Don’t try this at home: W’burg pizzeria serving ‘Pied pods’ inspired by viral detergent-eating challenge • Brooklyn Paper

Don’t try this at home: W’burg pizzeria serving ‘Pied pods’ inspired by viral detergent-eating challenge

Palate cleanser: Sean Berthiaume, co-owner of Vinnie’s Pizzeria in Williamsburg, is serving “Pied pods” — mini-calzones that look like Tide pods — for a limited time at his Bedford Avenue eatery.
Photo by Caleb Caldwell

This pizza will really tide you over!

A Williamsburg pizzeria is serving blue-and-orange slices inspired by the absurd trend among teens to eat candy-colored — and poisonous — pods filled with Tide detergent.

The co-owner of Vinnie’s Pizzeria, an artist known for using the cuisine as his canvas, said he cooked up the idea because he’d rather people stuff their faces with his non-toxic look-alike than put a potentially life-threatening substance near their mouths.

“If the pods look alluring enough to eat, then why don’t I create something people can actually eat?” said Sean Berthiaume, who lives in Greenpoint, where he runs another pizzeria. “It’s all over the news, and it’s all I see on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook. People are going crazy about this.”

Berthiaume’s dish, dubbed “Pied pods,” is more like a mini-calzone stuffed with cheese, pepperoni, and spices that’s wrapped in crispy dough and topped with cheese dyed the same colors as the cleaning product that some kids dare to eat as part of the viral “Tide-pod challenge” on social media.

The detergent-free dish started out as a joke, he said, but the owners of the Bedford Avenue Italian joint decided to sell the Pied pods hot and fresh for a limited time when they got tons of orders after Berthiaume shared a photo of the creation on the eatery’s Instagram account.

“This is not meant to be a culinary revolution, just a fun thing,” he said. “I don’t foresee it becoming a main-menu item, just a pop-up.”

The small bites, made entirely with digestible ingredients, are health-department approved, according to Berthiaume, who is advertising them with the slogan “hope, not soap.”

“I want to go on the record as saying they are 100-percent toxin-free,” the co-owner said. “I hope people don’t actually think I’m trying to endorse people eating soap.”

This isn’t the first time Berthiaume bucked the notion that you shouldn’t play with your food. In May 2016, his pie shop shot to fame when it began serving pizzas inside an edible “box” made from the same cheesy slices. And before that, slices adorned with purple-tinted mozzarella, in honor of the late musician Prince, and pies topped with natural rainbow-colored toppings, to celebrate the Supreme Court’s 2015 ruling that legalized same-sex marriage, became two of customers’ favorite menu items, he said.

“Each one of these things is me just kind of fooling around,” Berthiaume said. “And they all started with me trying to entertain our fans and followers on social media.”

Reach reporter Julianne Cuba at (718) 260–4577 or by e-mail at jcuba@cnglocal.com. Follow her on Twitter @julcuba.
Safe to eat: The orange-and-blue snacks are inspired by the candy-colored, poisonous cleaning product that some teens dare to eat as part of the viral “Tide-pod challenge.”
Vinnie’s Pizzeria

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