I’ve eaten a lot of strange foods for Nerdist over the years. Many I tried specifically because I thought they’d taste terrible and that would make for a fun piece. That possibility was definitely a consideration when I asked the American Pecan Promotion Board and Tony Boloney’s for a sample of their new Thanksgiving holiday-inspired concoction. And though this limited-time item was as strange as I expected, one possibility I didn’t seriously consider was also true: their Pecan Pizza Pie is legitimately good.
The Pecan Pizza Pie is really just a pizza with pecan pie elements. But it does combine both in an unexpected and delicious way. It features a crimped “savory buttermilk pizza crust, a thick bourbon-infused tomato sauce, creamy mozzarella,” and “fennel-dusted pepperoni-flavored pecan” halves. The pizza is then topped with a “spicy balsamic Pecan Pie glaze” after you heat it up.
The crust on this is absolutely perfect and makes me think all pizzas should crimp theirs. The bourbon-infused sauce and mozzarella are also terrific. I would happily eat a pizza with just those ingredients once a week for the rest of my life. Especially because the dough gives you a nice bite without being too thick. But you’re not reading this—nor did I eat this—for a normal pizza review. You and I know this whole endeavor is fundamentally all about the pecans. And that aspect is definitely weird, just not in the way I expected.
The pecan pieces themselves don’t exactly scream “pepperoni-infused” when you eat them by themselves. Alone they’re akin to a sort of sweet smoky BBQ sauce. And yet, they do provide a noticeable pepperoni flavor to the actual pizza. How can those two things both be true? I have no idea, but they are.
What’s also true is that big pecans are really, really strange on pizza. I’ve never had a pizza topping anywhere near as crunchy. Despite eating half of this pizza for lunch (I’m a growing by and I was hungry) that combo of pizza and large nut never got less bizarre. So while the actual flavor profile of the pecans worked, the sensation they provided never did. Of course, that obviously it didn’t stop me from eating or enjoying it.
There were no such issues with the accompanying spicy balsamic Pecan Pie pie glaze. The actual bag it comes in is labelled as “balsamic honey,” and that better captures what it tastes like since there’s not much spice to speak of. That didn’t matter either. I want to buy this glaze by the bucket. (A very large bucket, preferably.) I could drink this stuff by itself. I know because I tried a little as my pie cooked and wanted to chug the whole bag.
I’m sure glad I didn’t, since it goes perfectly with the pizza. I also happily saved the rest to eat with other dishes. Or maybe I’ll just drink it at 3 am. I’ve made worse food decisions.
The ultimate effect of all the combined flavors and elements is exactly what the companies advertise. The Pecan Pizza Pie is a delightful mixx of savory and sweet. That combo just comes with a really weird crunch factor.
(Note: I followed the heating instructions exactly. While the crust cooked perfectly the rest of the pizza was still too cold. I’d recommend using a crust cover so you can cook it for longer without burning the edges.)
I’ve had lots of very strange foods in my life, and this pizza definitely qualifies as one. But it’s not often I genuinely enjoy those unusual dishes. So while I won’t soon (ever?) be ordering pizza topped with pecans or any other nuts, if someone served this pizza to me on Thanksgiving I’d happily eat it again. That was not how I expected to end this review, but I definitely didn’t expect to think it was really good.
You can order the 12-inch Pecan Pizza Pie—which comes with a regular 9-inch pecan pie— from Goldbelly ($99.95). It’s available for a limited-time, with daily restocks until at least Thanksgiving. But if you don’t want to deal with cooking after the holiday, it can stay in your freezer for up to two weeks.
Mikey Walsh is a staff writer at Nerdist. You can follow him on Twitter at @burgermike, and also anywhere someone is ranking the Targaryen kings.