Let's Pizza angers 'Slow Food' Italians

Italian designers have unveiled the Let’s Pizza vending machine that makes a pizza from scratch and bakes it ready to eat with a touch of a button in 2.5 minutes, all for around $6 US. While it looks like a vending machine for coffee, the device uses infrared rays and mechanized processes to make the dough, spread the tomato sauce and toppings and bake the pizza. Four varieties include cheese and tomato, bacon, ham and fresh vegetables. Kids like the exhibition cooking feature, as you can watch the machine preparing the pizza through a window. To see a video of the Let’s Pizza in action, click here.

Pizza makers in Italy reportedly are up in arms over the machine they say demeans the national food. Italy is the epicenter of what is known as the Slow Food movement that touts traditional cooking methods and long, slow meals in response to today’s fast food culture. Purists say the Italian pizza -- invented in the 18th century in the southern city of Naples -- cannot be rushed. The dough must be mixed and left for 12 hours, the ingredients kept fresh, and the oven pre-heated to around 300 degrees. “This machine is a toy,” said Pino Morelli of the Association of Italian Pizzerias. “Perhaps it will find a niche overseas, but Italians are born with pizza: their mothers feed it to them as babies. They understand it.” One chef commented, “We should scrap this pizza machine and replace it with the old jukebox. At least it had some charm.”