Australia Day is to fast food outlets as Valentine’s Day is to Hallmark, let’s ca$h in on this! From Australiana cultural cliché on steroids, or its irony-shrouded gentrified cousin what I’ve coined RSL Chic™ (gourmet meat trays, pop-up drive in movies, the resurgence of Shane Warne, etc) bursts forth Pizza Hut’s Mitey Stuffed Crust, a pizza with a crust stuffed with cheese and our finest export, Vegemite. Immaculate art direction sees slices of this pizza branded with miniature Australian flags before backdrops of green and gold splattered all over the Pizza Hut Australia Facebook page, and surely an art graduate who’s soul has been ravaged by the advertising world has envisioned these slices lumped together to form a greasy rendition of the Opera House sails. Here are some backpackers cringing at the taste of this thing soundtracked to didgeridoo playing, two Australian guys claiming it’s “nice” as an edgy coda with even more green and gold. “Made for Australia”? Cool cultural identity, let’s run with that.
Today all the on-point cafés of Australia are instagramming their bespoke Australia Day goods; lamington cronuts, pavlova cocktails and kangaroo pies are rolled out just for the occasion. Pizza Hut have instead developed a pizza aimed at either kind families with young children wanting to try something different, or a pizza absolutely perfect for casual racists. “Prosciutto? Not on my pizza!”
Target demographic aside, it’s honestly not that bad. I opt for a straight up cheese pizza and while it arrives as a greasy puddle of mess the crust is the best part; the cheese so generous in the stuffed crust it can literally be extracted like a thick snotty strand (pictured), however the Australia Day version of a Valentine’s Day card it is not. “I could easily improve this”, I think to myself, eyes glazed over, as I smash a lamington over the top of what remains of the pizza (most of it) with the heel of my hand. It’s drizzled liberally with beer and that garlic bread to make up the minimum delivery fee makes a torn appearance as well. The dish is then finished with lashings of gaudy green, gold and navy tinsel. Grouse. A marked improvement, and I laugh and laugh and laugh to myself for a few minutes until I realise I need to clean up this enormous mess off my floor.
This pizza represents my shirtless, inconsiderate Sunday-Seshing neighbours.
This pizza represents those Triple J Hottest 100 announcers praising “their boy Chef Faker” for “taking it home”.
This pizza represents all the ironic “Bowling Shane” comments on Warnie’s instagram account.
This pizza represents all those $24.99 on pick up with bonus Viennetta offers of the times of yore.
This pizza represents Ken Done’s small fortune.
This pizza represents the illusive Green and Gold Gaytime I can never seem to find.
Dear Pizza Hut: try harder next time.