Pizza Vending Machine Launches In Rome And People Aren’t Happy
They’re notoriously protective of their food, but Italians have a good reason to be outraged after a pizza vending machine was installed in the country’s capital.
The Mr. Go Pizza machine recently debuted in Rome, offering hungry residents – and perhaps more likely tourists – a choice of four different kinds of pizza.
The machine reportedly lets customers watch their slices being cooked through a glass window, and takes just three minutes to whip up each freshly cooked pizza.
With prices ranging from €4.50 to €6 they’re relatively affordable, especially compared to the overpriced tourist traps dotted around the centre of the city. But the true cost seems to be to the Italians’ pride. Locals invited to try the new vending machine out this week expressed a spectrum of reactions spanning from mild disapproval to abject horror.
Speaking to Reuters after trying out the vending machine, one of the city’s older residents, named Gina gave her damning verdict, saying: ‘Terrible. Pizza really needs to be eaten hot, immediately. This doesn’t work for me.’
Another pensioner, Claudio Zampiga, gave a more considered review, but agreed that it didn’t stand up to classic restaurant fare. ‘It looks good but it is much smaller than in a restaurant and there is less topping,’ he said.
Of course, Rome is more typically known for its pasta. The true home of pizza is widely accepted as being Naples, where the food has been popular since the days of the Ancient Roman empire as a cheap food for the masses.
Unfortunately, the verdict from Neapolitans has been even worse. After trying out a slice from the machine, Fabrizia Pugliese reportedly gave the machine a thumbs down, adding dismissively: ‘It’s OK but it’s not pizza.’
In a nearby Napolitano pizzeria, customer Giovanni Campana refused to even consider the prospect, telling a reporter: ‘I wouldn’t even think of eating a pizza made by a machine.’
Pizza vending machines have been popping up in places like the US and Japan for a few years now, but it seems like the decision to bring the idea to the birth place of the food and the home of some of the world’s finest cuisine may be a bridge too far.
‘The Italian in me felt a little nauseous reading this,’ the BBC’s Rome correspondent Mark Lowen tweeted in response to the news, while another person joked of the reaction ‘sounds like its slice of the market is going to be thin.’
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