Thursday, November 3, 2016

Pizza Hut Celebrates Halloween with a Spidery Black Pizza in China

One of my interests involves seeing how Western companies localize their products and services in China. Sometimes that leads to culinary explorations during holidays, such as trying McDonald's Year of Fortune Burger for the Lunar New Year when I was in Chongqing. Halloween is another holiday which offers possibilities.

Last year in Shaoguan, Guangdong, I noted that a Halloween promotion at Pizza Hut featuring M&M's didn't include an M&M's pizza. So there was no special pizza for me that day. But things change . . . This year, Pizza Hut once again had a Halloween promotion, which I saw while in Shenyang, Liaoning. Instead of M&M's, Vamplets were the main characters accompanying the "Black Halloween" spirit.

promotion for Pizza Hut's Black Halloween specials in China

Like last year, there were fingers on the special Halloween menu, although the ingredients weren't the same. More importantly to me, the menu had a special pizza which screamed to be tried.

Pizza Hut's Black Halloween menu in China

The menu says the Black Halloween Pizza (暗黑魔法烤肉比萨) is made with cuttlefish powder. Like their close relatives, squid, cuttlefish can shoot ink. Given the black coloring of the pizza, I assume cuttlefish ink is at least one ingredient in the powder. Whatever the case, of course I ordered the pizza.

Pizza Hut's Black Halloween Pizza (暗黑魔法烤肉比萨) in China

Yes, there is a spider on the pizza. This is not the first time I have encountered a spider on a Pizza Hut pizza. Decades ago at a Pizza Hut in Pennsylvania, US, my brother discovered a spider baked into our pizza's cheese. It wasn't Halloween and spiders weren't listed as an ingredient for the pizza, so the folks at Pizza Hut made appropriate amends. Unlike that spider, the spider on the Black Halloween Pizza is made out of the black dough. Too bad, since it has been a while since I have eaten large spiders.

The black pizza dough spider deserves a closeup look.

black dough spider on the Black Halloween Pizza at Pizza Hut in China

The pizza includes New Orleans Roasted Chicken, which seems to be a common thing in China, even if not in New Orleans, and pumpkin as well. The spider web is made out of a mayonnaise so sweet that . . . well, I did my best to scrape it off. There is no tomato pizza sauce, which may be why the waitress brought out some ketchup. I was more happy to see the unrequested appearance of Tabasco sauce. Well done, waitress. It really helped.

Tabasco sauce, Kraft grated parmesan cheese, and ketchup

Overall, I liked the Black Halloween Pizza more than the pizza with New Orleans style toppings I had along with Pizza Hut's durian pizza in Jieyang, Guangdong. The pumpkin was a welcomed change of pace, but I don't think I will be craving the Black Halloween Pizza anytime in the future, unlike Mr. Panda's black Inkfish Pizza, which I tried in Shanghai.

Maybe next year Pizza Hut will go with real spiders as a topping for a Halloween pizza. I would definitely give it a try.


  1. Truly frightening.

    I also believe this is the type of thing which leads to many of my Chinese friends saying that they don't like Western food. I maintain that they have likely never eaten it.

    1. This reminds me I have a good Houcaller story to share someday.