First it was mozzarella, then hot dogs, now burger patties are the latest fast food to be stuffed inside a pizza crust.
Eight of them in fact, all topped with cheese and embedded snugly into the scalloped crust.
Pizza Hut's latest foray into crust-stuffing, known as 'the cheeseburger crust', is available with any large sized pizza. This fast food mash-up will set you back 700 kilojoules for the crust alone. Add the crust to a pepperoni pizza (pictured above), and the kilojoules clock up to 6907.3.
That's 863.4 kj per slice.
Or the bacon cheeseburger topping, 7169.1 kj for a whole pizza.
Nutritionist Susie Burrell says the cheeseburger crust addition is excessive, with the pizza veering close to the daily recommended intake for an adult. The Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code puts this at 8700 kj.
“The average adult will have between 6000-8000 kj per day - so a pizza is an entire day's calories, and fat is likely to be at least 10 grams a slice, if not more,” Burrell says.
Portion control is the biggest concern when it comes to such calorific indulgences, she says.
And let's be honest, when it comes to pizza who only eats one slice?
“One of the biggest issues with pizza as a fast food choice is that the portion is so unregulated and people will often eat a half a pizza or a whole pizza,” Burrell says.
Pizza Hut declined to recommend a serving size, stating via email: “Pizza Hut encourages customers to enjoy pizza as a treat with friends or family as part of a balanced and healthy lifestyle, rather than dictate how many slices they consume.”
Burrell is disappointed with the franchise's latest offering.
“When they add more saturated fats and calories by choice to a high fat, high calorie product, as is the case with this pizza, it's socially irresponsible,” she says.
“With all the different options available already is this the best thing they can do in the current health environment?”
The franchise's burger-pizza hybrid made its debut in the Middle East where it came scattered with traditional burger toppings and featured an alternative nugget-esque chicken fillet variation. The United Kingdom's take on the burger-crusted pizza featured a whopping 10 patties.
The pizza only launched locally on Tuesday, but debate is already raging on social media. A post on Pizza Hut Australia's Facebook page already has more than 3500 likes and 1500 comments. Some are concerned about the fat content of the pizza, while others, like @ErinTaylor "really want to try this". @RussellJohnson is on the fence: "can't make up mind. Amazing, or the worst thing ever".
Pizza Hut says the cheeseburger crust will be available for a limited time, for $3 a pizza.
The ACT will miss out and those in WA wanting to sample the greasy behemoth will have to wait until March 18.