Why have real pizza when you can just eat some crusts?
Credit: Villa Italian Kitchen

Pizza can mean many things to many people in different parts of the world, but it essentially boils down to three key ingredients: cheese, sauce, and crust. Even if you go rogue and added pineapple on top of those three elements, no one will dispute that you’ve still got yourself a pizza.

“But what if,” asked a restaurant chain that was about to have a very bad idea, “we did away with the things that people consider the defining characteristics of a pizza, and instead charged them for glorified bread?”

That seems to be the story behind a silly stunt cooked up by Villa Italian Kitchen, a pizza chain I’ve never heard of that I’m going to pretend is Sbarro pulling a stunt until they prove otherwise. Look at this:

WHY would you want to get rid of the entire point of a pizza and serve up a “slice” of crusts? Don’t get me wrong, I’m not one of those cowards who’s afraid to eat a pizza crust. But I like to think of the crust as a nice add-on to the slice that I just finished eating. To reduce a pizza to the component part that exists to prevent us from getting sauce on our hands is just cruel.

The worst part is, this isn’t even the most interesting crust on the market! It’d be one thing if Pizza Hut offered some of its stuffed crust variations as a standalone item. In that case, there’d at least be some substance that could justify considering the crust something of a meal. Villa Italian Kitchen is instead scamming you into paying for a slightly different version of the bread you’d get for free at pretty much any sitdown Italian restaurant. It’s such an insane grift that you almost have to respect it.

Then there’s the philosophical quandary this product launch presents. Is a crust without a pizza really a crust (or a pizza) at all? Does this product’s existence therefore imply the existence of some lonely slices missing a crust, either at Villa Italian Kitchen or somewhere else? Is a pizza just fancy bread, and crusts, in fact, are “plain” pizza?

I don’t know. I don’t know that I want to know. But if you hate yourself enough to pay $2.75 for a “slice” of pizza crusts, you can start doing that on July 18th. Just don’t ask me to approve of your life choices.