I loved sriracha before sriracha reached the consciousness of anyone beyond a noodle house. That iconic squeeze bottle with the green plastic nozzle and the rooster, strutting like those idiots who wear Ed Hardy t-shirts. I first broke my cherry with sriracha when I was an undergrad at the University of Florida scarfing down “fakeasian” food at Maui Teriyaki. I’m sorry, but I love me some good fakeasian as my uncle General Tso knows. Those smoky teriyaki chicken bowls drenched with sweetened soy sauce and careless ribbons of sriracha…oh how I still think of you fondly.
After law school, I rediscovered the sauce when I was shopping at my local Asian market for cans of earthy fried dace and jars of pickled radish. Less like rekindled love and closer to falling off the wagon, my obsession raced to unhealthy standards. I starting dousing everything from cottage cheese to steaming bowls of white rice with the deep reddish condiment.
So, of course, I was excited when rumblings of the Thai counterpart of Tabasco started making its way out of Asian kitchens and into things like mayonnaise or popcorn. However the danger of becoming popular is the inevitable dilution by lame and poorly conceived products like Lay’s sriracha-flavored potato chips that tasted more like cheese puffs. I once went to a “trendy” place where they placed dollops of sriracha into rosemary flecked mashed potatoes. Disgusting!
Yet, I have not given up and while a bit skeptical of Pizza Hut’s new pizza recipes, I’d be lying if I told you I wasn’t interested in the Sweet Sriracha Dynamite Pizza. Most of the new pizzas have names that pretty much describe what the flavor is such as Buffalo State of Mind (buffalo wings) or the one I’m reviewing.
On the other hand, there are terribly named ones like Cock-A-Doodle Bacon or Pretzel Piggy. Neither alerts me to a creamy parmesan sauce and instead, they sound more characters from Japanese anime hentai. No, I don’t care how many tentacles you can stick in that orifice, hentai is weird.
And yeah, I’m sorry. I’m not going to actually pick up the phone and say, “I’d like one Cock-A-Doodle Bacon Pizza.” Never going to happen. I would rather read the list of ingredients and make the other person on the end say, “Oh…you want the Cock-A-Doodle Bacon Pizza?” “Cock-a-yes please.”
What intrigued me the most was the base sauce, honey sriracha instead of the dependable marinara sauce. The warmth of the pizza box that dropped in my lap felt better than a stripper with a “two hands size” butt. It smelled like an ordinary pizza and while I was entranced by the scent, it had me worried because I was wondering if it would taste like one as well.
Upon opening the warm box with the slightly damp tippy top lid, the smell of roasted jalapeño and melted cheese infiltrated the air. I popped open the box and I had to exclaim this was one of the prettiest pizzas I have ever seen. The deep red hues of the Peruvian cherry peppers just popped out of the pizza.
The honey sriracha glazed crust had that new tire shine, although it was off-putting to grab a sticky crust. It was also annoying because every time I grabbed a slice, it felt like I was grabbing a cinnamon bun.
On the first bite, I could taste the sweetness of the roasted peppers which complemented the sweeter pineapple chunks. The jalapeños were thankfully not the pickled kind or if they were, I didn’t taste it. The grilled chicken pieces, although large, were spongy in texture but imparted a smokiness. However, the sweet sriracha sauce lifted the pizza to another level.
Nowhere as intense as mango habanero wing sauce from Buffalo Wild Wings but it definitely packs more heat than a stick of Big Red cinnamon gum. The sauce was really nice. It was very much balanced and despite sriracha overload, this was a thoughtfully created pizza. Furthermore, the cheese just brought the entire pizza together like a satisfying science fiction film without the tentacle sex.
Essentially, the pizza is like a bolder version of the Hawaiian pizza. I would never say sriracha pizza, let alone from The Hut, is the best pizza in this multiverse but this is as close to a standing applause I can give to a chain pizza.
The sriracha has the characteristics of lingering heat with a slight sweet tang. I could make that out but it ain’t no Huy Fong Sriracha. I overlooked this because the pizza was put together so well.
Now some variances, I ordered mine with the pan crust because I felt a thicker crust would carry the honey sriracha glaze better. Also, mine didn’t come with the strange sweet honey sriracha drizzle and it appears you have to ask for it (or my neighborhood Pizza Hut person said). That’s fine, I don’t like soggy ass pizzas and would rather not overload the pizza with sweet syrupy gunk because the pizza was really tight in its flavors.
Another serendipitous moment, the pizza reheats well in the oven, so much so that my taste buds were tricked into thinking “we got ANOTHER pizza?! Hell YEAHHHH!” No dummy. It may be the base sauce, the toppings or the pan pizza crust. Damn, it may be all of the above. The pizza made me curious enough to try the rest of the “new recipe” line.
(Nutrition Facts – 1 slice (large pizza) – 320 calories, 100 calories from fat, 11 games of total fat, 6 grams of saturated fat, 40 mg of cholesterol, 940 mg of sodium, 41 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of dietary fiber, 6 grams of sugars and 15 grams of protein.)
Item: Pizza Hut Sweet Sriracha Dynamite Pizza
Purchased Price: $14.99
Size: 14 inches (large)
Purchased at: Pizza Hut
Rating: 8 out of 10
Pros: weet, spicy and smoky. Good heat from a pizza. If you like Hawaiian pizza, this is a good try. Sexy anime Cosplay.
Cons: Sticky crust. Spongy chicken. Sriracha overexposure. Tentacle sex.