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Pizza

No anchovies – or wheat!

Pizza lovers know crust is a must but those with celiac and other gluten-inspired discomforts have often had to do without (remember “Pizza in a Cup” from the Steve Martin flick The Jerk?). Most substitutes have been epic FAILs and the only thing worse than faux dough is no dough. Recently, however, experiments with non-wheat flours have yielded some pizza-worthy alternatives that have caught on with a variety of regional pizza chains.

Driven more by digestibility of its product for its entire customer base than mere market politics, gluten-free pizza has once seemed like a pain for chains. As awareness of gluten-free dietary needs has blossomed, pizzerias large and small are growing accustomed to making dough in more ways than one.

Among the franchises embracing non-wheat crusts is San Francisco-based Extreme Pizza, which boasts a smattering of locations across the United States as well as (improbably) Ireland. Along with its pies boasting pithy names such as the veggie-centric “Drag It Through the Garden” and a marinated chicken pizza “Poultry Geist,” Extreme Pizza also features gluten-free offeringings in select locations. No word if they too have creative names, though we’ve thought of some for them: “Vladimir Gluten,” named for the former Russian president; or perhaps “The Defeat of Wheat,” a celebratory pizza with everything but sour grapes.

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