Aside from politics, and maybe that infamous "Laurel or Yanny" recording, very few topics are more debatable than the art of pizza. Some 'za lovers out there are total purists, only going for conventional cheese or pepperoni slices. Some people, on the other hand, are far more adventurous, and are willing to go beyond the threshold to try any and every possible combination. Most recently, however, Lions & Tigers & Squares' Mustard Pizza has divided Twitter like no other, but once you finally get your hands on a slice, at long last, you'll most likely love it.
You may recognize the owner of Lions & Tigers & Squares Detroit Pizza, Francis Garcia, from several of his achievements. He stars on the Cooking Channel TV show, Pizza Masters, alongside his cousin, Sal Basille. He also owns Artichoke Pizza, a local New York City chain famous for their creamy, irresistible artichoke slices. And while he's created some really unique slices before (such as Artichoke Pizza's Crab Slice), Mustard Pizza has to be his most interesting slice yet. I spoke with Garcia about it over the phone. According to Garcia, it's cooked much like a soufflé in a square pizza pan, and it uses spicy brown mustard instead of marinara sauce. It's topped with about an ounce of corned beef for flavoring as well as a little sauerkraut and cheddar cheese. It sounds unusual — and it's acquired relentless controversy from those who haven't yet tried it — but the pizza chef says he "[hasn't] yet met anyone who tried it and didn't like it."
Even so, the internet did its thang when the Mustard Pizza hit the scene. Twitter, as usual, is going berserk over this unusual pie. Many are very, very jarred by the prospect of putting mustard on pizza, and can't stand the thought of it. These mustard-hating folk probably haven't tried the unique combo yet, and clearly, they want nothing to do with the marinara-free pie. Check out their reactions below — they're kind of hilarious.
Several 'za fanatics, on the other hand, think the mustard pie sounds positively ground-breaking. It's innovative, it combines all of life's greatest gifts — carbs, mustard, meat, sauerkraut, and dairy — and its doughy goodness is quite honestly what most people need more of in their lives. The positive responses below will get you so excited to try this magical creation, so check 'em out.
You'll probably be surprised to know that Garcia isn't the first to create the mustard slice. According to Garcia, while touring pizza joints with Basille for his cooking show, the pizza-lovin' duo ventured to Papa's Tomato Pies in Trenton, New Jersey. The restaurant sold a pizza boasting an unusual base of mustard and tomato sauce, with the legend being that a drunk man had ordered a mushroom pizza, but slurred his order, and it sounded like he said "mustard pizza." Alas, the concept was born, and Garcia altered it a bit, replacing the marinara-mustard combo entirely with mustard, and by adding the other glorious toppings.
I'll be one of the first to admit that Mustard Pizza is really, really atypical, but Garcia says that the flavors and the way it's cooked are what make it delicious. It isn't quite a sandwich, he says, but the ingredients together make for a truly special pizza.
I guess [Mustard Pizza] is unconventional for a pizza, but the combination [of corned beef, sauerkraut, cheddar cheese, and pizza dough] is so New York. What makes it different is the way we cook the pizza, in that the dough is totally raw when its assembled, and its all cooked all at one time. When the dough cooks with the cheddar cheese, the oil comes out of the cheese and texturizes and flavors the dough. Seriously — I don’t put any oil in those pans. What's very unique is that the mustard is the brightest flavor, and its not just like a sandwich. It's a totally different mouth-feel with a totally different experience, in that the mustard is acting like a pizza sauce.
Mustard Pizza might not even be the most out-there pizza combo as of late. Remember when Twitter let out all the feelings when it came to Rhino's Pizzeria & Deli's Pickle Pizza in August? It was definitely a love-it-or-hate-it situation.
So, what do you think of Mustard Pizza? Would you try it, or nah? Personally, I don't knock anything until I've tried it, and I'm pretty much planning my weekend around trying this. Lions & Tigers & Squares, here I come.