Food: Pizza
Corrugated Pizza   (+3)  [vote for, against]
Pizza cardboard that doesn't taste like it.

After reading about pizza doughnuts and waffle pizza, it is clear to me that toppings falling off your slice is a strong concern, and warrants a further analysis.

First, why do the toppings fall off? Pizza is a terrible design for it's purpose. In lifting a piece by it's crust, the typical slice will bend to the point of failure, and all toppings will fall from said slice. In an attempt to conteract this, we generally try to keep the toppings on by bending the pizza, folding it, or often just end up using a fork.

How do we fix this bending issue? Looking at other products, the best way to reduce bending is by maximizing an object's rigidity while minimizing it's weight (which would otherwise contribute to bending). A good way to do this is by having a thin, rigid surface on the top and bottom of the object, and having a lightweight substance on the inside that resists compression.

My solution: Start with a light, airy dough that rises a lot. Form a pizza shape in the usual manner. Possibly apply a substance that hardens quite a bit - sugar might form a nice shell when heated, but may affect the flavor too much. Quick-cook the top and bottom surfaces (not the side), getting them sufficiently hard (less on the bottom, so as it won't burn later). Add toppings, and cook your pizza. The dough rises, and you end up with a mildly rigid pizza. A slice of this pizza should not bend, keeping your toppings in place. It will be crispy on the outside, and soft and doughy in the middle.
-- mgangemi, Feb 07 2003

You could always stick to deep dish pizza.
-- DrCurry, Feb 07 2003

True, but I've even had deep dish that bends and loses toppings.
-- mgangemi, Feb 07 2003

sp: corrugated
-- snarfyguy, Feb 07 2003

[admin: spelling change in title: Corregated -> Corrugated. Thanks to snarfyguy for the spot.]
-- st3f, Feb 07 2003

I just realized there could be breakage issues - when you go to cut the pizza it might shatter. Perhaps at the point of cooking the top & bottom you could lay down a form that keeps slice-lines from baking. Then you could just tear off a piece without having to cut it!
-- mgangemi, Feb 07 2003

Doesn't anyone else eat pizza with a fork and knife?
-- waugsqueke, Feb 07 2003

//Pizza Papalis// Notice they need a pie-shaped serving instrument to get the pizza to your plate. Terrible pizza engineering, I tell you. At what point does it become a quiche?

//Pizza pyramids// Interesting. I'm imagining a slice of pizza (with a corrugated crust, of course) piled high with toppings.

//fork and knife// Why even put a handle on your pizza if you're not going to use it?
-- mgangemi, Feb 07 2003

Come on, people. After everyone's whining about their toppings falling off their pizza I suggest a perfectly workable solution, and the only one who's voted for it is me.
-- mgangemi, Feb 07 2003

I think a large pizza topping clamp might be best. Could look as a "bulldog" spring paper clamp or similar does.
-- bristolz, Feb 07 2003

As one born and raised in New York (C'mon all you noo yawkuhs out there...back me up on this one...) I actually prefer my pizza hand-tossed, with BIG thin floppy slices. baked in big granite-bottomed wood-fired ovens. We get around the floppiness problem by -folding- the slice. I mourn the loss of all the local mom-and-pop pizza joints as they're replaced by all the cookie-cutter Domino's, Sbarro's, Pizza hut, chains serving pies pressed into tiny 18" pans. (who decided that 18" deserved to be called large? I'm used to a 24" box with crust sticking out past the sides)
-- Freefall, Feb 07 2003

//pizza chains serving pies pressed into tiny 18" pans.//

sorry peeps, but i seriously think freefall should be happy, why, over here, the biggest i've come by so far is 16", and that came from a about-to-die-out pizza chain now operating a lucrative trade in a upper-middle class district...
-- LoneRifle, Mar 11 2003

Shirley the problem arises from the habit of segmenting pizzas; the slices are roughly isoceles - triangular and are inevitably going to exhibit poor mechanical properties since the point of the triangle comes from the centre, where the dough is likely to be softest as a result of the concentration of moist toppings.

What's needed is a better way of dividing the pizza (into square ended strips, maybe) so that the eater still has some crust to grip, but the portion has more uniform strength distribution and exhibits increased durability during the plate-mouth transfer cycle.
-- 8th of 7, Mar 11 2003

They should roll them up, like a swiss roll.

<rant> I stopped using pizza delivery service some while ago because the pizza's round here were, frankly, crap. And why is it that I have to pay £10 or more for pizza, which is basically cheese on toast, when I can get a curry, which is a proper meal, big enough to feed a family of five for a month for a fiver? And I get a free popadum! Pizza delivery in the UK is a complete rip-off. Just don't go there, people.</rant>
-- DrBob, Mar 11 2003

<obligatory 'Leaning Tower of Pizza' joke.>
-- RayfordSteele, Mar 11 2003

Wow.. alot of people have a problem I have never had.. I have never (with the exception of making my own /very/ heavy pizzas) had a problem with the peice falling apart.

I live in Canada, and all the good pizza here comes with a stable crust (Except pizza hut's stuffed crust, but even that holds up)

Not only that, but it does it by being crispy on the bottom, and soft on the rest of the crust (no, not /crunchy/ on the bottom ;)

You guys just need some Canadian pizza (Oh, and UK ppl; I feel sorry for your pizza situation.. Used to be that there was no such thing as delivery, and that's a crime)
-- JackandJohn, Mar 11 2003

// Canadian pizza //

"Ah, yes, we'll have a British Columbia pizza, please .... that's Rain and Grizzly Bears with extra Trees, right ?"
-- 8th of 7, Mar 12 2003

I dunno what the toppings would be on a BC pizza, but a "Canadian" is bacon and mushroom ;)
-- JackandJohn, Mar 12 2003

I'm with Freefall -fold the slice over and hold it at the proper angle. If this doesn't work, something's fundamentally wrong with your pizza and and no MIT-style engineering is going to fix the problem.

The funniest way I've seen to eat pizza is Tony Manero(main Saturday Night Fever character)'s way: Get two slices and plunk one down on top of the other. Then eat 'em walking down the street to a funky disco beat!

[waugs]: Yeah, my Dad eats pizza with a knife and fork. I've never encountered anyone else who does. Maybe I don't get out enough.
-- snarfyguy, Mar 12 2003

// no MIT-style engineering is going to fix the problem //

Heresy ! Burn the unbeliever !
-- 8th of 7, Mar 13 2003

I know, that was totally out of step with the way things normally operate here. My point was simply that if something's wrong with your pizza, you should go to a place where they make better pizza. There exists pizza (in New York, anyway) that needs no improvement.
-- snarfyguy, Mar 13 2003

Folding is an imperfect solution. You end up with the flavorfull top part completely surrounded by crust. It takes a few bites before the full flavor of the slice is enjoyed. An open-faced bite, on the other hand, provides full enjoyment from the start. In fact, I would say that if they found a way to have toppings on both side (without falling off), it would be the optimal slice of pizza. Does your NY pizza have this?
-- Worldgineer, Mar 13 2003

No, it most certainly does not. If having the crust side hit your tongue first interferes that much with your enjoyment, then by all means don't fold it. I was going to suggest you eat the slice crust side up (putting your your toppings, not to mention your lap, in peril), but you've beaten me to it.
-- snarfyguy, Mar 13 2003

I'm told that a crisp crust will solve the problem. Either a pizza stone or a perforated pizza pan will help by getting the surface of the crust hot enough.
-- beland, Oct 13 2003

random, halfbakery