On June 5, the Chizza – short for “Chicken X Pizza,” a Kentucky Fried Chicken concoction – finally showed up in China. Since its 2015 debut in the Philippines, this mythical, monstrous fried chicken and pizza hybrid had been terrorizing Asian fast food markets such as India, Japan and Singapore. Now, with baby-faced pop star Lu Han as the lead endorser, the Chizza with Chinese characteristics was at last rampaging the mainland. In the name of journalism, I went to check it out.
For just 23 kuai ($3.40), a little more than a burger, I got a Chizza in a smart little pizza box. There’s something about miniature pizza boxes that’s weirdly comforting. They’re so small and square and cute. And this one so much so that I was unfazed by the writing on the top of the box warning of the not-so-cute contents within: “Cheese, chicken, no-dough ‘pizza.’” (Note: be wary of anything in scare quotes. They are there for a reason.) You could say I was almost a little excited.
Then I opened the box.
According to a press release, Chizza is “breaking the dimensional walls of fried chicken and pizza” and “recombining the genes of food.” While very much unlike your typical fried chicken or pizza, I am sad to report that the Chizza looked remarkably like a piece of day-old chicken violently splattered with fresh vomit, the kind where your lunch hasn’t totally been digested and is only half-souped-up with stomach acids and liquid breakfast. Maybe KFC should’ve changed its tagline from “Chizza, here to overthrow” to “Chizza, here to make you throw up” (though it wouldn’t work in the original Chinese).
I gingerly picked up a piece. The cheese did not stretch like it did in the commercials. Half of the toppings proceeded to slide off and plop back into the box. A bit of the chicken skin was also sort of coming off, as it had been rendered semi-slushy by some food-gene-splicing-scientist’s valiant attempt at marinara sauce.
I reminded myself that I was doing this for the greater good of journalism and took a bite. And you know what, it was surprisingly… okay.
I did have to do a bit of manual rearrangement of toppings because the pineapple wasn’t evenly distributed and the peppers kept falling off. But the sweetness of the pineapple chunks balanced out the savor of the chicken, and the sauce… you can’t really screw up marinara. The bits of Christmas-y red and green peppers and corn were mostly harmless, as far as vegetables go. I barely noticed the cheese (which is better than noticing at the risk of spontaneous regurgitation). I have to give it to KFC: the Colonel shed his white suit for Dr. Frankenstein’s lab coat and really transformed chicken. Combined with the spicy marinara, fried chicken tasted like chewy, cardboard pizza crust, which I did not realize was possible.
All in all, it was better than it looked. Would I order it again? Probably not. I’m just relieved I didn’t get the unholy terror that ravaged KFC Singapore.
Behold, the Chizza, in a series of close-up photographs: