Every year or so the world likes to spend a day or two panicking over overreach in vending machine technology. Most of us associate vending machines with pre-packaged snacks and drinks, but then there are the stories of those awful boxes with oysters, crabs, burritos and freshly-fried Belgian fries buzzing in them. The reaction is generally gawking at the disgusting miracle. We can make fresh, hot food out of a box, and it’s awful.
Most recently, this cycle of anger revolved around a pizza machine in Rome, created by Massimo Bucolo, whom the describes as „a medical device seller turned pizza entrepreneur”. The machine called Mr. Go makes fresh pizza from scratch – the machine mixes flour and water, presses it into a slice, and coats it with sauce and cheese and some limited toppings of the customer’s choice – in three minutes. And his presence has led to feverish cultural reports from the Times, CNN, Food & Wine, and more about what it all means and what uncultured rubes might even consider this pizza?
Of course, Bucolo doesn’t even try to sell the machine everywhere as a replacement for all pizzerias. He basically says that for drunk people to grab a hot bite when all the regular pizzerias are closed, it’s a step up from a frozen supermarket cake that you would reheat at home. “We have no excuse or arrogance to consider our product to be equivalent to or better than a pizza from a pizzeria,” he said The newspaper. „Our mission is to offer a valid alternative in the world of food.”
It’s almost delightful to see news outlets quote locals and pizzeria owners condemn the machine as if it actually posed a threat to everyone. Just like the oyster machine didn’t kill the dollar oyster hpy hour, or vending machines in general didn’t kill restaurants, no one goes to the pizza machine with the impression that this is the beginning of the end for pizzaiolos. We have the data and it just isn’t!
However, some of the fear is understandable. All machine work carries the specter of „job replacement,” and at a time when unemployment is high but workers also refuse to take low-paying, exploitative jobs, some may fear perseverance for better pay means Domino just gets a robot instead.
But the other reason for this panic is that machine pizzas or burritos or cupcakes are tasteless. Which is just exhausting and not the point. Of course, it’s not the best pizza in the world or traditional or authentic or one of those dog-whistle buzzwords that people use to make them feel morally superior in their decisions. Yes, quick, mass production is often bad for many reasons, but taste isn’t one of them, and a vending machine is hardly a McDonald’s supply chain. In any case, this machine sounds great. Put one in my house, please.