It’ll have them turning in their graves. Who? For starters, the Greeks, Egyptians, Americans and Italians, who all claim to have invented what we today call pizza. It’s up there with trying to sell paella in a tin to the Valencians!
The Italians may already be used to the concept of buying their favourite fast food from street vendors, but a vending machine doesn’t really fit in with our image of chic Milan city dwellers does it? And now Let’s Pizza intends to unleash its incredibly fast but somewhat cumbersome pizza-making machines on the unsuspecting American public.
A1 Concepts, the Dutch company behind this sacrilegious machine, is at pains to emphasise that its invention can cook a pizza from start to finish in three minutes. Moreover, it’s not just a re-heater warming through pre-made soggy margaritas, the Let’s Pizza vending machine actually makes each of its customers a fresh pizza every time.
Once you have chosen your toppings and inserted the correct money or tokens to pay for your pizza, the machine starts to work its magic, first mixing the flour and water to create and knead the dough that forms the base. Next it is pressed into a perfectly circular 27cm base, squirted with tomato paste and then come the toppings, which have been individually vacuum-packed and kept in a ventilated refrigerator. As the marketing team from Let’s Pizza regularly point out in their promotional video. ‘None of the ingredients are ever touched by human hands’.
So once your desired toppings have been flung on top of the base and sauce, the pizza is slipped into a mild 380ºC infrared oven, only to pop out one minute later perfectly cooked and wrapped in a fancy takeaway box. The machine will even sell you a pizza cutter, napkin and extra sachet of oregano for those who like to eat on the go. You’d think this technical wonder might even cut it up for you and sprinkled on the oregano while tucking the napkin into the collar of your shirt.
Our voice of experience can confirm that the best pizzas in Italy are to be found in the most unexpected of places, and the Let’s Pizza machine simply adds another confounding one. The Americans will surely gobble up yet another way to eat and run, but for anyone who remembers the 1980s flick, Loverboy, you have to wonder… What will happen if you ask this machine for extra anchovies?