In the mid-1990s, Pizza Hut released its very first stuffed-crust pizza, and surprisingly, the company discovered that it was a hard sell. The execs at BBDO, the ad agency put in charge of convincing Americans to embrace the high-concept crust, eventually realized that they needed to put the crust first—and what better way to do that than by telling customers that they should eat the crust first?
They filmed a commercial starring a middle-aged, tuxedo-wearing Donald Trump who awkwardly… seduced (???) his first ex-wife Ivana into eating her pizza backwards. "Crust first," our future president said, as he bit into the back-end of a pepperoni slice. The ad worked: Pizza Hut sold $300 million worth of stuffed crust pizzas that year.
Villa Italian Kitchen is trying to convince everyone to eat the crust first too—but it's also taking an extra, possibly unnecessary step by selling single-serving boxes of just pizza crusts. Not stuffed crusts, not breadsticks, just… just the crust.
"After receiving a record number of consumer inquiries regarding Villa Italian Kitchen’s crust and just what makes it so delicious, Villa Italian Kitchen decided to give the people what they want and serve up an order of crust all on its own," the New Jersey-based chain said in a statement. "Made fresh daily in-house, Villa Italian Kitchen’s pizza crusts capture all of the chewy, bready delight diehard pizza fans know to expect from a classic slice."
First, we will buy a box of crusts for anyone who has actually contacted Villa Italian Kitchen to ask any question, and we'll give you a second box if that question wasn't just "Are there any other restaurants in this outlet mall?" Starting today, Just the Crusts—yes, that's what it's called—will be available in participating restaurants. For $2.75, customers will receive five or six ostensibly sauceless, cheeseless, crust lumps, which will be arranged into the shape of a full slice and served in a sad cardboard carton. Why hasn't anyone done this before? (It has at least once, in meme form.)
This cursed concept aside, Villa Italian Kitchen does seem to enjoy releasing the most bonkers shit it can think of. They're the same people who spread pumpkin pie filling onto otherwise acceptable cheese pizzas to create an unholy Pumpkin Spice pie, and they also currently sell a Gender Reveal Lasagna, with a cheese filling that has been dyed either pink or blue, based on whoever's currently residing in the recipient's uterus. (We will give them props for the $25-per-slice Fyre-inspired Festival Pyzza which was topped with salad greens and unmelted slices of cheese. Strong meme game, Villa Italian Kitchen. Very strong.)
So if you live near a participating restaurant and/or you're our former roommate who used to eat everyone's discarded crusts before we threw the pizza box away, then take your $2.75 and go order some crusts. And maybe tell President Trump about it. We hear he used to be into that kind of thing.