The Best and Worst Christmas Pizzas

Millions of people from around the world will be gathering with their family to enjoy turkey, ham, gingerbread men and pumpkin pie at Christmas dinner. But what if you’re more of a pizza person?

Thanks to some inventive chefs and the power of the internet, holiday-themed pizzas have become a big deal.

Unfortunately, not all Christmas pizzas are made the same. Some are too small and others are a pain to both make and eat. In an effort to help you not get burned, we’re going to be looking at a few of the best and worst examples of Christmas pizzas.

Candy Cane Pizza

No, we’re not talking about a pizza topped with melted candy canes. That would be gross and hard to chew. The trendy Candy Cane Pizza is merely in the shape of the candy and smothered with red toppings (pepperonis, red peppers, etc.). The problem is the shape. If you make it too big, then the pizza will have uneven slices; if it’s too small, then it becomes hard to hold. It also doesn’t look much like a candy cane, even with the red toppings. If you flip it around, it could be a “J” or a hook, neither of which put you in the holiday mood.

Christmas Tree Pizza

The more elegant solution to the candy cane is the Christmas Tree Pizza. For one thing, the shape is a lot more manageable. This works best as a personal, one-handed pizza that you can nibble on at parties. There’s also no mistaking that it’s a Christmas tree, especially when you load it up with red, green and yellow toppings. Best of all, you can make just about any topping look like an ornament, so it’s not limited in the same way as the Candy Cane Pizza. Add a fun star at the top of the tree and you’ll have a personal pizza that nobody will forget.

Ugly Sweater Pizza

Speaking of unforgettable moments, the ugly Christmas sweater has become a big trend around the world. There are entire businesses devoted to making and selling the most hideous sweaters you’ve ever seen, and chances are there’s at least one person in your extended family that collects them. But when it comes to pizza, this is one tradition that should be avoided. Although it’s easy to respect the effort, the Ugly Sweater Pizza is tough to eat. The problem is the unusual shape. It’s a box with two sleeves jutting out, which doesn’t work as either a large or small pie. On the positive side, the Ugly Sweater Pizza does allow for a lot of creativity, including colors and toppings that might otherwise clash. This might be a fun pizza to make with a large group, but you would be better off going with just about any other shape.

Snowman Pizza

If you’re looking for a great holiday-themed shape for a pizza, then you can’t go wrong with Frosty. In some ways the Snowman Pizza is the ultimate creation — it has three pies side by side, the parts are all different sizes, it actually looks like a snowman. The problem is that you can’t go as crazy with the topping as you might with the Ugly Sweater Pizza. Toss too much on there and you lose some of the snow and ice. This means that you’re effectively creating three side-by-side cheese pizzas with sparse toppings. Sure, it looks like Frosty and is a great shape for slicing, but that much cheese pizza might be too boring for the party.

Wreath Pizza

If you’re looking for the ultimate Christmas pie, then look no further than the Wreath Pizza. This is the only holiday-themed creation that checks all the boxes — it looks like a wreath, it’s fun to create, it’s easy to slice, it can hold just about any toppings, and it’s perfect no matter the size. Best of all, the Wreath Pizza is surprisingly easy to make. You just need to cut out the middle and fill it up with green and red toppings. And even if you get creative and use the other colors in the rainbow, you’ll still end up with something that actually looks like a wreath. Best of all, the round shape makes it easy to cut and eat. Add some Christmas ham and a few of those green beans grandma loves so much and you have the perfect holiday pizza.


The Craziest and Most Delicious Pizza Toppings

If the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles have taught us anything, literally anything can be a good pizza topping.

That may sound like hyperbole, but some of the best and most daring pizzerias from around the United States are ready to change what you should expect from a slice. We’re going to keep an open mind and nibble at some of the most insane pizza toppings currently available in the land of the free.

FRUITS: If you think pineapple on pizza is controversial, then you might not be ready for the specialty fruit at Vinnie’s Pizzeria in Brooklyn — grapes. And it’s not just the East Coast experimenting with different types of fruits, as you’ll discover when you visit Red’s Pizza in Los Angeles. This popular California mainstay has made a name for itself by offering a banana pizza, which they mix with red curry.

