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Pizza Hut Goes Artisanal...and Artistic

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[Photograph: Pizza Hut/Denver Post]

Pizza Hut is working to get onboard the artisanal food train (or at least trying to hitch a lift), with the national launch this Thursday of their new hand-tossed pie, which they claim has a lighter, airier crust. According to the Denver Post, the less publicized but in many ways more telling part of the revamp is the employees' new directive: to be more "authentic". Pizza Hut's CFO Carrie Walsh shared that the workers were encouraged to inject their dough tossing with a little more freedom and that rollers will no longer be used, so that each pie comes out looking deliberately imperfect.

The change didn't come easily—launching this updated crust required the most intense training program by Pizza Hut in over 20 years. According to USA Today, Pizza Hut is so certain the new pizza will be a hit, that they'll pay for any consumer's next pie if they don't like their Hand-Tossed crust. Apparently, Domino's has been passing along the same advice to their employees for its own "Artisan" pies—the push for authenticity (or the appearance thereof) continues as these older chains compete with newer, fast-casual pizza joints. I don't know about you, but I'll probably keep getting my "imperfect, handmade" pies from the places I already know and love, but the change is nevertheless a telling one, indicative of the general direction of the pizza industry.

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[Photograph: Nate Robinson]

From attempts at artisanry to attempts artistry, Pizza Hut seems to have teamed up with Pepsi to create one magical pizza, for the express purpose of pleasing Denver Nuggets guard Nate Robinson. The pie features a surprisingly accurate depiction of his face, olive haired and smiling out at the world from within a ring of peppers. In the basketball players own words, #StateOfNate.

About the author: Kate Andersen is a Contributing Editor for Slice.

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