A New York pizzeria is hoping to combat the dangerous “Tide Pod challenge” craze by offering a delicious, nontoxic alternative.
Vinnie’s Pizzeria in Brooklyn, New York, on Thursday unveiled the “pied pod,” a calzone-like dish stuffed with pepperoni, mozzarella and ricotta. Mozzarella cheese strips and some food coloring create the distinctive orange-and-blue swirl of the Tide laundry detergent pods.
Pied pods were created in response to viral videos showing young people ingesting brightly colored Tide detergent pods. It’s not clear what sparked the trend, but poison control centers are already reporting that dozens of teenagers have intentionally exposed themselves to highly concentrated liquid detergent this year.
Vinnie’s Pizzeria co-owner Sean Berthiaume told HuffPost that the idea for the pied pods came to him in a dream. He sees the new dish as a tongue-in-cheek response to an “absolutely ridiculous” trend that he hopes will soon fizzle out.
“It’s hard to believe that people are actually eating these things and talking about it so much,” he said. “If you have any desire to put something swirly and blue in your mouth, you should try [pied pods], because they won’t poison you.”
Berthiaume said he’ll even add different ingredients if requested or prepare a vegan version.
The pied pods are available through the weekend, and only at the Vinnie’s Pizzeria in the Williamsburg neighborhood. Berthiaume said he’ll make the pied pods “as long as people keep requesting them,” but plans to discontinue the dish once the controversy around the Tide Pod challenge dies down.
And if Berthiaume has his way, that’ll be sooner rather than later.
“I don’t want people to keep eating soap,” he said.