That’s nothing compared to Queen’s based eatery C Fruit Life, who combined the delicious taste of pizza with the smelliest fruit known to man. That’s right, it’s the durian, which even fans of the fruit will tell you smells like “hot garbage.” Thankfully, it tastes better than it sounds, especially when mixed with onions and pepperoni.

SEAFOOD: It’s common to anchovies and shrimp on the menu at your favorite pizzeria, but why stop there? Matthew’s Pizza in Baltimore, Maryland, pays tribute to the city with a crab pie that is dusted with Old Bay seasoning. Another option is the Tonno Pizza at Gianfranco’s in White Plains, New York. This is a tuna fish salad that is spread across a baked pizza crust and served with a delicious sauce.

If you’re looking for quantity, then you can’t go wrong with the 7 Fishes Pizza at Philadelphia’s favorite experimental hotspot, SliCE. This is exactly what it sounds like, offering (extremely) hungry patrons a pizza with clams, mussels, shrimp, tuna, crab, anchovies and even sardines. Unfortunately, this is a seasonal pie that is only around during the holidays.

CONDIMENTS: We already know that pretty much any food can be a topping, but what about sauces? We’ve seen a lot of American pizzerias experiment with different types of condiments, such as the Mustard Pie at Pap’s Tomato Pies in Robbinsville, New Jersey. If you think that’s questionable, then maybe Skippy’s Dare might be more your speed. This crazy concoction smears peanut butter all over the pie and is a favorite at Randy’s Wooster Street Pizza in Manchester, CT.

Of course, that’s nothing compared to the Lady Zaza at Pizzeria Lola. This daring meal takes inspiration from the East and includes house made kimchi, Korean sausage, serrano peppers, scallions, sesame, and a soy chili glaze.

EVEN MORE: Forget seafood and fruit, because sometimes what you crave on your pizza is … potato chips? Ian’s Pizza By the Slice in Milwaukee has made a name for itself with a number of rotating specialty pies, including college kid-favorite Fritos. That’s not to be confused with Benny’s Kosher Pizza, which offers a Falafel Pizza that is every bit as good as it sounds.

And nothing says overkill like the Thanksgiving Pizza at Fellini Pizzeria in Providence, Rhode Island. This is exactly what it sounds like, and features slow roasted turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing and cranberry sauce. This is one slice that is guaranteed to put you to asleep before the game ends.

If what you’re looking for is the craziest, most over-the-top ingredient of them all, then look no further Industry Kitchen in New York City. This popular haunt is best known for their 24K Pizza, which is exactly what it sounds like. For a mere $2,000 (you read that right), you can get an artisan pie topped with stilton cheese, truffles, caviar, and peppered with 24k gold flakes. But there’s a catch: It has to be ordered two days in advance.


Poutine from Around the World

From the Great Wall in China to the Australian Outback, everybody loves poutine. Canada’s popular export is a hit around the world, with every country offering their own unique take on the deceptively simple snack. Join us as we take a trip around the globe to find the weirdest, craziest and most mouth-watering takes on poutine.

Our adventure starts in Europe, where the wise chefs in the United Kingdom have decided to add pulled pork and cilantro to their versions of poutine. In France, it’s common to find “arranged” poutine served with chicken bits and sides. And let’s not forget about Germany, who have shaken things up by offering grated cheese and a side of vegan curry.

If you’re looking for spices that really pop, then look no further than Greece. Their take on poutine often involves feta cheese, lamb chunks and a heavy sprinkle of Greek spices. You’ll find a similar sense of playfulness in Australia, where restaurants aren’t afraid to dump bacon, chicken, fish and pretty much any other kind of meat on their poutine.

The same can be said about the approach in Beijing, where they serve fries and gravy with a mystery meat. What sets this apart is that you get to grate your own cheese. Speaking of which, some Hong Kong eateries will use Ficello string cheese for their version of Poutine. Pulled pork and local spices are the stars of the show in Vietnam, though that sounds like a winning combination no matter where you are.

These foreign iterations go a long way to prove a very important point — poutine is universal. It’s one of those rare snacks that can change and adapt depending on the culture. It’s such a simple dish, but everybody has their own unique spin on the ingredients. It just goes to show that there’s no wrong way to enjoy poutine.


How Does Cauliflower Crust Taste?

A mainstay in the keto diet and one of Oprah Winfrey’s favorite things, cauliflower crust is one of the hottest new trends hitting the culinary world. You’ve heard celebrities and influencers talk about it, but what are the benefits of cauliflower? And more importantly, how does cauliflower crust taste?

