Pizza Pilgrims is a wonderful blend of Italian cooking and American style, catering for its London audience. The Shoreditch location is furnished with a Rambo poster, blackboards with pizza puns, and the kind of plastic table cloths ubiquitous in pizzerias that value substance over form.
Behind the counter, the wood-fired oven blazes, spitting out pizzas laden with splotches of cheese and garnished with whole basil leaves. Plus, with no licence, you can bring your own beer. Pizza Hut this ain’t.
But I’m not here for pizza, at least in the traditional sense. Last week, this video emerged, showing Pizza Pilgrims customers bringing their own chocolate bars to be baked into calzones. It has since been watched 12 million times on Facebook. I needed to see what the fuss was about.
Pizza Pilgrims is serving up chocolate calzones!Calzone your favourite chocolate bar ????
Posted by Culture Trip on Tuesday, 7 March 2017
The nice pizza man took away my chocolate bar (a Cadbury/Oreo collaboration), and within 10 minutes half of it returned, next to what looked like a normal calzone: pizza bread, folded over itself creating a neat seal.
Then I bit in. That first bite contained the fluffy, salty pizza dough, which then burst into the rich, gooey chocolate filling. The Oreo turned out to be a good idea. The solid cookie chunks added a meatiness to the texture that was otherwise lacking. So the chocolate calzone is, to an extent, what you make of it.
The first bite was absolutely wonderful. But with bite after bite (this is definitely an item that can serve two people) the novelty began to wear off, and I found myself staring longingly at the other tables. There, real pizzas were being eaten. And with that scent wafting my way, the chocolate imitation began to feel unsatisfying.
The internet has, once again, distracted us from the real issues here. Pizza does not need innovation and a chocolate calzone works much better as a marketing strategy than as a dessert.