10 April 2009

Friday Night Slice Bonus

vending machine pizza

You can imagine the quality of pizza you'll get when you press D9 and remove your cold, rubbery, ready-to-microwave pizza from the silver spiral arm of a vending machine. But how about a hot, made-to-order pizza that's ready in just three minutes...made with fresh cheese, flour and tomato sauce?

Claudio Torghele of Rovereto, Italy is currently manufacturing the world's first made-to-order pizza vending machines to be named Let's Pizza. The pizzas will sell for around $4.50 and while it was initially thought that they'd be a huge hit in America, Mr. Torghele has encountered difficulties breaking into our vast vending market and will instead begin placing machines around Italy. Now I'd be very interested to try these, but am skeptical of the success he will encounter on his home turf. My visits to Italy have taught me that Italians savor both the meal and the dining experience, with little interest in or need for fast, convenient food.

Purists say the Italian pizza -- invented in the 18th century in the southern city of Naples -- cannot be rushed: the dough must be mixed and left for 12 hours, the ingredients kept fresh, and the oven pre-heated to around 300 degrees.

"This machine is a toy," Pino Morelli of the Association of Italian Pizzerias said. "Perhaps it will find a niche overseas, but Italians are born with pizza: their mothers feed it to them as babies. They understand it."

Daniel Flynn (Reuters)

Read more about it:
- In Italy, a Vending Machine Even Makes the Pizza
- Pizza-making machine has Italian chefs in a spin

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