Arts, Culture & Media

Where does the perfect pizza box come from? Try India

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Scott Wiener's current favorite pizza box is the VENTiT from India, which allows "crust-damaging steam to escape without sacrificing necessary heat."

Credit:

Photo courtesy of Melville House Publishing

Scott Wiener describes himself as a professional pizza enthusiast.

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He leads pizza tours in New York. He writes for a pizza magazine. And he’s the author of "Viva la Pizza—The Art of the Pizza Box."

Wiener has 650 pizza boxes in his Brooklyn apartment.

650!

The boxes come from about 45 different countries.

“A pizza box has several challenges,” he says. “It has to transport the pizza efficiently and easily without it being damaged. It also has to retain heat—you can’t deliver a pizza that’s cold. It also has to get rid of moisture, because if moisture gets trapped inside the box you get a soggy crust.”

Most pizza boxes, says Wiener, don’t attempt to deal with the full range of these challenges. But some do.

His current favorite is a box from India, the Ventit, that manages to release steam while still retaining heat.

Weiner’s collection began through his own travels in the US and Italy.

But, as it grew, friends and acquaintances began sending him boxes from all over the world, including an “Octobox” from Brazil; a box with a detachable coffin from New Zealand’s Hell Pizza (“for your remains”); and a prototype for an inflatable pizza ring from Denmark: “It’s ridiculous,” says Wiener. “You need a pump to inflate it.”

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    A pizza box illustration by the artist Luca Ciancio.

    Credit:

    Photo courtesy of Melville House Publishing

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    Hell's Pizza, in New Zealand, features a box with a perforated central section.

    Credit:

    Photo courtesy of Melville House Publishing

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    The central section becomes a coffin "for your remains."

    Credit:

    Photo courtesy of Melville House Publishing

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    Domino's Japan created this box in 2013, which pairs with an iPhone app to animate the central character, Hatsune Miku.

    Credit:

    Photo courtesy of Melville House Publishing

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    According to Scott Wiener, Norwegians eat more pizza per capita than residents of any other country.

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    Photo courtesy of Melville House Publishing

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    A pizza box from Havana, Cuba.

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    Photo courtesy of Melville House Publishing

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    A box from Adelaide, Australia.

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    Photo courtesy of Melville House Publishing

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    Scott Wiener packs hundreds of pizza boxes from around the world into his Brooklyn apartment.

    Credit:

    Alex Gallafent

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    "Professional pizza enthusiast" Scott Wiener with his current favorite, the VENTiT box from India.

    Credit:

    Alex Gallafent

  • Pizza_p112.jpg

    Scott Wiener's current favorite pizza box is the VENTiT from India, which allows "crust-damaging steam to escape without sacrificing necessary heat."

    Credit:

    Photo courtesy of Melville House Publishing

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    A standard two-tone American pizza box.

    Credit:

    Photo courtesy of Melville House Publishing