Yesterday, we brought you the vaguely terrifying news that Pizza Hut had released a Vegemite-flavoured pizza. The deceptively-titled "Mitey Stuffed Crust Pizza" takes a regular cheese-filled crust and infuses it with Australia's favourite breakfast spread. We've since tasted the product ourselves and found it to be surprisingly moreish — here is the Lifehacker verdict.
On paper, the Pizza Hut Mitey Stuffed Crust sounds like a terrible idea. Pizza and Vegemite? Really? Even if you ignore the potential for disastrous flavour combinations, the famous yeast extract isn't something you can apply willy-nilly. People are very particular about their Vegemite distribution — add too little/too much and the whole thing is likely to be binned.
Rather than spreading the salty love all throughout the base, Pizza Hut has limited the application to just the crust, which also contains a healthy dollop of mozzarella cheese. The crust can be added to any pizza for a surcharge of $3.
Yesterday, Pizza Hut sent the Allure Media office a pair of these pizzas to try: a plain cheese version and a Hawaiian. Here's how they went down in the office:
Angus Kidman (Lifehacker editor): I love Vegemite with a sick salty passion. I have flavoured SodaStream with it. I have used it as the secret ingredient in Big Mac Sauce. I have tasted its ALDI clone and found it wanting. And I have spread enough of it on multigrain toast to lubricate a million Vegemite-themed dreams. Now those dreams can feature pizza as well. Compared to the depraved horror that was the Dorito's pizza, this is a much better idea. There's enough Vegemite flavour to enjoy, but not so much you start thinking "hell, I might as well just eat toast with Vegemite instead". I could totally see myself ordering this.
Rob Hussey (Developer): I'm a big fan of Vegemite on a lot of things, but I'd never tried it on pizza, so I was a little intrigued to give it a try. I went with the plain cheese pizza and was not disappointed. Essentially it tasted like a good slice of cheese and Vegemite on toast – hard to go wrong really.
Eric Swenson (Account Manager): The Vegemite Pizza was great – the Vegemite taste wasn't overpowering, but a subtle undertone with high notes of Australian sophistication.
Anthony Keogh (account manager): First of all, I love Vegemite. But I'm a bit of a traditionalist – I'm definitely more of a Vegemite on toast, or a SAO or a Vita Weat kind of guy. I normally don't mix it up with avocado or cheese…and certainly not pizza! However, my interest was piqued and I've got to say it actually tasted OK. I had a plain cheese slice of pizza though, which I imagine would pair better with the cheesey-Vegemite crust than some of the more adventurous toppings. The Vegemite flavour is pretty subtle overall and is only mixed in with the cheesey crust - not mixed in with the rest of the pizza toppings or base. This is a good thing. Would you like it if you didn't already like Vegemite? Probably not. Would I personally order this over a traditional pizza? Probably not. Have I seen/tasted more offensive pizza-crust-ingredient-combos delivered to the Lifehacker team? You bet!
Carina Rossi (POPSUGAR journalist): Pizza is great. Vegemite is also great. But pizza crust stuffed with Vegemite? Now that's a little too far. While I ate the whole thing, it was like I was eating a weird breakfast pizza. The only thing that made me happy were the bites without Vegemite. Can I have the regular classic crust back now, please?
Campbell Simpson (Gizmodo journalist): I wasn't expecting very much going on previous Pizza Hut stuffed crust experiences, but to be honest I actually liked the Vegemite. The cheese was a little bit too processed for my tastes — it congeals into one homogenous lump — but the combo was genuinely pretty nice. Cheese plus Vegemite doesn't really go with the tomato sauce base, though, so that bite or two before the actual crust tasted a bit weird.
Joy Oxley (designer): I didn't hate it, but I didn't love it either. I enjoy my Vegemite in small doses and they certainly delivered on that. However, without that buttery after taste that I usually get with Vegemite/butter on toast, this just tasted like very salty cheese.
Goran Naumoski (Campaign manager): Ate the pizza while it was still relatively warm. As I ate the pizza can't say I noticed the Vegemite taste, the saltiness of the cheesy crust overpowered it IMO. However, I did start tasting the starchy Vegemite ~10 minutes after eating the pizza.
Justine Dunton-Rose (POPSUGAR beauty editor): I wasn't sure about the sell on this: something about tomato sauce and Vegemite doesn't make the tastebuds jump for joy. But being a pizza fiend I had to give it the benefit of the doubt. The extra cheese in the crust is the best! But the Vegemite wasn't easy to taste, maybe a little bit of a tangy after-taste but that was all. If Vegemite scrolls are your idea of culinary excellence, I recommend you make friends with its pizza brother.
Jessica Chandra (POPSUGAR managing editor): For over six months in 2014 I had Vegemite on toast for breakfast, so it's fair to say I do like the stuff. I tried half a slice of cheese pizza with the cheesy, Vegemite crust. And I liked it! I thought the Vegemite flavour was quite subtle, but salty enough to add extra flavour to the cheese-stuffed crust. Then again, I only had half a slice, and that could have made all the difference. I think it worked well with the plain cheese pizza, but I'd be wary of getting a Vegemite-flavoured crust with something like Hawaiian.
Chris Jager (Lifehacker journalist): They say there's a fine line between genius and insanity. I'm not sure which side the Mitey Stuffed Crust Pizza is on, but I'd definitely purchase it again. If you can imagine a cheese-and-Vegemite bread scroll bolted onto the end of a pizza, you've got a pretty good idea of what this product tastes like. The Vegemite wasn't overpowering and left a pleasant aftertaste that lingered long after the pizza had been demolished. It does feel slightly weird eating a breakfast spread with pizza, but I vastly preferred it to Pizza Hut's other novelty crusts. If I have one reservation, it's that some toppings will obviously work better than others. Plain cheese is obviously a no-brainer, and the pineapple on the Hawaiian complimented the saltiness of the Vegemite well. However, I suspect pepperoni fans would be poorly served by this crust: all that salt is likely to leave you feeling ill and bloated.