Typically, when a pizza comes out of the oven and the crust is black, it means you messed up.
But several Italian restaurants in the US are now selling black pizza on purpose — and not because they’re trying to foist off damaged pies on unsuspecting customers.
The newest trend in the pizza world sees chefs adding charcoal to the dough, so the crust comes out of the oven with a dark black color.
Black is the new black: Italian restaurants like Olivella in New Jersey are now selling pizza with charcoal in the crust
The deal: Activated charcoal, also called activated carbon, is mixed into the dough
That sounds like the pizza is just burnt, or else chefs are purposefully adding burnt ash to the crust — but that’s not the case.
Activated charcoal (also called activated carbon) as a food and drink ingredient has been becoming increasingly popular in recent years, with health food shops and spas adding it to their offerings.
According to WebMD, some people swear by the ingredient to reduce high cholesterol and prevent gas, though its effectiveness in those arenas hasn’t been widely studied.
Some proponents say it traps toxins — and unlike the charcoal used in a grill, this kind doesn’t have chemicals and toxins of its own (rather, it’s like the kind used in water filtration systems like Brita).
It’s thought to lower cholesterol and also absorb toxins (pictured: pizza at Masseria, a Toronto pizzeria)
Eat up: The pizza is not burnt, though some say it has a slightly smoky taste
In addition to the charcoal lemonade and charcoal lattes that have been popping up, pizza places are now getting in on the action.
Masseria, a Toronto pizzeria, has been selling a black pizza crust for a while — and it’s a hit.
‘The black carbon pizza dough tastes amazing,’ wrote one Yelp reviewer, while several others described it as surprisingly light.