) Mayonnaise Soy Sauce pizzas, while the European Set contains Iberico Pork and Basil, Prawn and Lobster Sauce, and Milanese-style Sausage pizzas. The American Style Set contains Garlic Shrimp, Barbecue Pork, and Pepperoni Lover pizzas.

Pizza Hut says more than 30 types of candidate ingredients were repeatedly tried and tested before deciding on the above nine rice pizzas, which use carefully selected combinations designed to complement the Gouda cheese, sauce, and rice bases.

According to the chain, the new Rice Pizzas were developed for a number of reasons, one being the “rice depravation” of people in Japan, who now consume 40 percent less rice than 50 years ago. The rice industry plays a central role in Japanese agriculture, and is vitally important to the local food culture, so Pizza Hut aims to support the industry through “the power of pizza“, while also bringing more rice to local dining tables.

Another reason behind the new creation is rising wheat prices, and the instability of foreign imports, which recently dealt a blow to a number of fast food chains in Japan, which saw them running out of fries due to a shortage in potato supplies from overseas. By incorporating rice into their pizza offerings, Pizza Hut will be able to avoid these issues, and become less susceptible to price fluctuations due to world affairs, as rice can be stably secured, with a domestic self-sufficiency rate of approximately 100 percent.

With ingredients inspired by different countries and regions, each set will take your taste buds on a culinary adventure through its trio of pizzas, and they’ll be on sale from 22 August, priced at 1,000 yen (US$7.40) for takeout and 1,350 yen for eat-in diners.

We can’t wait to try the new rice pizzas, although we have to say they may have missed a beat by not offering to serve them with chopsticks, like rival chain Domino’s did with their pizzas last year!

Source, images: PR Times
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