NORTH MANKATO — Remember when being disgusting wasn’t regarded as a good career move?
The fast-food industry has ably discovered the benefits of selling bad as good and repulsion as yummy.
In fact, it has taken this tack to a high art by constantly trying to one-up each other on the Upchuck-O-Meter.
The latest entrant in the incredible inedible sweepstakes goes to Pizza Hut, a perennial heavy hitter when it comes to playing with their food as if it were a Frankenstein experiment.
You may recall how that company a few years ago solved the eternal problem of how to make pizza even cheesier by inserting mozzarella hoses into its crust ring.
This innovation so excited the college party crowd that revelers reportedly refrained from passing out until after the delivery guy arrived.
Well, Pizza Hut has done it again, this time with an offering now available only in England for some reason. It’s called the Hot Dog Stuffed Crust pizza.
This is a conventional pizza with wieners rammed into the outer crust, then baked to, uh, savory perfection. The ads also tout that it comes with “a free mustard drizzle.” Sounds mouth-watering in a rabid-dog sort of way.
Seems kind of unfair to do this to the British. I mean, we kicked their tails more than two centuries ago, so why keep sticking it to them?
While Pizza Hut was trumpeting its latest gastronomic geegaw, Burger King was rolling out its own concoction — an ice cream sundae slathered with chocolate syrup and strips of pig flesh.
The Bacon Sundae is being market-tested in Nashville. I suppose there’s a joke in there somewhere, but I’m not going to go there. Besides, the thought of a dessert comprised of cold smoked pork belly should be joke enough.
These two obscene cuisines reflect a fast-food trend that began years ago by companies willing to plumb the depths of culinary hell to stay abreast of competitors doing the same.
It’s a dog-eat-dog industry, a description I hate to use for fear of giving it its next big idea.
Hence legendary atrocities such as McDonald’s McRib sandwich, an alien curiosity whose ingredients include something called azodicarbonamide, an agent used in the manufacture of gym mats and shoe soles.
And Domino’s Pasta Bread Bowl, a slumgullion of four oozing entrees baked into a bowl-shaped loaf of bread.
And KFC’s twin towers of food felony, the Famous Bowl and the Double Down, descriptions of which would violate the content guidelines of a family newspaper.
The list goes on and on. Which begs a question: Could the industry come up with a menu offering vile enough to actually turn off fast-food customers?
Evidence to date says no.
Brian Ojanpa is a Free Press staff writer. Call him at 344-6316 or email email@example.com.