Giving a slew of responses when they heard the words, pickle pizza, most students were downright disgusted, others couldn’t wrap their minds around it, while one reluctantly considered trying it.
The face of Jacqueline Morris, a junior communications major from Virginia, immediately scrunched up in surprise and disgust as she said, “I would not eat [a pickle pizza] for fun.” She said she would be willing to at least try it, but as soon as she heard the words pickle pizza, her mind jumped to the pickles on hamburgers from McDonald’s– pickles that she said have “been out there for way too long.”
The pickle pizza is available now at Rhino’s Pizzeria and Deli in Webster, New York, according to a Food Network article by Amy Reiter. She reports it has no tomato or marinara sauce, but an abundance of pickles sprinkled with cheese and garlic.
Morris said she would never crave a pickle pizza because “garlic and pickle do not sound like it would be a good thing to me. It [sounds] really intense. I feel like it would be dry… The cheese would probably be the best part of that pizza and whatever sauce you put on it. You need to put something else on there. All I keep thinking is, ‘I’m not going to eat that.’”
Though Morris insisted she would try it at least once, she said her go-to pizza is one with a different controversial topping. She said, “I am a firm believer in pineapple belonging on pizza… pineapple and ham. It doesn’t feel like it should work, but it works out. So maybe this pickle thing would work out, but to me, that overwhelming thought of a whole bunch of pickles in my mouth… it’s not what I’m ready for.”
Reiter described the controversial pickle pizza as she wrote, “Rhino’s, which sells about 30 pickle pizzas a day, spreads its pickle pizza crusts with homemade garlic sauce– rather than your usual marinara– and then tops them with mozzarella cheese and lots of dill pickle slices.”
She said Rhino’s Pizzeria and Deli “blows through around 10 gallons of pickles a week in the process. Then, after a generous sprinkle of dill across the pie, [Rhino’s] tucks it into its pizza ovens and voila! You got a perfect pickle pizza.”
According to Reiter, the pickle pizza, officially called The Big Dill, is a huge hit. Rhino’s Chef Cindy Arena told Food Insider, “People have been coming from all over– Buffalo, Syracuse, Pennsylvania,” and added the pickle pizza is popular particularly with pregnant women.
Like Morris, Alexis Brown, a senior psychology major from Arizona, looked revolted by the idea. “That sounds a little gross, to be honest, because it’s going to be fermented and sour, like pickles. I don’t like pickles.” When she learned the pickle pizza also comes with garlic sauce and mozzarella cheese, she said she still wasn’t converted to The Big Dill. “It’s still pickle,” she exclaimed, “which means it’s been soaking in acid, like vinegar, for a super long time.”
When Brown was asked what kind of pizza she does like, she adamantly proclaimed, “Not pickle pizza.”
Brown then looked at her friend Titania Krisubanu, a junior psychology major from Indonesia, and asked, “What sort of pizza do you like?”
“Are you kidding?” Krisubanu replied, shaking her head and pushing away from the table. “I don’t like pizza.”
Krisubanu laughed and said, “Because you mentioned pickle pizza.” She claimed she was so put off by the prospect of eating a pickle pizza, that she would never eat pizza again.
In an NBC New York article, reporter Annie O’Sullivan says Rhino’s pickle pizza went viral when New York Insider “released a video… of the quirky concoction from start to finish, which has now been shared over 255,000 times.”
O’Sullivan says the pickle pizza video “even caught the attention of Gordon Ramsey, who unfortunately simply [commented], ‘No.’”