On the Cutting Edge
Whoop-to-do, fellow foodies! Columbia will soon be getting a food dispensing novelty—a pizza vending machine. The new addition to the college town is the brainchild of chef/owner Liz Huff of Catalpa restaurant in Arrow Rock. Such innovative marketing is being done in other places around the world, but it’s the first gourmet pizza offering I’ve seen in these parts. (But, then, I don’t hang out in airports or shopping centers all that much these days.)
How It Works
The pre-made and frozen pizzas are treated to a combination of infrared heat and convection cooking that gets as high as 700 degrees. In several minute, the 12-inch pie is boxed and dispensed to the customer. Some machines allow pizza aficionados to customize their own toppings.
Even so, this may not be for the pizza purist. But this could be just the thing in a college town, where the demand for pizza at three 3 a.m. might be greater.
Where to Find It
The first machine in Columbia is planned to be outside Macadoodles liquor store by late May or early June. The state-of-the-art dispenser, widely used in Europe, was built in France.
I’m not sure if I’m ready for this yet, though my friend Cyndy, who lives in Columbia, has agreed to make a taste test. On the other hand, if the machines ever make a Vietnamese banh mi sandwich, I might get up at 3 in the morning for that.
But Will Vending Machine Pizza Ever Look Like This?