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Posted: 3/29/2009 11:49:37 AM EDT
Pizza-making machine has chefs in a spin
by WayneBrownMinistries Email

ROME (Reuters) - A vending machine that bakes fresh pizza in minutes for a few euros has got Italian chefs in a whirl before it hits the streets in the coming weeks.

The bright-red "Let’s Pizza" machine uses infra-red rays and technology developed at the University of Bologna to knead flour and water into dough, spread it with tomato sauce and a choice of topping, and cook it – all in less than three minutes.

Its developer, Claudio Torghele, says the machine has proved popular in trials in two Italian regions, but gourmets say it is an affront to traditional methods of cooking the classic dish.

"This is not just a vending machine, it’s a mini-pizzeria," said Torghele, 56. "It has windows where you can watch the pizza-making process. Kids, including my own, love it: when the machine is working, there’s always a crowd."

The device was developed with help from Anglo-Dutch group Unilever, which tested it in Germany, Torghele said. He hopes to launch the machines across Europe and in the United States, with ingredients varying according to local tastes.

At present it offers four toppings – cheese and tomato, bacon, ham and fresh vegetables – at an average cost of 4 euros. Torghele thinks "Let’s Pizza" will appeal to Europeans looking for cheap options as a recession hits their pockets. "If I want to eat a great pizza, I go to a pizzeria. But our product is satisfactory, low cost and available 24-hours a day," he said. "This is crisis proof … McDonald’s is increasing its sales. Low cost, fast food is in demand."

Italy is famed for its cuisine and has seen a movement develop against fast food, called "Slow Food." But it has more vending machines than any other country in Europe, according to an industry body, mostly doling out hot coffee drinks.

Purists say the Italian pizza – invented in the 18th century in the southern city of Naples – cannot be rushed: the dough must be mixed and left for 12 hours, the ingredients kept fresh, and the oven pre-heated to around 300 degrees.

"This machine is a toy," Pino Morelli of the Association of Italian Pizzerias said. "Perhaps it will find a niche overseas, but Italians are born with pizza: their mothers feed it to them as babies. They understand it."

In Pizzeria Brandi, nestling near the center of ramshackle Naples, the reaction to Torghele’s invention was cool.

The restaurant invented the pizza Margherita in 1889 in honor of the queen of the newly unified country, its tomato, mozzarella and basil toppings mimicking Italy’s flag.

"Unfortunately, today people invent many things, but you can’t make any comparison, especially in terms of quality," said chef Marcello, taking a break from sliding pizzas on a wooden pole into the dome-shaped oven. "The only benefit is the price."

"We should scrap this ‘pizza machine’ and bring back the old jukeboxes: at least they were charming," said Paolo Pagnani, who owns the historic restaurant.
Link Posted: 3/29/2009 11:52:31 AM EDT
Originally Posted By poink:
Pizza-making machine has chefs in a spin
by WayneBrownMinistries Email

ROME (Reuters) - A vending machine that bakes fresh pizza in minutes for a few euros has got Italian chefs in a whirl before it hits the streets in the coming weeks.

The bright-red "Let’s Pizza" machine uses infra-red rays and technology developed at the University of Bologna to knead flour and water into dough, spread it with tomato sauce and a choice of topping, and cook it – all in less than three minutes.

Its developer, Claudio Torghele, says the machine has proved popular in trials in two Italian regions, but gourmets say it is an affront to traditional methods of cooking the classic dish.

"This is not just a vending machine, it’s a mini-pizzeria," said Torghele, 56. "It has windows where you can watch the pizza-making process. Kids, including my own, love it: when the machine is working, there’s always a crowd."

The device was developed with help from Anglo-Dutch group Unilever, which tested it in Germany, Torghele said. He hopes to launch the machines across Europe and in the United States, with ingredients varying according to local tastes.

At present it offers four toppings – cheese and tomato, bacon, ham and fresh vegetables – at an average cost of 4 euros. Torghele thinks "Let’s Pizza" will appeal to Europeans looking for cheap options as a recession hits their pockets. "If I want to eat a great pizza, I go to a pizzeria. But our product is satisfactory, low cost and available 24-hours a day," he said. "This is crisis proof … McDonald’s is increasing its sales. Low cost, fast food is in demand."

Italy is famed for its cuisine and has seen a movement develop against fast food, called "Slow Food." But it has more vending machines than any other country in Europe, according to an industry body, mostly doling out hot coffee drinks.

