New Zealand “ministers ” Bill English- and his pizza Photograph: Facebook
The photographs, blurry and un-retouched, made a culinary commotion on Facebook and Twitter, with some Kiwis declaring they couldnt be voting in favour of a “ministers ” who so wantonly bastardised Italian cuisine.
Cant believe you posted this. Not being a pizza snob or anything but assume that you have sampled real pizza at least once in your life? wrote one.
Why on land would you promote such garbage? Would you serve this material to your international guests ?? or is this just for the masses?
Some also wondered whether the PMs light-hearted and apparently spontaneous post was in fact an attempt to divert attention from more serious issues being debated in New Zealand including whether English should ordering an investigation into alleged war crimes by
New Zealand soldiers in Afghanistan in 2010.
If youre trying to deflect attention from Afghanistan or the continued mismanagement of common pool resources youre doing a good job teammate because this is a monstrosity. Couldnt even keep the toppings from sliding off the base? wrote one outraged commentator.
Others nonetheless, applauded their attempts to cook simply and cheaply for his family of eight. Some mentioned tinned spaghetti and pineapple pizza was a nostalgic staple of a Southland childhood( English hails from the tiny farming community of Dipton at the bottom of the South Island) and they praised his budget-friendly dinner as an affordable option for beneficiaries.
One woman wrote: Yup this is how we constructed pizzas growing up! Must be a Southland thing! Still induce them like this for my children and they love them. Sometimes we use baked beans oops, perhaps Ive just opened another can of worms
Unsure of the quality of Englishs recipe, the Guardian chose the only behavior to mediate was to engage a chef, find the key ingredients and perform a taste test.
This correspondent is not unfamiliar with tinned spaghetti. For two weeks on a remote cattle station in Australians Northern Territory, I feed tinned spaghetti sandwiches three times a day.
So what was it like?
Pizza in North Dunedin was willing to provide most of the ingredients( it doesnt do spaghetti) and an oven to enable our taste test.
The PMs special a tomato base, layered with pineapple chunks, bacon and tinned spaghetti took one minute to pull together and eight minutes to cook. It was sloppy and lacked texture, immediately falling to pieces in my hands( we forgot to use Bills trick of draining the spaghetti sauce first ).
But it was good. Really good. Good in accordance with the rules straight-forward crowd-pleasers often are. Unpretentious, with immediate, uncomplicated flavor( cheese, tomato, bread ), and a surprising yum factor. Ravenous, I gobbled it up. I could have done with a spoon.
It is a pizza to be eaten speedily, sans tablecloth, sans cutlery, sans fuss. In my opinion its just fine.