In America, I was not a Pizza Hut fan. I would always choose Round Table or Papa John's....or almost any other pizza place over Pizza Hut.
But then I lived in Dar es Salaam for 12 years, and experienced ketchup used as pizza sauce, hot dogs as a topping instead of sausage, and whole olives--pit and all, rolling around on the top of my pizza. As the years went on, the pizza (at some places) has improved, but it's still the European, brick-oven variety, which means thin crust, thin cheese, and just....thin.
I know. I deserve a lot of sympathy. Life is hard.
So you can imagine how we all rejoiced to know that Pizza Hut would be opening in Dar es Salaam.
It takes us an hour to get there, unless it's rush hour--then it's two hours. But who wouldn't travel to the ends of the earth for Pizza Hut?
But....considering we do have a few other priorities in life (I know, hard to imagine), we didn't make it out there until a week ago. We envied our friends who managed to get there before us, and we always had the same question,
"Does it taste like the real thing?"
They assured us that it did, and when we finally got a chance to test it ourselves, we wholeheartedly agreed. Chewy, greasy, totally processed and full of preservatives. It was glorious.
As you can see, the menu does reflect a bit of the local culture. There are no pork products because Dar is a majority Muslim city. "Macon" is a bacon substitute made out of mutton. I'm guessing that most Americans have no idea what paneer is, or maybe even tandoori chicken. And even though we love both paneer and tandoori chicken, we'll never be ordering it on pizza. As far as we're concerned, the only thing we're interested in is pepperoni.
Ah, pepperoni pizza, how I've missed you. Hot dogs can just never substitute.