Before we answer those questions, let’s first take a look at where this trend came from. Cauliflower is the vegetable of choice for anybody following the popular keto diet. The plant is not only low in carbs, but also incredibly versatile. Cauliflower is a great alternative to rice, pasta, mashed potatoes and, of course, wheat flour. That brings us to the cauliflower pizza crust, a new favorite that has been quickly taking over your favorite eateries.

As the millions of fans will attest, cauliflower crust is a low-carb alternative that tastes just as good. It’s also loaded with vitamin C, which is good for improving energy and vitality. Cauliflower is a good source of fiber, as well as antioxidants, featuring the types of glucosinolates and isothiocyanates that have been known to slow certain types of cancers.

But how does it taste?

The answer to that question may depend on who makes the cauliflower crust, but there’s a reason why it’s so trendy. Although usually thinner and lighter than traditional crusts, there are cauliflower recipes that are nearly indistinguishable from the real thing. And we wouldn’t be surprised to see you actually prefer the subtle taste of cauliflower crust.

Between the health benefits and delicious taste, it’s easy to see why cauliflower pizza crust is so trendy. And with the option popping up at some of your favorite pizzerias, now is the perfect time to see what everybody is talking about.


What’s the Difference Between New York, Chicago and California-style Pizza?

Where can you find the world’s best pizza?

The answer depends on not only who you ask, but where you’re standing. From New York to Chicago to California, there’s a major battle being fought over what region is home to the ultimate pizza pie. Let’s take a cross-country trip and attempt to answer the burning question: What’s the difference between New York, Chicago and California-style pizza?

New York-style Pizza

With its thin crust and wide, foldable slices, you can spot the New York-style pizza from a mile away. Originally derived from the Neapolitan-style pizza made famous in Italy, this iconic take on the classic pie is thick in all the right places and has just enough dough to keep the toppings stable. The oversized slices are designed to be folded, not only giving the toppings some much-needed support, but also offering a unique visual that is immediately recognizable. And it’s not just the giant slices that will grab your attention, but also the mouth-watering taste that you can only find in a New York-style pizza.

Chicago-style Pizza

In contrast to New York’s oversized take, the Chicago-style pizza is a smaller pie with a much thicker crust. At first glance, the deep-dish design looks more like a pie than a traditional pizza. But all it takes is one bite to win you over, thanks to a unique cooking technique that sees the pie baked in a round, steel pan. This allows the chef to pack layer after of delicious layer of meats, vegetables and cheeses, giving pizza-lovers from around the world the kind of hearty treat that could only come from the Windy City.  

California-style Pizza

While New York and Chicago fight over pizza dominance, California has been quietly crafting their own unique spin on the pie. A mix-and-match of other popular styles, this West Coast take combines the New York-style thin crust with a healthy variety of creative toppings, such as artichoke hearts, avocado and goat cheese. This is a more upscale pizza that’s often made with the freshest, locally-sourced ingredients. While not as iconic as what you find in New York and Chicago, this California original is known for being innovative and not afraid to take chances. That’s why this irresistible pie can be found everywhere from the California Pizza Kitchen to Spago.  


The Origin of Poutine: Where Does Poutine Come From?

Everybody loves poutine. It’s the delicious mix of French fries, cheese curds and gravy that is guaranteed to put a smile on your face. But did you know that poutine used to be called “mixte”? It’s true, and it’s just one of the mouth-watering facts you’ll learn as we take a trip through the history of Canada’s favorite snack.

The first thing you need to know is that there’s quite a bit of debate over the origins of poutine. Some believe that the tasty dish originated in 1957 at a restaurant named Le Lutin qui rit (“The Laughing Elf”) in the small dairy-farming town of Warwick, Quebeck. As the tale goes, a customer requested cheese curds on the French fries, to which the owner remarked, “Ça va faire une maudite poutine,” or, “That’s going to make a dreadful mess.” Poutine, the Québécois slang for mess, ended up sticking.

The problem with this origin story is that there’s a missing ingredient — the gravy. This is where the history starts to get murky. In 1964, after a restaurant-owner at Le Roy Jucep in Drummondville, Quebec, noticed a few diners ordering a side of cheese curds to go with the popular gravy and fries dish, he decided to combine everything into a single menu item. Putting the three ingredients together proved to be a winning combination, and the dish quickly spread throughout Canada and into the United States.

