Food

What it takes to merge American pizza with Arab cuisine

Written by The Frontier Post

Monitoring Desk

DUBAI: For the occasion of Pizza Hut’s 25th anniversary of its popular Stuffed Crust pizza, the restaurant has introduced two new crust flavors dedicated to Middle Eastern palettes.

But how do you marry the quintessential American dish with Arab cuisine? Regional Innovation & Quality Director for Pizza Hut Middle East Phil Cusack spoke to Arab News to explain more about what it takes to re-invent the wheel — or the crust — in the world of pizzas.

 “Pizza Hut’s innovation over the years has been inspired by both local tastes and favorites as well as globally emerging trends,” Cusack explained. 

“The limited edition Chicken Kebab flavor is a great example of an innovation inspired by a popular local Middle Eastern food, where we have taken a much-loved dish such as the traditional kebab and stuffed our famous Stuffed Crust with it. Our garlic butter Stuffed Crust is a reflection of where we have taken an emerging food trend to inspire us, where we are seeing garlic going through a resurgence,” he added.

Since its creation 25 years ago, Pizza Hut’s Stuffed Crust remains a customer favorite and has been the inspiration for global menu items, including hot dog stuffed crusts, the twisted cheese crust, cheesy lava stuffed crust and more.

“At Pizza Hut we have an innovation hub where we are always creating and testing new and interesting flavor combinations, we also test these with customers,” shared Cusack. “The Chicken Kebab and Garlic were customer favorites, and as they tapped into local tastes and emerging trends, it was the perfect balance.”

The chicken kebab has all the flavors you would expect from the traditional meat dish, with notes of coriander, cumin and paprika.

“Taste is a key factor that we look at when we build our new flavor choices,” notes Cusack. “Flavors must blend with the core pizza ingredients to ensure our pizzas are well balanced and complement each other. The customer is at the heart of everything we do, and we always want to ensure we are giving our customers the tastiest, most delicious flavors that they have come to expect from a Pizza Hut.”

The popular pizza chain, which opened its first Middle Eastern branch nearly 50 years ago, continuously makes an effort to cater to the tastes of its regional clientele.

“Pizza Hut in the UAE has local favorites that include Chicken Shawarma. Pizza Hut in Oman caters to its high number of Indian expats with such favorites as Veggie Exotica as well as Tandoori Paneer,” explained Cusack, adding “In Turkey, a customer favorite is our Sujuk sausage pizza. These offerings engage and excite consumers and demonstrate that Pizza Hut appreciates and celebrates local flavors.”

Courtesy: (Arabnews)

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