Harry Kersh: From calorie count to portion sizes, we wanted to find out all the differences between US and UK Papa John’s. This is “Food Wars.” In the UK, our sizes start at small. Ours is 9.5 inches across with a surface area of 71 square inches.
Joe Avella: Our small pizza comes in at 10 inches, which is 78.5 square inches of pizza. Harry: Next up, we have our medium pizza. It’s 11.5 inches across with a surface area of 103.8 square inches. Joe: Our large, 14 inches, which is 153.
9 square inches. Harry: Finally, for some reason, we skip extra large and go straight to extra-extra large. This one’s 15.5 inches across with a surface area of 188.7 square inches. Joe: We didn’t skip the extra large.
16 inches, right here. That’s 201 square izzos of pizzo. Our extra large is bigger than your extra-extra large! In your face, Harry. Harry: In the UK, a small cheese pizza will cost you £11.99, which is around $15.
54. That’s a price per square inch of 21.8 cents. Joe: Small in the US, $9.49, which is about 12 cents per square inch. I know I got a small, but apparently they’re also doing small peppers with the small pizzas.
Look how small this is. Skimping on the peppers, eh, Papa? Harry: An XXL cheese pizza in the UK will cost you around $23.32, which is a price of 12.3 cents per square inch. Joe: USA’s extra large, $15.
49. That cannot be right. Sprinkle a little math on that. That’s 7.7 cents per square inch. That is so cheap. Harry: So, what can we take away from this? Well, in both countries, the more pizza you buy, the cheaper it gets.
In the US, the price per square inch of a small is 55% more than an extra large. And in the UK, it shoots up to a huge 77% more. Joe: I mean, it makes sense, right? I mean, that’s how they get you. They pretty much are tricking you into getting more pizza ’cause it’s cheaper per square inch.
So you’re going, “Oh, I’ll just get the extra large instead.” And then a year later you’re fat. [laughs] Whoops. It was such a good deal! Harry: It is worth noting that painful price is kind of rare in the UK.
We got, like, a 40%-off deal because we spent a certain amount of money. Basically, if you’re paying full price in the UK, you’re really not getting the best value for money. Joe: I’m on their website right now, and it looks like, yeah, they have endless “specials,” or deals, for pretty much every combination you want to get.
Large one-topping pizza, any two sides, two large pizzas. I’m assuming what Papa John’s does is have all types of deals and codes and promotions that whatever you get when you order Papa John’s was probably a deal for you.
So you probably are never paying full price. Harry: In the UK, an extra-extra-large cheese pizza is cut into 12 slices. Each of these 12 slices is 268 calories, which brings the total to a whopping 3,218 calories.
Joe: In the US, our extra large is cut into 10 slices. That means each slice has roughly 300 calories. And there is no possible way you’re eating this pizza without the sauce. [hands slapping] Whew! Harry: What about the most calorific thing on the menu? In the UK, it’s a sausage and pepperoni pizza.
Now, for an XXL version of this pizza, each slice is 355 calories. That brings the total to 4,260 calories. Joe: In the US, if you’re going for most calories, it’s a tie between the meats pizza and the pepperoni, sausage, and three cheese pizza.
This used to be John’s favorite. They changed the name. They took his name off of it when he left. I wonder what happened to that guy? [laughs] Each pizza is roughly 410 calories per slice. And since it’s 10 slices per pizza, that is a whopping 4,100 calories per pizza.
Ha! Harry: So, despite the average pizza sizes being smaller in the UK, the pizzas themselves are actually more calorific. Who knew? Now, despite Papa John’s motto being, “Better ingredients. Better pizza,” they don’t actually make their full ingredients list available in the UK.
We did reach out to them to see if they’d make an exception for us, but at the time of shooting this, unfortunately we haven’t heard back. Joe: Now, because we can’t get the UK Papa John’s ingredients list, we’re gonna tweak this section a little bit.
We’re gonna compare the US Papa John’s ingredients to another very popular fast-food pizza chain, Domino’s. Let’s get Domino’s dough ingredients on the screen. [bell dings] OK. Now let’s compare that with the Papa John’s US dough ingredients.
Unbleached enriched wheat flour, water, sugar, soybean oil, salt, yeast. And that’s it. How hilarious is that? See? Doesn’t need to be a whole chemistry lab. OK. I gotta give Papa John’s props. That’s really great.
They say fresher ingredients, and they mean it. I like that. Harry: Here is everything you can only find on the menu at a UK Papa John’s. Joe: And these are all the USA-exclusive items you can get at Papa John’s.
Harry: Let’s start with the pizzas. So, in front of me, I have three pizzas. And across these three, we’ve covered pretty much all of the items you can only find on the menu at a UK Papa John’s. So, what I have right in front of me here is a pizza with a butternut squash base.
