The Doritos Crunchy Crust Pizza does exactly what it says on the box: in place of a regular boring crust, you get a crunchy layer of original Doritos corn chips plus mozzarella cheese and a sprinkling of cheddar. (If you can imagine a pizza merged with nachos, you have a pretty good idea how it tastes.) Yesterday, Pizza Hut invited us to try out this new indulgent crust in our office. Opinions ranged from "delicious" to "stomach churning". Read on for the Allure Media verdict.
The Doritos Crunchy Crust Pizza is the latest crust innovation/abomination from Pizza Hut. It follows on from the Cheeseburger Crust, which launched back in March (check out our taste test here.)
The Doritos Crunchy Crust is created by pouring mozzarella cheese around the edge of the pizza. The cheese is then layered with original Doritos corn chips and sprinkled with tasty cheddar cheese; in addition to adding flavour the cheddar acts as a binding agent.
As with Pizza Hut’s previous "Stuffed Crust" varieties, you can add Doritos to any pizza for a premium of $3. Bizarrely, the crust appears to add a different number of kilojoules depending on the type of pizza you order. For example, adding a Doritos crust to a BBQ Meatlovers ups the energy count by 491kJ, while doing the same with a Super Supreme only adds 162kJ.
Presumably, this is because Pizza Hut reduces the other ingredients to make room for the Doritos crust — pretty cheeky when you consider you're paying extra for it.
Yesterday, we enlisted the taste buds of our Allure Media colleagues and got them to share their opinions of Pizza Hut's new crust. Read on to discover how this indulgent creation fared:
Chris Jager (Lifehacker staff writer) When I invited my colleagues to partake in a "Doritos Pizza" taste test, some of them visibly blanched at the concept. Others steadfastly refused to participate. I found this behavior a little odd. After all, a typical nachos consists of corn chips, cheese and tomato — two of these ingredients are essential for pizza, so what's the big deal about adding a few Doritos? As it turns out, my workmates were right to feel hesitant: the highly-touted "crunch" has limited appeal on the pizza and the aftertaste of corn is a poor marriage for pepperoni. The mozzarella in the crust was far too rich for my tastes; I actually felt a bit queasy after eating it.
Justine Duton-Rose (POPSUGAR Acting Beauty Editor) YUM! I’m a sucker for processed cheese. There I said it. It’s a guilty pleasure that I haven’t grown out of since I would buy a 25 pack of cheese slices at Uni and peel each one out of its plastic cover and shamelessly eat it as is. The cheese crust on Pizza Hut’s new Doritos special is the stuff of my dreams. Every uni student suffering from the munchies' dreams too, I’d imagine. Crunchy, soft, salty, creamy, satisfying... and completely fake-tasting! It’s a definite guilty fast-food order after some serious silly season drinks, that’s for sure.
Campbell Simpson (Gizmodo staff writer): I didn't like the Doritos crust, not at all. I should mention that I love both Doritos and Pizza Hut on their own, but the combination is not good. The vast majority of the pizza is the same, as you'd expect, but the crust just tastes not as nice as a regular pizza. You know how you sometimes get a plate of nachos from the pub and some are somehow simultaneously burnt and chewy? That's the Doritos Pizza for me. They're just sharp, un-tasty chunks of corn chip that take away my pizza-crust-eating pleasure.
Angus Kidman (Lifehacker editor) I like pizza. I like corn chips. I have no conceptual problem with putting them together. But I don’t see any benefit in the execution here. One minute I’m chowing down and getting my pepperoni on, and then I’m eating a chunk of corn chips. There’s no ingredient bridging the two. There’s a lack of thematic consistency. There’s nothing to object to, but I can’t imagine ever wanting to order this again. The chips are down, on the whole. PS — Some of my colleagues complained of feeling nauseous afterwards. Unlike those wimps, my stomach held firm. (Well, as firm as it ever holds.)
Danny Allen (Publisher): Corn chips melted with pepperoni in the air. What madness had Chris Jager organised this time? I couldn't help but try a slice. Then two. Normal taste really — and not bad at that — points as always to Pizza Hut for putting the pepperoni above the cheese layer. Then I reached it. The crunchy outer Dorito and crispy cheddar cheese crust with mozzarella cheesy goo inside. Well that was different. I’d eat it again. Just not sure yet if my stomach agrees.
Rob Hussey (Developer): I first noticed the pizza was in the office by thinking I could smell the cheesiness of Doritos, then realised it was coming out of a pizza. As for the taste, the actual pizza was just a regular tasting Pizza Hut pizza – acceptable for the asking price. However, the crust (where the Doritos are lurking) was pretty average tasting – I can’t say from the taste I would have thought it had Doritos. I only bothered with two bites of the crust as it really was pleasant. Half hour later, the taste of those two bites seems to keep on burping back up with a real deep greasy taste.
Eric Swenson (Account Manager)The pizza was pretty good as usual. The crust was definitely something different, but not too over-the-top like how many of new crust inventions can be. The crust was crunchy, but not as to overpower the overall pizza experience: a subtle addition. Also, having the cheese with the chips was a nice touch. My only criticism is that it was a bit intense on the stomach (as usual).
As you can see, opinion was pretty divided. In fact, I can't recall the last time a group taste test received such wildly conflicting verdicts.
Despite my initial reservations, I still reckon the concept has legs. If Pizza Hut toned down the cheese in the crust and added some Mexican-themed toppings — chili, salsa and a dollop of sour cream, say — it could be onto a winner.