Top pizza Chains Slice Pork Pepperoni off the menuby Opinion Express June 4, 2018 0 comments
India’s largest pizza retail chain Domino’s and Pizza Hut have omitted pork pepperoni pizzas from their menu.
There is no sincerer love than the love of food, said George Bernard Shaw. Therefore, rightfully that is one emotion, given its primacy, freedom and comfort in people’s lives, we must remain truly honest to. Food is the greatest democracy in the world and there is no way it should be subject to human constructs of racism, religiosity or conformity. So it is that food lovers are upset that their famous pizza pepperoni is off the menu at their favourite chain Domino’s and some of Pizza Hut too. Well, the reasons cited are low stocks of pork, poor demand, compromised quality of supplies and cost-effectiveness. But overriding all this is an unsaid diktat that keeping it on the lists might upset religious sensitivities. In fact, Domino’s international has had a history of knocking off unsuitable items from their menu in the UK to suit the local customer profile and some such. Popular food culture should never ever be policed for that is one place where there is unbridled choice and everybody is considered informed, mature and committed enough to make their own picks. No swing votes here, please. Any isolationist policy only restricts a perfectly apolitical and egalitarian space in society and ends up stereotyping the diner. The latest beef ban is an example of how food politics can have tragic consequences and offer a ready platter for fringe fundamentalists to feast on and unnecessarily float a peeve.
Given the volume of online petitions for the return of pizza pepperoni, the low demand argument doesn’t quite hold good as this variant is the chief draw for most brands. With young executives battling competitive and long hours of work in cities across India, ordering a pizza has become almost a chore. So there is no question of falling demand, let alone in cosmopolitan Delhi, where outlets have sliced the popular item off their menus. In fact, rival Pizza Express says that its pepperoni continues to be most sought after and generates good business enough. Of course, there are safety concerns like the quality of all meats, including pork, and their preservation in the country, more so with pigs as they are carriers of virus and bacteria too. But in the absence of guaranteed processed meats, most other hospitality and franchise chains are relying on safe imported variants. While this raises the input cost, a review of consumptive patterns could work out a more rational, zonal distribution, limited supply in low-demand areas and higher in others. Franchises of international majors, who have been compelled to include some Indianised elements in their menus, must realise that they have not been able to impact India’s own vibrant cuisine traditions, including its eclectic carnivorous ones, with their presence. Their Indian accents are not the cult favourites, their meaty bites are. So they should focus on their core hot-sellers in the mass market and respect the coexistence of taste buds rather than giving into food vigilantism.
Courtesy: The Pioneer