Join 3,440 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


The History of the Pizza Box
July 20, 2011 7:18 AM   Subscribe

The History of the Pizza Box
posted by ShooBoo (32 comments total) 17 users marked this as a favorite

 
Now I want pizza.
posted by Tenacious.Me.Tokyo at 7:21 AM on July 20, 2011 [2 favorites]


Ha! American Scientist just did an article on assorted pizza devices.
posted by griphus at 7:25 AM on July 20, 2011 [2 favorites]


Leaves out the invention of the ubiquitous slogan: "You've tried the rest, now try the best."
posted by machaus at 7:26 AM on July 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


DO NOT TIP DELIVERY BOY
posted by The Whelk at 7:31 AM on July 20, 2011 [2 favorites]


In the traditional story of the pizza box, Tom Monaghan's pizza empire, Domino's, developed the corrugated box in the early 1960s, marking a major advance in pizza technology.

The idea to use cardboard probably sprang from the recipe for Domino's pizza.
posted by Sys Rq at 8:25 AM on July 20, 2011 [15 favorites]


Now we just need to invent a pizza-box-crushing device that will smoosh it into the standard garbage bag, so I don't have to stand it up behind the sink until trash day.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 8:25 AM on July 20, 2011 [2 favorites]


I remember when Little Caesar's put their pizzas on a long piece of cardboard and slipped them into a long, narrow paper bag. This was in the days when their "Pizza pizza" meant 2-for-1. I also remember their pizzas being pretty good back then.
posted by Dr-Baa at 8:41 AM on July 20, 2011 [3 favorites]


I remember the LC pizza bags too! And I loved that "pizza pizza!" guy. But there was never a time when their pizza was good.
posted by DU at 9:05 AM on July 20, 2011 [2 favorites]


I'm also fascinated by the Chinese takeout box. There's a surprising variety of designs; my favourite are the ones with no metal so you can microwave them. And despite being specfically labelled for Chinese food, you see them in all sorts of different cuisines. There's even creepy cultural signifiers; my local Chinese place has Kari-Out boxes whose poor English printed in a ching-chong font seems to scream racism, despite being designed and chosen entirely by Chinese immigrants.
posted by Nelson at 9:05 AM on July 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


But there was never a time when their pizza was good.

I'd eat some of that shit right now.
posted by adamdschneider at 9:11 AM on July 20, 2011 [2 favorites]


Good read, griphus.
posted by BlueHorse at 9:11 AM on July 20, 2011


I'm also fascinated by the Chinese takeout box. . . And despite being specfically labelled for Chinese food, you see them in all sorts of different cuisines.

I'll say. When I was a kid my mother once brought home a budgie in one -- that was how they'd 'packaged' him at the pet store.
posted by Herodios at 9:24 AM on July 20, 2011 [2 favorites]


Who was the comedian who wondered why there was a table for mice in their pizza box?
posted by likeso at 9:26 AM on July 20, 2011


the greenbox linked in the article is pretty cool too
http://www.toxel.com/tech/2009/07/27/innovative-pizza-box-design/
posted by fuzzypantalones at 9:27 AM on July 20, 2011


While we're on the subject, here are a few more food packaging origins.
posted by Oriole Adams at 9:54 AM on July 20, 2011


I'll say. When I was a kid my mother once brought home a budgie in one -- that was how they'd 'packaged' him at the pet store.

Uhh, don't let the cat see that.
posted by Kitty Stardust at 10:03 AM on July 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


Pizza boxes from around the world.
posted by madamjujujive at 10:46 AM on July 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


how do you keep corn tortillas warm and pliant?

The ladies who sell them on my sidewal use tin foil wrapping inside of an ice chest (which is operating in reverse in this capacity.) Tastes great!

I never knew until now, but you the consumer can just BUY those insulated sleeves. I usually get take out pizza from a place that doesn't do delivery (but does pizza that is heavenly and fresh and awesome Nick's Pizza in Costa Mesa fwiw.) I may just invest in one, they're not even that pricey...

http://www.thermalbags.com/
posted by oblio_one at 10:46 AM on July 20, 2011


I also remember their pizzas being pretty good back then.

