Food & Drink

We ate a Domino's pizza topped with donuts, ice cream, and more. It was incredible.

the next big pizza topping
All photos by Dave Presley 

Pizza toppings: everyone's got their favorite, but let's face it -- the market's kinda stagnated in recent years. Pepperoni's played out, and pineapple? DON'T GET US STARTED ON PINEAPPLE. So, to shake things up in our pizza marriage, we ordered a bunch of Domino's pizzas that we could top with some new (and some insane) accoutrements. Then we recruited a bunch of guinea pigs, which were not one of the toppings.

The subsequent taste-test was sometimes shocking, sometimes life-affirming, and always entertaining.

pizza gif

THE CONTENDERS
Inspired by Domino's "Top or Not?" game, the different toppings we used in our experiment were (in no particular order):

  • Artichokes
  • Jelly "cronuts"
  • Mac & cheese
  • An ice cream sundae
  • Fried chicken
  • Eggs over easy
  • Sushi (sashimi and rolls)

THE PROCESS
We brought our seven brave, intrepid taste-testers into a lab (read: a room in our office with good ventilation) and laid out before them our seven pizza selections. Then, we had them eat one slice each from each of the weirdly topped pies and opine aloud. We recorded their comments, and, once they'd tasted all of the pizzas, rank them.

Needless to say, there were some definite winners and losers here. But which topping will people soon be begging Domino's to put on their menu? Let's find out.

THE RESULTS

sushi pizza

7. SUSHI PIZZA
General consensus:
By far the least popular of the pizzas, this overly briny mess combined the traditional cheese and sauce of a regular Dominos pie with salty salmon and tuna. The rice added a gummy texture that most tasters found revolting. Jiro has nightmares of this pizza.
Winning endorsement: "It's got a lot of salt." - Kristin
Scathing pan: "It literally tastes like I went to a dumpster, pulled out a bunch of rotten food, and ate it without knowing what it is." - Alex

artichoke pizza

6. ARTICHOKE PIZZA
General consensus: While a more traditional pizza topping than most, artichoke still didn't fare well due to its overwhelming sourness. It was a little more divisive than sushi, at least, with people who liked artichokes on their own being more likely to tolerate the pie.
Winning endorsement: "There's a whisper of earthiness." - Mike
Scathing pan: "That was really upsetting. I bit into the artichoke and it sprayed vegetable juice into my mouth before I could taste anything else. So bitter!" - Ali

macaroni and cheese pizza

5. MAC & CHEESE PIZZA
General consensus: The mother lode of cheese and carbs middled out due to, well, too much cheese and carbs. Our tasters seemed to think it was too much of a good thing, with most not even being able to take a second or third bite.
Winning endorsement: "It feels binding. Like, it’s really good, but it’s gonna be in my body for a while." - Mike
Scathing pan: "I feel like it would be extremely difficult to have two whole slices of this." - Kristin

eggs over easy pizza

(TIE) 3. EGGS OVER EASY PIZZA
General consensus: Breakfast pizzas may be popular, but how would a traditional pizza topped with yolky eggs fare? This was probably the most polarizing pie of the day, with some tasters in love with the combination of tomato and egg, and some completely turned off by the somewhat slimy texture.
Winning endorsement: "I don’t like looking at it, but I like eating it!" - Pete
Scathing pan: "If it was just scrambled eggs on top, it would be OK. But the slime on top makes me think there’s something I don’t know about." - Kristin

ice cream sundae pizza

(TIE) 3. ICE CREAM SUNDAE PIZZA
General consensus: Sweet & salty have long worked together for the greater good, and this pizza is no exception to their benevolent reign. The main complaints our tasters had were about texture, due to the fact that the ice cream cooled down the normally molten cheese to a stable layer of tepid mozzarella. Our tasters also liked the chocolate sauce in concert with the cheese, likely because they made sweet, sweet music together.
Winning endorsement: "It’s like you’re eating ice cream with a chewy, pre-soggied cone." - Ben
Scathing pan: "It works at the beginning, and then... it doesn’t at all." - Liz

jelly cronut pizza

2. JELLY "CRONUT" PIZZA
General consensus: This will send shock waves through the pizza world -- jelly "cronuts" actually work really well with cheese and tomato sauce (do we call it "crizza" or "piznuts"?). The sweet & savory combination was described as being "more harmonious" than the ice cream sundae pizza by our tasters due to their lack of temperature difference, and for some reason elicited a lot of nostalgia in our group.
Winning endorsement: "Oh! It tastes like a kid’s birthday party at a bowling alley. Like, that taste you have at the end from having a pizza party, and then cake, and then candy, and then a goody bag. It tastes like a nine-year-old’s birthday party." - Mike
Scathing pan: "The pizza’s kinda like an afterthought here." - Pete

fried chicken pizza

1. FRIED CHICKEN PIZZA
General consensus: This was the one combination that everyone agreed on -- and it was the top dog. The spiciness of the breading on the chicken worked with the tanginess of the sweet tomato sauce, and the whole thing kinda wound up being one big comfort food explosion. Just top this one with honey and some grits and you'd be set; just make sure you have a bed nearby for the inevitable food coma.
Winning endorsements: "I’d like to order five of these for my birthday." - Ali
"It tastes like happiness. This is everything I’ve ever wanted." - Liz
"It’s good before a race. Carb up!" - Tyler
"It tastes like football-watching with your bros." - Mike
Scathing pan: NONE. USA! USA! USA!

THE TAKEAWAYS
Our tasters' palates were turned off by briny stuff like artichokes and sushi, didn't really care for mac & cheese or eggs, but were definitely wowed (or at least pleasantly surprised) by ice cream and jelly, so alert your pizza broker about the sweetness today, Jimmy Eat World.

Despite the ever-evolving preferences of Americans, though, fried chicken cannot be beat. The crunchiness, the spiciness, the meatiness -- it's here to stay, and not just on top of pizza. It's also good with wine and in scented candle form, don'tcha know!

So sit back, relax, order a pie, and take solace in the fact that we live in a country where literally anything can be a pizza topping. Except Kinder Eggs.

Adam Lapetina is a food/drink staff writer at Thrillist, and was totally the person who introduced Pizza to Bagels back in the day. Read his musings on Twitter at @adamlapetina.