Last week, Austin-based confectionary Lollpyhile released a new pizza lollipop. This release is not tethered to any event; the company has simply created a pizza lollipop “to celebrate America’s love affair with the Italian classic pie,” an undying constant that runs through our nation's shared digestive tract. Look at that woman below; she's having so much fun, eating "the lolly" while maintaining comfortable distance from her mouth.
With the pizza lollipop, Lollyphile has diversified a lollipop portfolio that offers blue cheese, breastmilk, Merlot, sriracha, and absinthe, all flavors that I have clamored for in a lollipop literally never. (Has anyone?) Lollyphile also produces flavors that are more indistinct. (What, for example, is the flavor of a “mermaid”?) Lollyphile's existing canon has a lot for someone like me, an unadventurous eater, to be wary of. But no matter; I decided to try the pizza lollipop.
First, the vitals: Is its odor tolerable? Sure, I guess. With physical distance, it smells like sweet peppers. Inch closer, and it smells like cheese-soaked cardboard. Hm. Not great. Money? It costs $8; I got it for free. Opening it is deterringly labor-intensive. The plastic is extremely difficult to remove, and I needed a scissor to puncture an opening. "Minus one."
I began licking it sheepishly, and couldn't work my way up to much more than that. The press release describes the lollipop as containing “distinct and unmistakable notes of pizza, including cheese, tomato and chili pepper," these slapdash ingredients marbled into a single spheric sucker with a sweet overlay. Though I have grown weary and distrustful of corporations, I don't think this is a corporate fib; the pizza lollipop is a ball of spicy sugar.
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What does the pizza lollipop want to be? Unclear. It postures as rebellious but is actually quite strait-laced.Delish has called Lollyphile “the Quentin Tarantino of lollipop companies,” which, by my read, is some kind of backhanded compliment—implying a product that is more ragged than meticulous, brutally effective by sheer force of will. No, I would liken the pizza lollipop to Stephanie Tanner in Full Housepretending she's hot shit to impress her friend Gia, even though she's just the same good girl we know playing dress-up. This is not bad; I prefer Stephanie to Quentin Tarantino. As the old Yo Gabba Gabba dictum instructs, I tried it, now I like it.
Would you try a pizza lollipop? Are you also confused why this exists? Let us know in the comments!
Mayukh Sen is a James Beard Award-winning food and culture writer in New York. His writing has appeared in the New York Times, the New Yorker, Bon Appetit, and elsewhere. He won a 2018 James Beard Award in Journalism for his profile of Princess Pamela published on Food52.