This story originally appeared on Foodandwine.com.
Classic pizza—dough, cheese, tomato sauce, maybe some pepperoni and a couple basil leaves—is perfect. Can you think of any other dish that doesn’t need to be improved with fancy extras? Didn’t think so. Of course, there are so many different varieties—some people prefer deep dish, crunchy crust over soft, even pineapple as a topping—that it’s also one of the most easily customizable dishes out there. You can make it your very own, based totally on your tastes. And in 2018, people are really taking that concept to new heights. Some pizza trends this year are relatively tame, like adding a sauce you usually find on salad to list of acceptable toppings. Others are a little bit wilder. Here are five of the most outrageous, over the top, or otherwise unexpected pizzas we’ve found this year (so far).
At Ranch Pizza in Portland, they do exactly what it says on the tin: Add ranch dressing to every slice of pizza they serve. In the grand scheme of things, adding ranch to pizza isn’t exactly wild—in fact, the practice is so popular in some parts of the country that a Houston pizzeria made headlines for banning the condiment back in 2008—but I’m including it because I wouldn’t call it exactly commonplace to pour salad dressing on your slice, either.
The Pizza Vending Machine
Yes, pizza is one of the fastest foods there is. Stop by the local pizzeria, grab a slice (and wait for it to be heated up if you have a few extra seconds) and be on your way. Apparently, that process could be sped up even more. Enter the Pizzametry pizza vending machine. With the simple push of a button, you can order an eight-inch pizza made from fresh dough in under four minutes.
When you’re eating a slice of pizza, do you ever feel like it could use…more pizza? No, the solution is not to grab another slice, it's to have extra pizza on top of your pizza. Thanks to Rudy’s Pizza in Kansas, that dream became a reality. Earlier this year the pizza shop cooked up a pizza topped with tinier slices of pizza. Unfortunately, it was just a one-time creation.
The Gummy Pizza
No one asked for it, but oh boy did we need it: It’s the world’s largest gummy pizza. This candy pizza is made from 28-pounds of fruit flavored gummy candy, weighs 250 pounds total, and yes, it is fully edible. Derek, “The Gummy Bear Guy,”created the pizza with own two hands, using orange-flavored gummy candy for the crust, strawberry-banana for the cheese, mango for the banana peppers, green apple for the olives, and cherry for the pepperoni.
The Pizza With the Caramel Dome
Industry Kitchen is known for its mind-blowing pizza creations. There's the dessert pizza, made with meringue and sweet ricotta, which is topped by a dome of spun sugar. As soon as it comes to your table, the waiter sets the dome on fire, melting the sugar into a sweet caramel topping. There's also the sprinkles and cotton-candy topped rainbow unicorn pizza, which really stretches the definition of what pizza can be. The most extravagant of all these pizza variations, though, is probably the restaurant’s $2,000 24-karat gold pizza. It’s made with squid ink dough, and the toppings include foie gras and caviar. But Mark Iacono, of Brooklyn’s Lucali deemed it “not really a pizza” earlier this year, so pizza purists might not be impressed.