I hope the topping is good…

Dateline March 27 2009 – Rome – Peter Popham of The Independent (London UK) reports on a new vending machine that ” makes and delivers pizza in three minutes” and which “will make its appearance in offices and factories around Italy from next week“.

Others have reported on the machine, but mostly rehashes of the press release. You can [kinda]  see it in action here…

I like the idea of the dough mixer for fast testing of dough properties, a perpetual goal in wheat variety development  (my day job) and wheat trading, but I guess the University of Bologna and Unilever and Claudio Torghele have the technology all tied up. None the less, the dough can have little flavor (NO fermentation time) hence my hope that the topping is good. According to Serious Eats – Slice the picture on Flickr makes it look like a frozen pizza, echoing the Italian pizza-maker Paolo Pagnani on the video who reckon’s that a jukebox has more charm.  There are pretenders to the the fastest-pizza “throne” – “Wonderpizza Italy” here in the USA has a similar looking machine that holds about 100 premade pizzas on sealed trays that are then baked in the machine.

All a far cry from Mark Bittman’s fear of pizza dough, and the care and attention to both the dough and the toppings, and the beautiful looking end result in his recent post on the NY Times Bitten blog.

If you have the dough ready, it’s not that hard to make a wonderful, customized pizza at home – as the pizza primer at TheFreshLoaf says “If teenagers working at Dominos for 6 bucks an hour can make a decent pizza, you shouldn’t have any problem doing it yourself at home!

Still, according to Daniel Flynn (Reuters Life!) the machine has Italian chefs in a spin. But even the developer Claudio Torghele admits that if he wants great pizza he’d go to a pizzeria.

‘Nuff said.