Last month I had the incredible opportunity to judge at the largest culinary pizza competition in the USA. The International Pizza Expo has been an annual event in Las Vegas for the past 27 years and it’s seriously wall-to-wall pizza insanity. The competition categories change every year as different styles evolve, but this year I was asked to judge preliminary rounds and finals for both the traditional and non-traditional categories. The five pizzas I’m about to show you are the least traditional of the non-traditional round.
This Japanese pizza started with a rice flour dough topped with dried seaweed, sliced mochi cakes, soy sauce, Japanese mayonnaise, corn, dried-fermented-smoked tuna flakes and a blend of mozzarella and gouda. That’s pretty dang non-traditional! It was actually one of my favorites in the category but execution in the final round wasn’t so hot.
I first saw this pie at a competition in Orlando a few years back and even though I have never personally judged it, Dave Smith III from Smith’s Pizza Palace Plus in Emporium, PA definitely deserves points for pizza insanity. The thing looks like a ninja star! Dave snips the crust and gives the dough skin a quick toss to create these little spikes. Truly amazing.