Apparently sausage and coffee was the pizza combination people didn’t realize they wanted all along.

Japanese restaurants and food shops offer a lot of limited-time items, and they generally fall into one of two categories. One is seasonal items, either making use of ingredients that are currently in season or especially loved during a particular time of year (like the mint chocolate and lemon-flavored sweets popping up right now). The other category is, essentially, novelty foods, oversized or outlandish enough that a lot of people are intrigued, but probably not the sort of thing with long-term appeal.

Pizza Hut Japan’s coffee, whipped cream, and sausage pizza definitely sounds like it belongs to the second category, so last month, when the chain said it’d be available only from May 26 to June 13, that felt about as long as something so unusual could exist. You could even have argued Pizza Hut was being overly optimistic giving it two and a half weeks, but now comes the startling news that not only is Pizza Hut still seeing strong demand for the bizarre-sounding wiener-and-java pizza, but that the demand is so strong that they’re extending its sales period.

“W- w- we’ve decided to extend the sales period!”, says the announcement from Piza Hut Japan’s official Twitter account, sounding as shocked as we are. “We’re surprised, but it looks like you really like it, huh?”

Overseas visitors to Japan have long commented on the country’s penchant for unorthodox pizza toppings, like corn, tuna, and mayonnaise. Even by those standards, though, coffee and sausages is a weird one. The idea came about from the fact that, in the Japanese language, “Vienna” (as in “Viennese coffee”) and “wiener” and pronounced the same way, as “uinaa.” Japan is powerless to resist the pull of puns, and so the Wiener Coffee (or Viena Coffee, there’s no way to tell from its Japanese name) Pizza was born.

But why…or how, could something like this become a hit? It turns out it’s not just the novelty factor, as Pizza Hut Japan says customer feedback indicates people genuinely like the way it taste, with many saying that they want to eat it again. That might be thanks in no small part to how the ingredients are arranged. Instead of tomato sauce, the Wiener Coffee Pizza’s center crust area is covered in coffee sauce. Instead of mozzarella, cream cheese is placed on top of the sauce, and the pizza comes with a bag of whipped cream for you to swirl onto the pie just before you eat it. Meanwhile, the wieners are backed into the outer edge of the crust. That positioning, in effect, gives you a salty, savory main-dish pizza at the outer edge, and a sweet dessert pizza with mature bitter notes, kind of like a hot, coffee-flavored cheesecake, at the center. As long as you’re not getting both the outer and inner parts of the pizza in the same bite, there’s a whole lot to love, as our taste-tester found when we tried the pizza for ourselves.

So instead of being gone from the menu on June 14, as originally planned, Pizza Hut says it’ll be available until July 2, priced at 2,500 yen (US$18) for takeout and 2,800 yen for delivery…but at this point we can’t entirely rule out the possibility that if people keep buying it, it might become a permanent part of the menu, just like cold matcha lattes at Starbucks Japan finally are.

Source: PR Times via IT Media
Images: PR Times
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