Purists say the Italian pizza – invented in the 18th century in the southern city of Naples – cannot be rushed: the dough must be mixed and left for 12 hours, the ingredients kept fresh, and the oven pre-heated to around 300 degrees.

"This machine is a toy," Pino Morelli of the Association of Italian Pizzerias said. "Perhaps it will find a niche overseas, but Italians are born with pizza: their mothers feed it to them as babies. They understand it."

In Pizzeria Brandi, nestling near the center of ramshackle Naples, the reaction to Torghele’s invention was cool.

The restaurant invented the pizza Margherita in 1889 in honor of the queen of the newly unified country, its tomato, mozzarella and basil toppings mimicking Italy’s flag.

"Unfortunately, today people invent many things, but you can’t make any comparison, especially in terms of quality," said chef Marcello, taking a break from sliding pizzas on a wooden pole into the dome-shaped oven. "The only benefit is the price."

"We should scrap this ‘pizza machine’ and bring back the old jukeboxes: at least they were charming," said Paolo Pagnani, who owns the historic restaurant.


AWESOME!!

Luddites can FOAD
Link Posted: 3/29/2009 12:00:14 PM EDT
McDonald's has been experimenting with fast-cook pizza for many years now - but apparently can't make it work well enough to include it as a standard menu item.
Link Posted: 3/29/2009 12:03:21 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/29/2009 12:03:48 PM EDT by fxntime]
Everyone of those "traditional" pizza makers who buy bulk canned and generic toppings instead of actually making their own sauce and cutting their own produce and meat should shut up as they are little better then a machine.

Thats said, I seriously doubt I'd buy pizza from a machine myself.
Link Posted: 3/29/2009 12:03:53 PM EDT
I'm going to go get some pizza.
Link Posted: 3/29/2009 12:03:54 PM EDT
Pizza made and cooked in three minutes? Seriously?

Wow.
Link Posted: 3/29/2009 12:05:11 PM EDT
...Just what we, as a nation, need.


Regardless, I do find the idea intriguing. I am aware of the existing vending machines that spit out cheap, microwavable burgers/burritos/nachos; a machine putting together a freshly-made pizza would stand head and shoulders above the current awfulness.

There are a lot of 'ifs', but I can definitely see the potential.
Link Posted: 3/29/2009 12:06:14 PM EDT
4 Euros!!! That is almost $5.50 USD!! What a deal!!!

Sorry, I had too. Couldn't resist. It does seem like an interesting idea. Taste will tell though.

Jeremy

Link Posted: 3/29/2009 12:09:36 PM EDT
That actually sounds pretty impressive. I wouldn't mind seeing one in action.
Link Posted: 3/29/2009 12:10:12 PM EDT
This is awesome. I wish we had those around here.
Link Posted: 3/29/2009 12:11:33 PM EDT
Sounds like one of those coffee vending machine deals.
Link Posted: 3/29/2009 12:14:12 PM EDT
Id like to buy a machine and set it up in the breakroom at work
Link Posted: 3/29/2009 12:14:45 PM EDT
$5.50 for an itty bitty pizza?? Sheesh.


That price shows a good value, you have been warned - CTD
Link Posted: 3/29/2009 12:15:40 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Badseed:
$5.50 for an itty bitty pizza?? Sheesh.


That price shows a good value, you have been warned - CTD


Link Posted: 3/29/2009 12:17:54 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/29/2009 12:21:29 PM EDT by jvic]


Link Posted: 3/29/2009 12:17:59 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Badseed:
$5.50 for an itty bitty pizza?? Sheesh.


That price shows a good value, you have been warned - CTD


Link Posted: 3/29/2009 12:19:35 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Badseed:
$5.50 for an itty bitty pizza?? Sheesh.


That price shows a good value, you have been warned - CTD


Link Posted: 3/29/2009 12:22:29 PM EDT
Originally Posted By zeke013:
Pizza made and cooked in three minutes? Seriously?

Wow.


No filthy human employee who does not wash their hands to contaminate the food either. Great idea.
Link Posted: 3/29/2009 12:22:39 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Badseed:
$5.50 for an itty bitty pizza?? Sheesh.


That price shows a good value, you have been warned - CTD


Link Posted: 3/29/2009 12:25:09 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Taxman:
Id like to buy a machine and set it up in the breakroom bedroom at work home


Fixed it...

Link Posted: 3/29/2009 12:36:41 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Waldo0506:
Originally Posted By Badseed:
$5.50 for an itty bitty pizza?? Sheesh.


That price shows a good value, you have been warned - CTD




Link Posted: 3/29/2009 12:38:23 PM EDT
Originally Posted By zeke013:
Pizza made and cooked in three minutes? Seriously?

