Little Caesars has released a limited-time-only pizza with a zany name: the Old World Fanceroni Pepperoni. (Not surprising, considering another recent menu item was dubbed the Batman Calzony.) It’s basically just a pepperoni pizza with a shitload of pepperoni on top. But this isn’t just any pepperoni. It’s cupping pepperoni, the kind that curls up as it bakes off, creating little crunchy cups of cured meat with tender centers atop the pie. Fanceroni indeed.
The press release announcing the new pizza explains it this way (emphasis ours):
This amazing product features over 100 slices of old world pepperoni that have a rich, smoky flavor and crisp up when they cook. You can expect a pizza covered from edge to edge with old world pepperoni and a crust that is crisped with cheese to the edges. This gives this pizza a special texture and overall crunchy bite.
Over 100 slices of pepperoni, you say? That is a lot of pepperoni. Crispy cheese edges? Sounds good to me. I wanted to check this thing out for myself, so I stopped by my local Little Caesars to grab a pie.
Upon opening the box, it was a pretty glorious sight to see all those little pepperoni cups, many of which had curled up into crispy little bowls. My fiancée and I decided to count the pepperoni to see if there were indeed over 100 slices on top, as Little Caesars proclaimed.
I’ve got to tell you something. Counting all the pepperoni slices on a pizza with your partner is a true test of your relationship. We decided to divide and conquer by counting all of the pepperoni on designated halves of the pie. Each of us took decidedly different approaches: I kept my tally with a little air jab above each pepperoni, while she washed her hands and then physically poked each slice as she counted. We counted twice, just to be sure, and though our counts were slightly different each time, they each added up to just over 100. Good job, Little Caesars!
As it turns out, a large pizza with 100 pepperoni slices on top is... a lot. After a few bites, both of us noted that we’d already hit sodium fatigue. Have you ever eaten something so salty that it made your mouth burn a little? That’s where we found ourselves after just one slice.
Some of the pepperoni had a great crunchy texture, while other discs remained chewy, which added to contrasting experiences in each bite. The cheese wasn’t edge-to-edge like the press release claimed it would be; I didn’t really mind this, but it is important to note that this is supposed to be a selling point of the Fanceroni. Your mileage may vary.
One thing I noticed was an acrid, smoky aftertaste building up in my mouth from all that pepperoni, a sensation that wasn’t very pleasant and didn’t encourage me to keep eating. For well over an hour after I ate the pizza, I could still taste that artificial smokiness in the back of my throat, which I wasn’t a fan of. I don’t know who could be.
For $9.99, the pizza is priced fairly. It’s a large pizza that’s chock-full of pepperoni, as advertised. If you like pepperoni, can handle a buttload of salt, and aren’t sensitive to aftertaste, then I’m sure you’ll be just fine with it. You’ll get what you wanted out of this experience. The Fanceroni is not worth seeking out in lieu of your local mom-and-pop pizza joint, but if you’re craving a ton of that crispy, oily cupping pepperoni, the Old World Fanceroni Pepperoni will scratch that itch for you. Just hope it doesn’t rub salt in the wound.