Nanny State

Kimchi Pizza?


North Korean Dear Leader Kim Jong Il has accomplished a miracle: Pizza in Pyongyang.

It has taken almost 10 years of work, but North Korea has acquired the technology to launch a project very dear to its leader's heart—the nation's first "authentic" Italian pizzeria.

That's a long time to go without a decent slice, and I feel for the guy. But this is a pretty serious case of reinventing the wheel, no?

For those of you keeping score at home:

  • New York, center of capitalism: 1,520 pizza joints (search pizza and pizzeria here)
  • Pyongyang, communist hermit kingdom: 1 pizza joint

(To be fair, there are those who say it's impossible to get a decent slice outside New York, even in the good old U.S. of A. While I'd submit New Haven pizza as holding its own, I understand the sentiment.)

And the Pyongyang v. New York pizza smack-down above doesn't even take into account per capita figures. New York has 9 million residents. North Korea has 24 million (starving) residents. Thus this charming contrast:

Despite the food shortages high-quality Italian wheat, flour, butter and cheese are being imported to ensure the perfect pizza is created every time.

Via Volokh Conspiracy, where we are reminded of another glorious chapter in North Korean culinary history: "Kim Jong Il's plan to provide pizza for the toiling masses of North Korea seems to have worked out better than his earlier plan to alleviate food shortages by breeding imported giant rabbits, which was aborted when the greedy Dear Leader decided to eat the initial batch of rabbits himself."