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Eating in

Why we’re stuck with “ye olde pizza box”

Over the past 60-odd years, says Saahil Desai in The Atlantic, man has landed on the moon, rolled out the internet and invented the smartphone. But there’s one thing we haven’t managed to improve: “ye olde pizza box”. Today’s shallow cardboard containers are more or less identical to the ones invented by Domino’s back in 1966. And that sucks, because they’re terrible. By trapping all the steam, pizza boxes essentially create a mini sauna. So the edges turn flaccid and chewy, sauce seeps into the crust, and the cheese congeals into “dollops of rubber”.

It doesn’t have to be this way. “Corporate America and garage inventors alike have sought to pioneer a better box.” There’s one made from compressed sugar fibre, which helps “absorb the errant moisture”. Another is “the Tupperware of pizza containers”: a reusable box studded with ventilation holes. “Even Apple – that Apple – has patented its own round pizza box exclusively for its famished Cupertino office workers.” The problem is cost. None of these “superior” boxes is even close to the price of “simple corrugated cardboard”. Sadly, we’re stuck with a product that makes our pizza taste rubbish.