Even if you’ve never seen one minute of either the animated or the live-action versions of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, you know that those four amphibious crime-fighters are crazy about pizza. In the weirdly successful 2014 remake, their rat sensei Master Splinter tempted them with the world’s most unbelievable pizza. “Cheesemongers have speculated of its existence for centuries,” he hissed. “DaVinci’s original masterpiece! I submit to you…the 99-Cheese Pizza!”
Although Donatello called that pie “a culinary impossibility,” nope, Australian pizzamaker Johnny di Francesco brought it to life in his Melbourne restaurant. And, in a development that would knock the Ninja Turtles’ shells sideways, an even cheesier pizza was just baked in Berlin, Germany.
The Pizza Centoundici Formaggi, as its creators named it, set an official Guinness World Record for the Greatest Variety of Cheese on a Pizza. Its mountain of cheese weighed in at 288.6 grams (10.2 ounces), and each kind of cheese was carefully added in 2.6 gram portions, because the crust was only slightly larger than a standard pizza with, like, three cheeses.
The pizza was baked at a special event held by the Vadoli Italian restaurant, pizza delivery service Pizza.de, and an entertainment company. According to Guinness, the carefully curated cheese selection included “a mixture of classic and speciality cheeses,” including Emmental, Comté and Leicestershire Red. (“Each piece tastes different!” one Centoundici Formaggi-eater told the record-keepers).
Pizza seems to be a popular vehicle for would-be Guinness World Record holders (and record breakers); the company has a long list of pizza-themed achievements on its website – although after we’ve topped the 100-cheese barrier, what else can possibly be accomplished? Because they’ll probably just shut the Pizza Department down after this, here are four other noteworthy records:
World’s longest pizza
Last June, a group of 55 pizza pros and more than 150 volunteers joined forces at the Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California to build this record-setting pizza that stretched more than 6,333 feet in length and involved 17,700 pounds of dough, 5,000 pounds of tomato sauce and 3,900 pounds of mozzarella cheese. According to LA Weekly, it was ultimately sliced into 63,000 servings, most of which were donated to local homeless shelters.
World’s largest pizza
An otherwise uneventful Thursday became Italy’s proudest moment since it won the 2006 World Cup, because on that December day, it reclaimed the record for the world’s largest pizza (or it would have been Italy’s proudest day if it weren’t for the country’s apparent aversion ‘healthy’ pizza). The gluten-free crust had a total surface area of 1261.65 square meters and was topped with 19,800 pounds of mozzarella. (It was also so ginormous that it had to be baked in 5,234 separate batches over the course of two days). “’We named the pizza Ottavia to symbolize the hope of a great economic and cultural revival,” head chef Dovilio Nardi said. “We wanted it to be a symbol of good luck for the recovery of all countries, using the iconic pizza.”
World’s highest pizza toss
In addition to being the biggest mall in America, Minnesota’s Mall of America has been the site of several Guinness World Records. For some reason, people went there to set records for the most number of people playing in the same handbell choir (664), the most people tying their shoes at the same time (252) and the most Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles in one place (836 – and, hey, isn’t this where we came in?). On April 20, 2006, Joe Carlucci set a world record for the highest pizza toss, launching a 20-ounce slab of dough 21 feet and 5 inches into the air.
World’s largest collection of pizza boxes
New Yorker Scott Wiener has literally written the book (or at least a book) on pizza boxes and, as of last March, he had amassed a collection of almost 1,000 pizza boxes from 55 different countries. He’s nearly doubled the 595 boxes that he had in October 2013 when he set a world record for having the biggest collection of empty pie boxes. When he’s not alphabetizing them – or whatever one does with pizza boxes – he runs Scott’s Pizza Tours, a group that gives, um, pizza tours of New York City.
Yeesh, where’s Master Splinter when you need him? I’m freaking starving right now.