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Hungry? Pizza Hut Launches Cheeseburger Crust Pizza

Schuyler Velasco|Christian Science Monitor

Pizza Hut Middle East has released the "Crown Crust Burger Pizza," which has a crust lined with tiny cheeseburgers.

Garry Wade | Lifesize | Getty Images

Hot on the heels of the much-discussed “Hot Dog Stuffed Crust” pizza from a few weeks ago, Pizza Hut has once again proven itself the leader in the world of pizza crust innovation.

The “Crown Crust Burger Pizza,” in fact, makes the United Kingdom's "Hot Dog Stuffed Crust Pizza" look tame by comparison. The crust on this self-described masterpiece is made up of tiny cheeseburger patties encased in nests of pizza crust (Pizza Hut calls these “mini cheeseburger gems”). The cheese pizza center comes topped with beef, iceberg lettuce, tomato, melted cheese, and “Pizza Hut’s special sauce, inviting comparisons to yet another junk food staple: the taco salad.

The “Crown Crust Burger Pizza” also has a sister entrée, the “Crown Crust Chicken Fillet Pizza,” It comes bordered by, you guessed it, tiny chicken "gems."

“Relish a first of its kind deliciousness,” a Middle Eastern television ad for the Crown Crust Burger boasts.

The new pizzas are available in 12 countries across the Middle East, including Jordan, Lebanon, Pakistan, and Egypt. Coupled with the hot dog crust pizza and Japan’s “Winter Double King” pizza (that crust is stuffed with shrimp and mayonnaise), the Crown Crust Burger Pizza is just the latest slight to adventurous stateside pizza lovers. Does Pizza Hut think we’re not ready to venture too far outside the box (or the crust) when it comes to our pizzas?

Probably not. After all, Pizza Hut’s parent company is Yum Brands , which also owns Taco Bell and KFC. Neither of those chains have been shy about testing outlandish entrees on American palates. KFC gave us the “Double Down” a few years ago—a chicken sandwich in which two fried chicken breasts serve as the “bread” holding together a mound of melted cheese and bacon. Over 10 million “sandwiches” have been sold in the US since the Double Down’s release two years ago.

In March, Taco Bell released the Doritos Locos Taco, with a hard taco shell made from the same stuff as Doritos chips. The rollout was “hugely successful” propelling Taco Bell, and Yum brands, to a huge spike in first quarter earnings after a yearlong slump. Sales at Taco Bell rose 6 percent in the first quarter of 2012, with higher sales expected in the current quarter because of the Doritos Locos Taco’s late rollout date. Net income for Yum Brands spiked 73 percent in the first quarter due to Taco Bell’s strong performance and success in overseas markets, such as the Middle East.

That means the outrageous menu items are working. And if hot dog and cheeseburger crusts find success overseas, expect the unexpected in pizza crusts to be making its way to the US pretty soon.