Wow.


A 'real' pizza cooked in a wood fired over will usually only take 90 seconds or so. I don't know what this machine does, but good pizza is cooked ridiculously hot and fast.

Link Posted: 3/29/2009 12:44:09 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/29/2009 12:48:04 PM EDT by kayamana]
Not the best picture...





Link Posted: 3/29/2009 12:46:59 PM EDT
Originally Posted By capnrob97:
Sounds like one of those coffee vending machine deals.


My parents are getting into this business. These pizza machines sound very similar.
Link Posted: 3/29/2009 12:49:37 PM EDT
How can anyone here complain about this?

Weren't we all crazy about this:

Link Posted: 3/29/2009 12:52:17 PM EDT



Dang! Thatsa sizable pizza for 5.50 and coming out of a machine. Looks like 7-11 has a challenge to their micorwaveable pizza in a bag.
Link Posted: 3/29/2009 12:56:43 PM EDT
"welcome to Carls Junior, fuck you"
Link Posted: 3/29/2009 1:03:07 PM EDT
as long as it fits into the break room at work. it's got its uses.
Link Posted: 3/29/2009 1:04:33 PM EDT
Sounds freaking awesome.
Link Posted: 3/29/2009 1:07:04 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Out_To_Sea:
as long as it fits into the break room at work. it's got its uses.


At a Call Center where people get 30min lunches it would be popular
Link Posted: 3/29/2009 7:04:02 PM EDT
I wonder how much one of these costs? Seems like one might be able to make a decent profit.
Link Posted: 3/29/2009 7:07:05 PM EDT
Link Posted: 3/29/2009 7:09:42 PM EDT
Link Posted: 3/29/2009 7:15:43 PM EDT
Not a bad looking pizza.
Link Posted: 3/29/2009 7:17:53 PM EDT
you can get a bigger pizza here at Little Caesars for $5.50
Link Posted: 3/29/2009 7:18:48 PM EDT
Link Posted: 3/29/2009 7:19:28 PM EDT
Wait a second...

All you gourmets hate Olive Garden but you think pizza from a vending machine is a great idea?
Link Posted: 3/29/2009 7:21:05 PM EDT
Link Posted: 3/29/2009 7:24:01 PM EDT
That's about the slickest thing I have seen in a while!

Pizza is good! Fast, tasty, cheep pizza is good!
Link Posted: 3/29/2009 7:24:55 PM EDT
Originally Posted By KaseyK:
That's about the slickest thing I have seen in a while!

Pizza is good! Fast, tasty, cheep pizza is good!


Link Posted: 3/29/2009 7:25:35 PM EDT
Originally Posted By SWS:
Wait a second...

All you gourmets hate Olive Garden but you think pizza from a vending machine is a great idea?


I've been to Italy a couple times and I reckon even the worst vending machine pizza in Italy will taste better than Olive Garden or Pizza Hut.
Link Posted: 3/29/2009 7:31:18 PM EDT
There's always profit in appealing to the lowest common denominator.
Link Posted: 3/29/2009 8:13:36 PM EDT
They had some back in the early 90's, and they weren't very good. Hopefully they've improved the product. the options were pepperoni or no pepperoni. and they had to use a certain Swift pepperoni, because it was the only one they could get in specs to be able to slice in the machine. (We looked at them, and other "advanced technology" vending machines while I was in the Hughes Aircraft Company/Taco Bell taco making machine effort. It was one of those get the Defense Aerospace manufacturing companies into civilian products efforts after the First Gulf War.)
Link Posted: 3/29/2009 8:46:34 PM EDT

Put those suckers in dorms. They will make lots of money.
Link Posted: 3/29/2009 9:50:01 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/29/2009 9:50:50 PM EDT by www-glock19-com]
Originally Posted By HiramRanger:
Originally Posted By www-glock19-com:
you can get a bigger pizza here at Little Caesars for $5.50


I love little caesers, but lets be honest here... it tastes like ass, but it is cheap and when you are poor, hungry and drunk it matters little. And do you have a little ceasers in your break room at work?


not in the break room but 5 min away

I kinda like the little caesars and to be honest again we are comparing it to a pizza that comes out of a MACHINE

Link Posted: 3/29/2009 10:06:00 PM EDT
Originally Posted By SWS:
Wait a second...

All you gourmets hate Olive Garden but you think pizza from a vending machine is a great idea?



The vending machine is innovative and faster as well as cheaper. It is a different measure/standard than a sit down restaurant.
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