Before I ever ate my first pizza in a cone, I was convinced I would enjoy it. I am inevitably amused when I encounter normal foods in weird shapes, sizes or colors. I was one of those people who thought purple ketchup was sort of cool.
My first pizza cone was eaten on a windy summer afternoon at a branch of the Italian Pizza Kono chain in Italy a few years back, and I’ll admit it was nostalgia that in part convinced me to skip the gym for a re-taste-test of this curious culinary invention at the Kono “Mania” Pizza branch (somewhere along the line they added “mania”) which recently opened in the food court of the WestEnd City Center mall.
Before I go any further, first the few words about the basic idea of pizza in a cone: the cones are pre-made, much like at an ice cream shop, except from pizza dough. Upon ordering, they are filled with cheese, fillings and baked in a little rotisserie oven. They are then served with a napkin, or in a box if you order four, like we did, already being okay with the overall concept, if not out-and-out pizza coneheads.
We tried the salsiccia (sausage, mozzarella, tomatoes), kaprese (fresh mozzarella, fresh tomatoes, basil), curry chicken (curry chicken, cheese, olives, paprika, onion), and piccante alla verdure (spicy sauce, mozzarella, grilled mixed veggies). With two drinks, the bill came to Ft 2,180 (€8.30).
A pizza cone is easier to eat than either an ice cream cone or a regular slice of pizza, since the fillings stay inside and don’t melt as you eat them. But on the flip side, this poses a problem. With all of the cheese and fillings squished inside, the cones quickly become a bit too soft and greasy – even for the kind of people who like things like pizza cones. I happen to prefer my pizza crusts a little crispy and hoped these pizza cones would be the same. Alas, even if they were, the insides would still have been mushy.
To cut to the chase, the Budapest pizza cones were not quite as good as my Italian pizza cones, and among the new crop the curry cone (about to get in someone’s beard above) was best. It had just the right combination of savory spice without being too salty, and there were plenty of big, tender cubes of chicken. The cone was also not as runny or overly greasy as the other ones. Meanwhile, the worst was the mozzarella cheese put into each one, including the curried chicken. This sajt was so “cheesy” we were left wondering whether it had been squirted in from one of those liquid cheese pumps you always picture bubbling away all day and skinning over when it’s powered down for the night.
While my double shot of mall pizza cones did not transport me back to Italy – and I don’t see skipping the gym anytime soon to try any of the other “flavors” – these things do have certain charms. At Ft 490 a cone, they are significantly cheaper than a single scoop of ice cream at Hungary’s new Häagen-Dazs parlor, and thanks to all that grease and pump-cheese, you won’t even be tempted to have dessert.