1/15/10

Appian Way Pizza - The original shitty pizza.

Pizza was still pretty new back in 1957. Remember on the Flintstones (aired 1960-66), whenever Wilma made a pizza for Fred, she always used the term "pizza pie"? That shows you how new and strange it was to middle America. I think a decent analogy is "pita bread". When pita becomes ubiquitous, the "bread" will become superfluous, since people won't need help understanding that it's a type of bread
So here's the Appian Way pizza kit. "The original pizza." Hmm. really?!?!?! Appian invented pizza? In an effort to give the company the benefit of the doubt, I tried to read it like this: "The original pizza mix and sauce", using the text on the banner below as part of the sentence. That would narrow it down to a more plausible claim. But you know what? Two phrases placed on different graphical elements in this way definitely looks like two separate thoughts. It's not one sentence. Appian really is claiming to have invented pizza! Eff you Appian. I've never heard of your pizza, and neither has Wikipedia.

"Build yourself a pizza, right at home. Looks like some tomato sauce and some cheese. It also looks like a giant scab. Lesson one of advertising (Not really lesson one. What the hell do I know?): Don't photograph your food in black and white. Adding some red spot color isn't much better than black and white. No food looks good rendered in gray and red, unless you're selling wounds. "Road rash pizza mix. Contains one elbow and a chunk of asphalt. Directions: Thaw contents. Apply asphalt to elbow. Rub really hard."


The art in this ad is pretty great. I like the spaced-out hostess offering some sca... -err, PIZZA to that Thunderbirds puppet. Fololw her gaze. She's not even looking at him! She's looking... well, by the blissed-out look on her face, she could be looking at David Bowie floating around the room like in Flight of the Conchords. What the heck is in that pizza?

It looks like there's a lot of air escaping from the pizza. See all those white strings wiggling up from it? Everyone knows that fans come with white strings tied to them so that you can tell they're on. Therefore, this pizza must be generating a lot of wind somehow. It must be updrafts of air, off the coasts of the islands of cheese powder floating in the tomato sea.

At the bottom, there's a really nice clip-arty drawing of a pizza making lady. See how fancy she is! She looks regal and confident... almost conceited. However, her lips are off registration, making her look like she just got punched in slow motion... probably for making that shitty pizza again.

22 comments:

Craig F. said...

Pizza-pie went the way of quotes around "electronic" or "supercharged," and dashes in words like tele-vision and web-site.

I'm working on bringing that all back.

Ahoy hoy, I have enjoyed inter-facing with you on this web-site. 23-skidoo.

Craig F. said...

PS: What the hell kind of an outfit has offices in San Jose, California and Worcester, Massachusetts?

"Why, yes, we have an office in Palm Beach, and a second in Upper Volta."

Phil Are Go! said...

"23 skidoo" is a phrase with a pretty interesting story behind it. I suggest looking up the origins using technology, if you haven't already, which you probably have. Ah well.

Good thing we have Mr. Burns to keep the "old talk" alive.

Thanks for reading!

Phil Are Go! said...

"Our global presence is managed from our HQ offices in Thunder Bay and Helsinki, to meet customer needs, wherever they may arise.. in either place."

Craig f. said...

Flarkman wasn't happy about that transfer to Food Specialties, Inc.'s Mogadishu office, but if I told him once, I told him a thousand times: courtesy flush!

william sturm said...

ok, so you judged a product you had never heard of. I didnt see anywhere that you acutually tried this product. Myself, I grew up with it and sure, its no pizzeria but it beets frozen, hands down. You can still get it but I'm seeing posts that they have changed the sauce recipe. I loved this stuff and though it may not be the original pizza nor the best pizza, it does still rank up there as a good comfort food like kraft mac-n-cheese with hotdogs.

PhilAreGo@gmail.com said...

Correct, I judged a pizza having never eaten it. It looks horrible - especially printed in grey and red.

Anonymous said...

Grey and a spot color was the norm in those days. And yes it looks terrible...but those were the days. My mom has whole cookbooks in the grey and red color scheme. I guess they picked red so they could really show off red meats, tomato garnishes and lobster claws. No such thing as a full color cookbook in those days. By the way...the pizza may have been the absolute best, but the pans they made were meant to last. I STILL use an Appian Way Pizza Pie Mix pan in the kitchen. Can you imagine a "give-away" lasting 50 years today? Can you imagine a "give-away" for that matter?

Anonymous said...

I still have one of their pans, too, and yes it is still usable! Must be from the fifties.

Anonymous said...

I remember seeing my father and his friend make this pizza around 1955. Is this possible?
richabuck@yahoo.com

Anonymous said...

To "anonymous", asking if it might have been around in the mid 1950's - yes, this pizza was definitely around in the 1950s. I don't remember it from then (I wasn't born until the late 50's), but my mother used to make it a lot in the '60s and '70s. That was pretty much the only way you got pizza back then.

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Anonymous said...

FYI Phil, my uncle from Worcester, MA invented Appian Way Pizza in the box. And it was a big seller, he actually sold the rights to Chef Boyardee in the late 50's early 60's. It was the first boxed pizza kit. He is still around and still makes great pizza. And back in the day, it was considered good pizza, and the fact that you could make easily from you own home was a big hit .

Anonymous said...

Every Saturday growing up, this was what we had to make eat while pops and moms went out to a real dinner...funny thing is that I just bought a case of it to make thin crust at home stuff..

Miz Gutterball said...

Can't believe you would pass judgment on a pizza that you've never tried or heard of...what are you? 12? I grew up with Friday night pizza nights where we'd make our own pizzas. (Not a lot of pizza joints in NH back then.) Appian Way Pizza was a staple in our house. Easy to make and had a great sauce. Was so disappointed when our local supermarkets stopped carrying it but glad to see that it is available online.

Bobbi K said...

I also grew up making this pizza from a box. We didn't have much money and this was a treat that the whole family participated in making. It brought us together as a family and we all had fun making it. I can still remember the smell of the raw dough, using a can opener to pop holes in the can of sauce, spreading the sauce around evenly, sprinkling the cheese....just a fun night with my family.

Unknown said...

I believe I inherited one of the "Appian Way" round metal baking sheets. We must have been a member of the club, or sumpin.

Anonymous said...

I have a 1950s teen romance novel that features a trip to a pizza place. Apparently pepperoni was too adventurous back in the day - it was recommended they try "tomato".

Conan the Knitter said...

I can't believe you don't like Appian way.

Anonymous said...

The sauce, oh the sauce! You can say whatever you want about their advertising, but as they say, don't knock it till you try it. Appian way has a sauce that is IMO unmatched, and could hold up to any pizza joint in the country. I would much rather have their pizza at home than go out to any pizza place locally. The taste is delicious.

Anonymous said...

I liked it in the 1960s in Texas and, yes, my parents were from Worcester, MA. It was good pizza back in a day when there were few other options. Going out for pizza was an incredible treat and mainly consisted of a visit to Shakey's to listen to the player piano.

Anonymous said...

Yep, started thinking about Appian Way pizza the other day remembering it being a real fun treat as a child in the early 1960's and getting to help make it. I haven't notice it in the super market lately looks like you can still purchase on line. I will have to try it again, ah the memories of adding your own toppings and smelling it bake, wonderful!

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