The widespread success of poutine has made way for a number of variations on the traditional mix. For example, many restaurants in Newfoundland will substitute dressing/stuffing in the place of cheese curds. And depending on where you go, poutine can get surprisingly expensive. Canadian eateries have found ways of adding lobster and foie gras to the dish. Toronto’s Disgraceland will even add all of the toppings to the mix, but it’s going to run you close to a hundred dollars.

On the other side of the menu, poutine can also be incredibly economical. Fast food chains across Canada, like McDonalds, have concocted their own versions in recent years to go along with the burgers and shakes.

Although we may disagree about who created it or how much it should cost, there’s no argument that poutine is one of Canada’s greatest inventions. And that’s not hyperbole, because it was ranked the tenth best invention by CBC in 2007. The irresistible mix of French fries, cheese curds and gravy managed to top standard time, the Bloody Caesar and even the BlackBerry, but was beat out by the telephone and insulin.

Whether you want it traditional, covered in lobster or substituted with dressing, poutine is the delicious snack that nobody can resist.  


The Five Best Poutine Restaurants in Las Vegas

Once though to be Canada’s most delicious secret, poutine is making a big impact on Las Vegas. It’s the tasty treat that combines French fries and cheese curds, all covered in gravy. From Fries N’ Pies to Naked City Pizza, some of Las Vegas’ favorite eateries are leading the charge with their own unique takes on poutine. To help celebrate this emerging trend, we’re going to sort through all of the mouth-watering toppings and name the five best poutine restaurants in Las Vegas.

Fries N’ Pies

The flagship destination for anybody looking for poutine in Las Vegas, Fries N’ Pies offers an irresistible selection of toppings and choices that help to reinvent the Canadian classic. Choose between regular French fries, optionally done in duck fat fries and even roasted cauliflower, all smothered in a wide variety of gravies and toppings. Some of the more exciting mixes include the Hawaiian, which combines pulled pork, habanero cream cheese, pineapple, bacon and mozzarella; the New Yorker, featuring salami, prosciutto, pepperoni, marinara and ricotta; and the Californian, which includes ranch cream cheese, mozzarella grilled chicken, bacon, tomato and avocado. Fries N’ Pies also offers convenient pre-orders for carry out.

595 Craft & Kitchen

A gastropub with a rotating selection of craft beers, 595 Craft & Kitchen is a friendly haunt with two types of poutine. On one hand, there’s the Traditional Poutine, an enticing mix that smothers brown gravy, white cheddar and scallions all over the hand-cut house fries. But for anybody looking to kick it up a notch, the Loco Moco Poutine adds furikake, a fried egg and your choice of hamburger patty or spam to the mix. Wash it all down with some of the finest craft beers in Las Vegas, only at 595 Craft & Kitchen.

Born And Raised

Open 24 hours a day and seven days a week, Born And Raise is a family-owned eatery where hospitality is paramount. By mixing a little of old Vegas with the new, this award-winning home away from home delivers a unique spin on all of your favorite dishes. This includes the Skirt Steak Poutine, their own take on the Canadian classic. It’s a mix of French fries, melted mozzarella, red wine, brown gravy and tender steak. It’s a favorite at Born And Raised and will set you back a cool $9.

Robert Irvine’s Public House

Headed by a celebrity chef and located inside the Tropicana, Robert Irvine’s Public House is a must-taste destination for foodies in Las Vegas. The 9,000-square-foot restaurant specializes in a wide variety of comfort food options, each inspired by Chef Irvine’s culinary travels. Although they don’t have a large poutine selection, Robert Irvine’s Public House offers a unique mix that includes tater tots, pulled pork, Guinness shiitake gravy and goat cheese. This mouth-watering dish will run you $16.

Naked City Pizza

A family-owned and operated staple with five locations spread across Las Vegas, Naked City Pizza is the popular stop when you want a slice. For those looking for a little more, the pizzeria also offers a number of French fry options, including poutine. Their take on the classic snack mixes fresh mozzarella cheese and in-house beef gravy with the hand-cut, house-made fries. It’s an irresistible treat that pairs perfectly with a slice of Naked City Pizza’s specialty pies.