Attention in the Twitterverse comes in perverse and unexpected ways. Just ask Air-ic, a.k.a. @FOX152, a.k.a. McDonald Eric (on Facebook)—because he should know. He's achieved online virality by tweeting a picture of what may well be the world's most controversial pizza.
Until about a week ago, Air-ic was like the rest of us—posting our opinions about things no one really cares about, like what we think of Coldplay's music, or whether Tamagotchis are better than Giga Pets (which, as everyone knows, they totally are). In other words, Air-ic was just another anonymous voice among the masses.
But that was then and this is now. This week, Air-ic became a Twitter superstar.
On Sunday, Air-ic posted a photo of a pizza topped with mayonnaise and peas to the slack-jawed, uninitiated masses. He captioned the photo, "Peas and mayonnaise pizza?! Yes please."
That's when the internet and much of the English-speaking media world rained attention—and derision—upon him in ways one simply can't plan for. As of today, Air-ic's pea-za tweet has more than 2,000 likes, 1,400 forwards, and a total engagement of 838,937. What's more, BuzzFeed, The Daily Mail, The Mirror, and many others all covered this important—no, it's essential, really, isn't it?—"story."
People have been either delighted or repulsed by the "peazza"—vowing to make a gourmet version of it in their own homes—or asserting that they vomited immediately upon viewing the photo. Most commenters, by far, are in the second camp, stating that mayo and peas are the worst pizza toppings they'd ever heard of, far more offensive than anchovies, or pineapples, or whatever their previously most-hated topping may have been.
Some went so far as to deem the pizza a cultural anomaly; on Facebook, Haley Hardin West quipped, "Sounds about white."
McDonald's Facebook account says he works for Gerdau, a Brazilian steel manufacturer, so Brazil's love of super crazy ass pizza toppings may have ended up rubbing off on the man.
We may never know why this man loves this particular pizza abomination, but we wanted to get to the bottom of a far more important question: What is it about the combination of the oft-maligned pea (after all, who can forget The New York Times's controversial pea guacamole recipe?) along with love-it-or-hate-it mayonnaise, that is making people lose their shit?
After much reading of tea leaves and consulting with long-forgotten deities, I decided that MUNCHIES' editorial pride rests on getting to the bottom of this. Could a pea-and-mayo pizza really be that bad? I set out to make my own.
Here's my version of this recipe: Take a shitty frozen pizza—in this case, DiGiorno—and ignore the box's directions telling you not to microwave the pizza, because even though your office has a test kitchen, it's being used for far more important endeavors and you don't have any other choice. Top the frozen pizza with a fistful of frozen peas—the ones you accidentally dropped on the floor. Artfully drizzle as much mayonnaise onto the atrocity as you can stomach.
And voila! You've made yourself, quite arguably, one of the most disgusting things you'll ever put into your sad excuse for a mouth.
I opted not to put the mayo on until after the pizza was done cooking for fear of incurring office-wide vigilante retribution, but the move didn't do much to negate the wafting smell of cooking mayonnaise. Glossing over how tasteless and cardboard-box-like DiGiorno pizza turns out when cooked in a microwave for 12 minutes, the pea-za tasted as you would expect: like a soul-numbing heap of heated mayonnaise and overcooked peas. As a side note, I fully recognize that I put way more mayonnaise on my creation than Air-ic's pea-za, but I figure that just like Kat Von D, I should go big or go home.
The moral of this story may simply be this: A frozen, microwaved pizza is a frozen, microwaved pizza. Peas and mayonnaise really, really don't belong on a pizza.
Is it "that bad"? Depends on what "that bad" means.