Pizza in Japan
We should take this time to pause and come up with a word to convey the meaning of Japan taking a product from the West and modifying it to the liking of their own market.
Let’s call this: Japanificaiton. No, too long. How about: Jappify or Japanifiy.
If you think America butchered, bastardized, perverted and ruined Italian pizza then you are way overly sensitive and you need to stand back, and see what the Japanese have done to the Italian pizza.
The Japanese love-affair for Mayo goes far beyond salad dressing and chicken fingers and extends into sacred territory. A Japanese pizza commonly has a veritable grid of Mayo, horizontal and vertical lines, crisscrossing back and forth, resulting in considerable coverage. How does it taste? Well, next time you score a pizza pie, go ahead and take the ‘road less traveled’ and drizzle some mayo over the top and report back to us. That is, if you survive.
What’s the quickest way to Jappify your repast? Easy! Grab some ground seaweed flakes and give it a few dashes and behold! It is properly Japanese cuisine.
Now, many Americans do enjoy sushi, and sushi is indeed wrapped in seaweed, therefore not all will find seaweed sprinkles on their pizza revolting. But it definitely is a strange partner. When lightly sprinkled sparingly however the taste is basically unperceivable.
It gets worse…
If you thought the above was weird, then just you wait! That was just an appetizer. Now it’s time for the main course. How about a pizza but without a standard crust, instead you have a series of mini bite-sized hotdogs, side-by-side spanning the entire outside of the pizza.
What say you?
Yes, the Japanese know no bounds.
But, let’s take a moment and stop being critical nit-picky foreigners and try to understand why the Japanese would even conceive of such a blasphemous concoction.
We must remember that to the Japanese all food ‘not Japanese’ is grouped together as ‘foreign food’. Food that seems ‘American’ is grouped into ‘American foods’. Therefore, the Japanese idea of an ultra American pizza could incorporate hot dogs, hamburgers, French fries and pizza.
We, in the US do similar things with what we call ‘Asian food’. We take this, we take that, fried rice, veggies, slap it all together and call it “The Chinese Special”, when in fact there is nothing Chinese about it. An example is the California Spring Roll, such a sushi does not exist anywhere in Japan.
While not as eccentric as hotdog in your pizza, the Japanese do enjoy to top their pizzas with shrimp. Lovers of seafood may or may not enjoy.
A popular pizza topping combo is mayo and corn. Sometimes under the cheese, sometimes over the cheese. The flavor is unique to say the least, and after a few slices, can be nauseating.
By far the most ridiculous thing about Japanese pizza is its price. It will cost you dearly! A simple large cheese pizza will cost you at least $15. A pepperoni, $15 (tax and delivery not included).
This is NOTHING compared to the specialty pizzas they have to offer. Pizzas with liberal toppings of meat and veggies go up to 3000 yen. (about $30 USD).
Eating pizza in Japan is more of a special occasion that it is in the US. Therefore they are willing to spend considerably more.