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Why This Turkish Immigrant Is Selling a $5,000 “Trump Pizza”

The Trump Pizza is being sold by Champion Pizza in downtown Manhattan, and it comes loaded with gold leaf arranged to spell out “TRUMP,” and, naturally, Russian caviar.
Photo via Flickr user Gage Skidmore

President Donald Trump is all about that glitz and glamour, and he loves talking about he settles for nothing less than the best—and as anyone who knows anything about the best knows, throwing some gold on something makes it way better. So coinciding with Trump's inauguration, a New York pizzeria is making the best pizza our 45th President could ask for: a $5,000 to $10,000 pizza covered in gold and caviar.


And even better? The proceeds are going to a homeless shelter.

The Trump Pizza is being sold by Champion Pizza in downtown Manhattan, and it comes loaded with gold leaf arranged to spell out "TRUMP," and, naturally, Russian caviar. Other exotic ingredients include 25-year aged balsamic vinegar, Brazilian honey, white truffles, and ginseng, which is infused in the crust. It boasts seven different types of cheeses: a black truffle Pecorino, Foglie di Castagno, Testun, aged Parmesan, and three kinds of mozzarella. $5,000 gets you the standard Trump Pizza, while $10,000 gets an extra helping of extra-fancy toppings. Potential buyers should note that this is a white pie.

"I don't use tomato sauce, because I want to make sure the flavor is going to be good. Tomato sauce and truffles don't go well together," Hakki Akdeniz, the inventor of the Trump Pizza, told MUNCHIES. Akdeniz is a former world champion of pizza acrobatics, and his signature move is twirling a flaming pie in the air, a stunt he calls the "Flaming Dough of Death."

Akdeniz came up with the idea of the Trump Pizza as he surveyed the volatile political climate. Neither a big fan nor detractor of Trump, he wanted something good to come out of the fracas and partisan strife. As a formerly homeless immigrant from Turkey who had lived at the Bowery Mission for just under 100 days when he first came to New York, Akdeniz dreamed up the idea of the Trump Pizza to capitalize on the Trump media frenzy and raise money for homeless people trying to find a way forward.


Champion Pizza shop owner Hakki Akdeniz layout edible gold leaf and caviar on the $5,000 "Trump Helps the Homeless" pizza. (CFP / Polaris)

— Global Times (@globaltimesnews) January 19, 2017

"Whenever I pass that place, it makes me emotional. The people sleeping there, when they wake up, they don't have any hope or dreams. They don't know what to do," Akdeniz said. "They need hope. It's not that they want to be there. When I came to this country, I didn't have a choice."

Buyers of Trump Pizza can only pay for the pizza with a check made out to the Bowery Mission, and so far Akdeniz has had one taker from Southampton. He's optimistic there will be another sale over the weekend. If he doesn't make it all the way to the goal of $50,000 and sells only 8 or so pies, he says he may chip in the rest to reach the goal.

Akdeniz hasn't been the only pizza maker inspired by Trump. Recognizing the innate bonds between Trump's ostentation and gold leaf and caviar, a Florida pizza spot is also making a Donald Trump Pizza featuring Russian caviar and gold leaf in the shape of a large "T."

With so many exotic ingredients, it isn't clear if Trump himself would be a huge fan of the pie—he's known as more of a fast-food kind of guy. Moreover, we've learned that he's always been a Pizza Hut man who eats his pizza crust-first or with a knife and fork because he doesn't like to eat the caloric crust.

READ MORE: Food in America Is About to Go to Hell Under Trump

If someone were to send a Trump Pizza to the White House to celebrate Trump's inauguration, Trump would be in luck—this might just be the only pizza that should definitely be eaten with a gold-plated knife and fork.