Today, was an exciting day in the office for us because the company decided to order pizza for all of the teachers! Free lunch... and pizza none the less!! oooo I was excited.
I'm still not sure whose job it was to order the pizza, but it is important to note that the teachers were not consulted on the pizza choice.
Typically, if you are ordering pizza for a group of people, especially if you don't have a chance to ask them for any input, you want to order something benign, with mass-appeal; something that everyone will surely like.
In the US this would mean ordering plain cheese pizza, maybe mushroom, or pepperoni... you might even go out on a limb and get a veggie or meat supreme and if you're ordering several pizza's, one may be a specialty, like Hawaiian...
But I would say that a general rule of thumb is that, for mass pizza appeal, the less toppings, the better.
Well, as usual, my expectations couldn't have been farther from our reality.
I opened the first pizza box (delivered from Pizza Hut) to discover what Taiwan Pizza Hut calls the "Seafood Supreme."
Toppings on this pizza include Tar-tar sauce, Broccoli, Crab meat, Squid, and Pineapple... a bit bizarre, but I figured it would be nice to have one slice of this and one slice of the other pizza that had been delivered.
Imagine my surprise when I discovered that the first option was the better of the two!
The second pizza that we had to choose from was the "Osaka Taco Pizza" (taco is Japanese for octopus). This pizza had octopus, mashed potato, sea tongue powder (whatever that is), mayonnaise, and teriyaki sauce.
I mean really... what more could you ask for from a pizza!? If nothing, it is at least a very creative pizza option! I'm actually ashamed to say that neither Nick or I tried this pizza - I guess we're traditionalists - but I am told it wasn't bad.
I have to say, this isn't the first time this has happened... it's actually the 3rd or 4th time this type of pizza has been ordered for us. It just goes to show you how deep my cultural expectations are! I guess I am having a hard time switching my expectation for pizza to include things like mayonnaise and squid!
Taiwanese tastes certainly differ from American tastes and there is no doubt that they put their own special spin this Italian treat.
Also on the Pizza Hut "Traditional Pizza" menu are these inspiring options (complete with descriptions copied directly from the Pizza Hut website):
Kim Chi Pork Pizza
King Surf and Turf (Half with lobsters and imitated crab sticks, half with Canada bacon and BBQ chicken - topped with mayo)
Seafood (Selected fresh shrimps, crabmeat, squid clams, together with green peas,offers you a sensational taste of encores)
and Lobster Abalone (High quality lobster, imitated abalone, and lobster sauce match perfectly. (Imitation abalone made by squid.)
Well, what can I say - Italian food was awful in Denver what could I possibly expect in Taiwan!? A country with virtually no Italian population - where Pizza Hut reigns the supreme pizza authority!
This is just one example that highlights an important lesson that took me 6 months of living here to learn: It is much better (and less expensive) to stick to the local cuisine: it's always exactly what I expect and often delicious.
When ordering any type of western food here disappointment is inevitable and should be expected!
(McDonald's, of course, being the only exception!)