On May 16, the Chinese branch of American fast-food chain Pizza Hut launched a set of new limited-edition dishes branded as ‘Chinese-style spaghetti’ that are only available for three weeks until June 5.
The novel food products put a Chinese spin on one of Italy’s renowned dishes and include five spaghetti-based meals with a starting price of 29 RMB (4.35 USD), each inspired by the local flavors of a Chinese region: Shanghai, Suzhou, Fujian, Wuhan, and Chengdu.
A promotional poster introducing the five spaghetti-based dishes. Image via Weibo
Chinese netizens expressed mixed feelings towards the products.
“I tried the Wuhan-style spaghetti, but it was very dry and not flavorful,” lamented one user. “Overall, it’s not as tasty as the classic spaghetti bolognese. Maybe the shop didn’t cook it well? Or spaghetti isn’t supposed to be cooked this way?”
Many users appeared enthusiastic about the drop and heaped praises on the combination. “These dishes look good. The combo of Eastern and Western food is absolutely invincible!” reads the top-voted comment under Pizza Hut’s Weibo post.
Suzhou Crab Noodles (left) vs. Italian Crab Linguine (right). Image via Twitter
As an Italian myself, I shall say some of the combinations look quite palatable. For example, the Suzhou-inspired crab spaghetti certainly bears some resemblance to South Italian classic crab linguine.
The Chengdu-inspired dish also does a decent job of combining the flavors of Sichuan dandan noodles and Italian spaghetti bolognese.
However, the remaining dishes merely replace Chinese noodles with Italian spaghetti and call it a day. Sorry Pizza Hut, but the Shanghai-inspired beef and scallion spaghetti looks like a fancier (and pricier) bowl of scallion noodles.
Sichuan dandan noodles (left) vs. Italian spaghetti bolognese (right). Image via Twitter
In 1990, Pizza Hut opened its first store in China in Beijing. Now, decades later, the brand counts more than 2,600 outlets across 600 cities in China.
The fast-food chain has constantly innovated its local menu in the past few years, creating many head- and stomach-turning fusion dishes.
In 2021 alone, the branch shocked the internet with the launch of cilantro, preserved egg, and pork blood pizza, milk tea pizza, and spicy hot pot pizza.
Cover image via Weibo
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