Posted by: viewfromtheriva | February 9, 2014

Pizza from scratch from a vending machine!


Called "Let's Pizza", the machine lets you see the flour being made into dough, the pressing and even cooking!

Called “Let’s Pizza”, the machine lets you see the flour being made into dough, the pressing and even cooking!

One sure way to beat the rainy, windy weather that has been pummeling Split for what seems like a month is to go to the mall–here in Split we have City Center One and Joker.  Both are modern, multi-story affairs with escalators, fancy cinemas, restaurants, cafes and of course lots of shops.  Even if it’s window shopping or having a cup of coffee, during gray days like we are having now, malls are teeming with humanity and everyone seems to be having a good time.

And hey, a pair of 299kn suede summer shoes for 29kn and a gorgeous 699kn leather bag for 199kn are plenty enough bait to get even my finely-tuned  bargain-hunting missus into the mood.  At the bottom of the escalator that leads to the underground parking lot at Joker, the in-town mall here in Split, we’ve noticed a large red machine called “Let’s Pizza”.  It was such an odd looking contraption, tucked in a corner, we never really paid attention and surely never saw anyone using it.

But yesterday we decided to give it a closer look.  Wow, what an engineering marvel.  A glass window on the left actually shows you most of the operation.  Real flour in a see through container which drops down into a mold, is pressed into dough and then moves on a conveyor to the center of the machine (this part is not visible) where it is further rolled into a larger crust and the toppings are added.

150 seconds and out it pops, piping hot in its own cardboard tray!

150 seconds and out it pops, piping hot in its own cardboard tray!

After it leaves the central part of the unit it moves to a cooking area, which you can actually see, before it is lowered down into its own cardboard box and shows up at the window which opens to take it out.   We opted for the Spicy, which was cheese, sauce and slices of salami.  The price for all this adventure was 30kn, about $6, a bit less than a full-sized pizza in a local pizza parlor here, but a fair price for sure. Complete with plastic fork, knife and napkin, we took it up to the ground floor McCafe, ordered some  coffee, sliced it up and were ready for a cool meal.

Alas, the taste of the pizza was little different from the cardboard package it arrived in

Alas, the taste of the pizza was little different from the cardboard package it arrived in

It sure looks edible, doesn’t it?  But alas, when we took our first bite, the crust was like under-cooked cardboard, the sauce was like ketchup, the cheese was an afterthought and the salami was spicy, but boring.  An interesting experiment that with some tweaks could probably be turned into something terrific.  But like the first espresso machines, Let’s Pizza needs some more work to become a hot seller.

Not a total loss–those smart summer shoes cost less than the pizza and saved us a cool 270kn!

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