No way anyone with a peanut allergy is falling for this one.

By Tim Nelson
March 09, 2020
John’s Incredible Pizza

For parents of kids with peanut allergies, pretty much every playdate or birthday party away from the house runs the risk of ending in a potentially life-threatening situation. Even though we may be closer to minimizing allergic reactions, the lone FDA-approved option can be costly and hard to come by.

Well, leave it to a chain known as something of a west coast birthday party mecca to come up with a relatively ingenious way to make sure that kids and parents steer clear of a potentially unexpected legume landmine.

From the look of it, John’s Incredible Pizza is like California’s answer to Chuck E Cheese, right down to the arcade games and animal mascot. In addition to standing out for literally putting attractions and rides like bumper cars inside a pizza place, they’ve clearly got some zany options in their pizza buffet, as evidenced by the fact that they’ve even dared to create a peanut butter pizza. And the first thing anyone hitting the buffet at a John’s Incredible Pizza notices about the peanut butter pizza is that every single slice features a whole, shelled peanut. Wait, what?

As it turns out, John’s Incredible Pizza patrons aren’t meant to stop mid-slice, unshell and eat a peanut. On Foodbeast’s Katchup podcast, founder John Parlet revealed that the peanut shell is meant to act as a deterrent so that parents and kids strolling the buffet know straight away to steer clear of this thing if they have a peanut allergy.

“I want a peanut plugged on every slice,” Parlet said of his thought process when he devised the peanut butter pizza 27 long years ago. “There’s no parent that’s going to make that mistake that way.” From the sound of it, he’s been right so far.

So if you’re a Californian with fond John’s Incredible Pizza memories who wondered why the heck a peanut butter pizza looks that way (to say nothing of its existence in the first place), consider your curiosity satisfied. Now, I’m just waiting for someone to do something similar with a shellfish-based pizza.