This piece originally appeared in the Guardian.
International pizza delivery chain Domino’s last week started selling its new “gourmet” range – three pizzas which, according to a breathless press release have “been specially developed to appeal to a different type of pizza-eater who is looking for a lighter pizza and more distinctive flavours, which are akin to those you might find in a traditional pizzeria”. That is to say, the pizzas are an effort to appeal to those for whom Domino’s is usually only a last or drunken resort.
For the majority of food lovers, high street fast food chains like Domino’s have become a byword for poorly-sourced, soulless and generally unpleasant food. Insipid burgers, rubbery cheese and Dead Sea levels of salt have all contributed to an overwhelmingly negative view of fast food. A request for one word descriptions of Britain’s fast food was met with a barrage of ire, ranging from “pointless” “unsatisfying” and “beige” to “greasy” “sticky” and, most damningly of all I reckon, “rancid“.