It's tragic when senility strikes one so young.
posted by entropicamericana at 10:52 AM on July 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


When I was young pizza places used to cook a ball of dough in the middle of the pizza to keep the top of the box from touching the pizza.
posted by beau jackson at 11:07 AM on July 20, 2011


When I delivered in the early 80s, prior to the invention of the "pizza saver" (the little round plastic tripod), we just had super strong cardboard boxes that didn't collapse into the pie. I think the pizza saver has allowed for lesser amounts of cardboard needed, which is good as pizza boxes can't be recycled. I bet the inventor of the pizza saver is super rich by now.
posted by stbalbach at 11:35 AM on July 20, 2011


I also remember their pizzas being pretty good back then.

I worked there when I was like 16, and Little Ceasar's more or less put me off delivery pizza until Papa John's came out.
posted by empath at 11:38 AM on July 20, 2011


I don't remember Little Ceasar's ever delivering. Maybe just 'round here...
posted by Barry B. Palindromer at 11:57 AM on July 20, 2011


No, it didn't, it was carry out, I just remembered. I literally haven't had it in 10 years..
posted by empath at 12:05 PM on July 20, 2011


I'm also fascinated by the Chinese takeout box. There's a surprising variety of designs; my favourite are the ones with no metal so you can microwave them. And despite being specfically labelled for Chinese food, you see them in all sorts of different cuisines. There's even creepy cultural signifiers; my local Chinese place has Kari-Out boxes whose poor English printed in a ching-chong font seems to scream racism, despite being designed and chosen entirely by Chinese immigrants.

Man, Chinese takeout boxes are such a weird leftover thing with so much wrapped up in them. Chinese-American food and restaurants are like that in general, I guess, but the boxes in particular seem to carry so much baggage. They are like this strange totem from the 60s.

-T and I have a joke about how I should bring my lunch to work every day in Chinese takeout boxes. We live in a crazily monolithic area, especially compared to metro DC, where I grew up, and the constant singling out as The Asian is both infuriating and amusing to me (mostly amusing, though). At the same time, the area is liberal and well-educated, and it's funny to see how weirded out people who thought they were doing really well on the social awareness thing can be when faced with a real live minority. Anyway, the idea is that people would come in, see the takeout boxes, and ask if I'm eating Chinese leftovers—and of course it would be meatloaf and mashed potatoes or something. I'd then demand to know why they assumed I was eating Asian food. And then we would have an awkward minute, and then break into a laugh and have hugs and learning all around.

Okay, wait, maybe that isn't the best joke in the world. It seemed good at the time.
posted by peachfuzz at 12:12 PM on July 20, 2011 [4 favorites]


I don't remember Little Ceasar's ever delivering. Maybe just 'round here...

We had delivery Little Ceasars at least briefly in the Pioneer Valley of Massachusetts in the late 90's.
posted by Jahaza at 12:31 PM on July 20, 2011


I had never heard of pizza in a bag, until I saw what is purported to be the very first Pizza Hut commercial.

Sorta related: Ed McMahon makes your pizza for you
posted by evilcolonel at 12:41 PM on July 20, 2011


When I was a youngster (shortly after the Earth's crust had cooled) all of the non-chain pizza places (this was even pre-Domino's....I'm trying to think of the chains other than Dino's....) packaged their pies on a piece of corrugated cardboard slid into a paper bag and stapled shut. As a rule, these types of places didn't always deliver (problems with stacking pizzas, obviously).
posted by Oriole Adams at 12:49 PM on July 20, 2011


All of this is devastating news to the Cup O' Pizza corporation.
posted by ShutterBun at 3:28 PM on July 20, 2011


I haven't gotten a pizza in maybe 10-15 years, but I hope they still come with those little discs in the middle that I would use as Barbie's ottoman (or a coffee table). She wasn't convinced that it was good enough for her dreamhouse, but I'd assure her that it was Ikea chic.
posted by Mael Oui at 8:51 PM on July 20, 2011


I haven't gotten a pizza in maybe 10-15 years

This is close to inconceivable to me unless you have moved to China or become a Carthusian (and in the latter case you wouldn't be posting to Metafilter.)
posted by Jahaza at 9:07 PM on July 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


What's the bit about bacon boxes? Bacon here is shrink wrap/heat sealed from the fridge section or sold fresh wrapped in paper. I've never seen it boxed.
posted by bystander at 1:36 AM on July 21, 2011


« Older The Black Rock Collective released their third zin...  |  Comedian Stewart Lee clarifies... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments