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Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Pizza Expo 2012 Wait There's A Pizza Expo?

What's going to give the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles boners? Pizza Expo. Yes, Pizza Expo the international expo on all thing pizza and pizza related. Pizza Expo took place as it's usual spot in Las Vegas, March 13-15 at the Las Vegas Convention Center. Being right next door to Amusement Expo. I had to stop by as did many others from Amusement Expo as both fit together in the ecosystem of going outside for entertainment. Many people enjoy eating  pizza while being at the arcade as did I in a much larger scale last weekend. Multiple booths were showing off their newest pizza creations, nothing that crazy mind you, but mustard and mayo didn't please me that much. What did was circling the expo like on the rim of a large pizza and going 360 all around munching, talking, and more munching.

All the pizzas were good, I couldn't pick a winner out of how many different one there were too choose. What really baked me and made me crisp was the Pizza Games! The World Pizza Games was a competition showing of how well you could twirl pizza dough. That was one category in the competition as it lasted a few days over the expo with some amazing stunts you'll see below.

 Kazuya Akaogi won in the Individual Acrobatic Division, followed by Nick Diesslin and Ingrosso Sigmonein third place. The stunts they pulled off by merely twirling dough brought me back to my Ninja Turtle days as the stunts they did were so crazy they were cartoonish. The World Pizza Games going on at Pizza Expo aren't even the championships which are held in Italy.

The World Pizza Games is strangely not covered by Food Network or the Cooking Channel. I though maybe one of them would show up to cover all the different pizzas. The style and flavor with dough being thrown to the audience makes it a fun sport to see get made. I just wish in the end they had some more off the dough made into pizza for the audience to eat. There's just something wonderful about seeing people making so large a pizza pie that the dough starts to engulf them as the toss it in the air.

I must have munched down to many as you could treat yourself to so many different brands and styles. Pizzas, pizzas galore as I shot through the expo tasting to may delicious brands of the warmed cheese. Tomato sauces, whole tables of tomato sauces. New equipment for a faster way to mass produce pizza. Meats of all sorts, fresh flour and fresh ingredients.

If you were in the pizza making business you were there learning new ways to make pizza or to help your business grow. Finding the new products or ingredients to get you business moving. There was even a section of the delivery bags used and eco friendly versions of them.

It's not pizza, but Jelly Belly was introducing it's new line of drinks including a lemon slurpee that cooled everyone at the expo. Water dispensers should be part of any expo from now on. Forgot water when your munching pizza. It's a perfect combo, but it just started. I hope to see some Jelly Belly slurpee machines and other drinks come to LA.

Jelly Belly was only one of many companies that cater to the pizza industry. There were those small companies you don't think of too. Magnet ads and a promo signs to get your pizza's well known. A costume that blew up making strangely large pizza man waving hello. Salad and restaurant services like Restaurant Depot.

I was not prepared for how amazing the expo would be it's one of the best expos I've been to with so much to offer anyone who wants to start or increase their pizza business. With a great community, who would think you'd see Pizza commandos and so many Italian chefs?  Pizza Expo couldn't be don with out Pizza Today which I found to be the the magazine on all things Pizza, so pick it up with you slice of pie pizza purveyors. Darn, now I'm hungry for Pizza and know way too many ways and places to get it. Pizza, pizza everywhere I need to go on a diet.

 more photos after the break