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Did Pizza Hut Really Invent the Stuffed Crust Pizza?

Did Pizza Hut Really Invent the Stuffed Crust Pizza?
Photograph by Corbis

On Super Bowl Sunday, Americans will eat an estimated 15 million pizzas. Most will be satisfied by some combination of crust, cheese, and sauce; even so, inventors continue to search for enhancement. Can’t improve on perfection? To the contrary, please see Exhibit A: the stuffed crust pizza, which has evolved from its beginnings of simple cheese filling to more involved ingredients today, including hot dog and cheeseburger.

When Pizza Hut introduced a pie with mozzarella cheese filling inside the crust in 1995, it touted the product as an industry “revolution.” It was a bold assertion with which cheese maker Anthony Mongiello and his family immediately took issue. The Brooklyn native claimed to have created the stuffed crust a decade earlier when he was 18 years old and, with his relatives, held a 1987 patent to prove it.