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Pizza Hut is Out to Kill You With Pockets of Cheese

A model of the interior of the human heart after a single exposure to Pizza Hut's new Crazy Cheesy Crust Pizza.
A model of the interior of the human heart after a single exposure to Pizza Hut’s new Crazy Cheesy Crust Pizza.

Chris Nichols of Yahoo! Finance steps inside the secret Plano test kitchen of Pizza Hut to see the company’s newest creation, the Crazy Cheesy Crust Pizza, which will go on sale Wednesday.

The name is a fair one, though perhaps only by seeing it in person can one truly appreciate it. This particular item relies on the hand-tossed crust, but it comes with an immediately noticeable difference — rather than the slices ending in that familiar arc of baked dough, each piece of the Crazy Cheesy Crust has appended to it two edible pockets filled with melted cheese.

“You notice how the dough actually nestles around,” [executive chef Wiley Bates III] says. “The hand-tossed [crust] lends itself to absorbing some of those wonderful flavors, while again maintaining the integrity of the cheese.”

His description of the pizza’s characteristics and how it came to exist can perhaps be summed up by one short statement he adds: “Consumers always want more cheese.”

In the food industry, that’s almost a literal truth, as New York Times reporter Michael Moss discusses in his new book Salt, Sugar, Fat. While even enthusiastic eaters have a limit to how much sugar in a product they find pleasurable (the optimum amount of sugar in a product is known as the “bliss point.”), the same is not true for fat.

As Moss has been explaining at every stop in his book’s promotional tour, including this Time interview:

When it came to fat, it was the amazing role of what the industry calls the “mouth feel.” That’s the warm, gooey taste of cheese, or the bite into a crisp fried chicken that you get. It rushes right to the same pleasure centers of the brain that sugar does, but fat is carrying twice as many calories, so it is more problematic from an obesity standpoint. There is almost no limit to the bliss point in fat. If there is one, it’s up in heavy cream some place. So the companies discovered they could add as much fat as they wanted to products, and unless people looked closely at the nutrition facts, they are going to totally love it more than they would without the fat.

Pizza Hut probably knows us better than we know ourselves.