To Hell and Back: The gluten-free journey
19th May 2006
Anyone who is Gluten intolerant will know that you have to go to HELL and back to get takeaway food that doesn’t contain gluten – they’re not wrong.
HELL initially recognised the problem after a staff member would only eat pizza once in a while- as HELL have the best damned pizza around we knew that this guy must be insane or that there was a deeper problem. It turned out that he was one of the estimated 55% of New Zealanders who have some level of intolerance to Gluten, a substance found in most cereals and grains, including wheat, most commonly used for flour.
For them their life really is HELL – they can’t even enjoy a beer (malt comes from barley) or bourbon on a Friday night so food and drink is a real problem.
HELL’s first hurdle was locating a good supplier for our rapidly expanding empire of 55 stores. They had to have a good rep with the Gluten free people and a great tasting base- as HELL refuses to sacrifice taste!
Eventually we located a South Island supplier, who is regarded with great respect in the Celiac Society and has had his pizzas bases fully tested to ensure that they are truly gluten Free. We then had to have all our toppings tested – no mean feat when we have over 60 toppings. As Hell does have flour on the premises there is no way that we can 100% guarantee that no cross-contamination will occur BUT we do take every precaution by having dedicated gluten-free trays for cooking them on and a dedicated gluten free pizza cutter. To date the response has been overwhelming, with many stores running out of gluten free bases, but we have now turned up the heat and have gluten free bases for all.
And vegans can now go to HELL too. No whining ‘I can’t eat meat, no eggs, don’t eat dairy’ – for these Sinister bastards who survive on lentils, the vegan pizza will set their numbed and bored tastebuds on fire. Poor hippies, they need to eat something - thank god for HELL. Actually they’re all going to suffer and die, but not yet.
Even Green MP Nandor Tanzcos might find the vegan pizza pretty tasty and the perfect antidote for his munchies after communing with Ras Tafari.
Baring their souls even further, HELL advertising now lists all nutritional facts for their pizzas. So whether its LUST, Pandemonium, Mayhem or Greed, you can at least eat quality pizza, right down to the last gram of dietary fibre. Claiming a market first for the gluten-free and vegan options, a company spokesperson said they expected Pizza Hutt and Vicky Salmon at Restaurant Brands would still be confused, but at least they have a couple more ideas to copy.