If you’ve been dying to try Pizza Hut’s new customizable pizza menu, but haven’t yet because you tend to avoid eating gluten, good news: Starting on January 26, Pizza Hut will begin offering gluten-free pizza at a select number of its restaurants nationwide. The pizza chain has teamed up with Udi’s, the largest gluten-free company in the world, and the non-profit Gluten Intolerance Group in order to make the whole thing happen — and I’m sure it’ll have a goodly number of people around the country shouting, “Hooray! Now I, too, can make strange and unusual Frankenpizzas the likes of which have never before been seen!”
The Hut is far from the first pizza chain to have attempted gluten-free offerings; indeed, given that Domino’s hopped on the bandwagon back in 212, they’re actually a little late to the party. But Pizza Hut has the distinction of being the first chain not only to put gluten-free crust on the menu, but also — and perhaps more importantly — to have their prep process for the pizzas be certified gluten-free. According to USA Today, the Udi’s gluten-free crust, cheese, marinara, and pepperoni will be kept in designated Gluten-Free Kits in each location; employees who make the gluten-free pies will wear gloves during prep; each pizza will be baked on parchment paper and sliced with a designated gluten-free pizza cutter; and they’ll be delivered in an Udi’s Gluten-Free Pizza box.
It’s worth noting, though, that you’ll still have to be careful, especially if you’ve got celiac disease — which might mean skipping the build-your-own pizza option. Although the body of each pizza has that handy little Gluten-Free Kit to keep it safe from cross-contamination, any additional toppings you request will be pulled from where they’re usually kept. Since Pizza Hut isn’t a totally gluten-free environment, there’s still a chance that these additional toppings will have come into contact with something gluten-y; as such, order at your own risk. If you’re willing to risk it, though, may we suggest one of these possible (and slightly bizarre) combinations?
Oh, and if you’re looking for a relatively cheap gluten-free beer with which to wash down your gluten-free Pizza Hut pie, here’s even more good news: MillerCoors announced this week that they’ll begin marketing a “naturally gluten-free” beer called Coors Peak Copper Lager in Seattle and Portland in February. Consumerist pointed out that Anheuser-Busch’s equivalent, Redbridge, hasn’t exactly garnered favorable reviews since its 2006 launch… but hey, it’s a start. At least gluten-free offerings are starting to hit the mass market, right? Hopefully from here, they’ll become not only prevalent, but also, y’know, good. Fingers crossed!