Now, this is on the menu as a gluten-free alternative to traditional doughs. Then the pizzas outside of that, as you can see, have a stuffed crust, which is just the classic crust but then folded over and filled with a kind of cheesy, garlicky mix, which is really, really good.
Joe: This right here is a pizza consisting of only the toppings and crust that you can get in the US. We have the Parmesan cheese, garlic-crusted crust. Crusted crust! Harry: Now, from there, you can also customize the base sauce.
So instead of the tomato sauce on this one, we have an amarillo chili sauce. Joe: I was not aware of this until recently, but apparently at a Papa John’s in the United States, you can substitute the tomato sauce for ranch.
And I did exactly that, because there’s nothing more American then ranch dressing. Harry: Papa John’s in the UK actually offers quite a few vegetarian and vegan options. For example, again, on this pizza, instead of the classic mozzarella-blend cheese, we have a vegan “sheese,” which is a cheese alternative that’s friendly for vegans.
So, in the UK, you can top your pizza with anchovies, with tuna, with tandoori chicken, with spicy beef, and also some fake meat alternatives such as vegan pepperoni and also a vegan sausage. Finally, we have a couple of vegetarian toppings.
For example, on this pizza, we have some red chilies, and on this pizza, we have feta cheese and sweet corn. Joe: Cheese. We did do the Parmesan Romano and the three-cheese blend, which is provolone, fontana, fontania, fontawhatever, and Asiago cheeses.
Salami, Canadian bacon, the Philly cheesesteak stuff, spinach, and also, of course, banana peppers. I don’t know what it is with banana peppers. They’re suddenly on everything. I don’t get it. All right.
[sighs] Here we go. All right. Positive mental attitude. PMA. I’m about to have the USA Only. No, I do not like that. I’ll admit it’s growing on me. I wouldn’t pick the ranch sauce. I would stick with tomato.
But yeah, not bad. Harry: Oh, God. That’s not good. [laughs] Oh, man. Don’t, don’t order this. Don’t order the UK-only pizza. Moving swiftly on from the UK-only pizza, here are some sides you can only find on the menu at a UK Papa John’s.
We’ve got some vegan cauliflower wings. It’s basically just small pieces of cauliflower that are breaded and fried, and then you can kind of dip them in a sauce of your choice. Just a nice chicken-wing alternative for vegetarians.
Here we’ve got some chicken poppers. Now, I think these are available in the US, but the one that’s exclusive to the UK is the tandoori chicken spice one, which is just pieces of chicken breaded and fried with an Indian spice blend.
Here we’ve got some tater tots, which I’m surprised you guys can’t get in the US, ’cause these aren’t really a thing in the UK, but here we can get tater tots. You can get them with cheese like we have here, or you can also get them with cheese and bacon.
And then finally, again, surprising you don’t have these in the US, these are some jalapeño poppers. Just kind of mini jalapeños, breaded, fried, with some cheese inside. Now, I’m super excited to try these.
These are Marmite Scrolls. What it is, is kind of pieces of dough rolled up with some cheese and some Marmite in the middle of them. Now, Joe, if you’ve never had Marmite, it sounds gross, ’cause it’s actually — Joe: Harry, yes, I actually in fact have had Marmite.
It was a while ago in college. I lived briefly with a British guy, he had a jar of it. I did try it once. I don’t remember exactly how it tasted, but I do recall comparing it to the taste of vomit. So suffice to say, I’m in the “not fan of Marmite” category.
So far, the Papa John’s sides game is pretty strong. Now, for wings, we have a honey chipotle wing sauce. Garlic knots. Oh, man! Ugh! Dude, this thing is drenched in their butter. I’m confused by this next USA-only thing.
It is called a Papadia. I mean, it’s a calzone, but for some reason they’re calling it a Papadia, which I assume is a playoff of quesadilla. Yeah, look, it’s just a pizza that they cut and folded over, right? Moving on! These look good.
[hands slapping] These look right up my alley. These are the jalapeño popper rolls and ranch. Forgot, we also got breadsticks! Here are some US-exclusive sauces: spicy garlic, ranch, of course, honey mustard, blue cheese, regular cheese.
And you can also get, big surprise, a side of banana peppers. Also, side of jalapeños. And I was as surprised as anyone to see, also in the US, you can get these. Side of anchovies. [bell dings] Harry: Finally, for those of you with a sweet tooth, Papa John’s in the UK has a few exclusive desserts.
Sides, we have some chocolate scrolls on my right, and some cinnamon scrolls on my left. And then finally we have some Ben and Jerry’s. Papa John’s in the UK is kind of like a Ben and Jerry’s licensed vendor, which is quite cool.
And then also we can get some milkshakes here, which are a brand called F’real, and they’re not bad. Joe: And for dessert, the one thing we got that you don’t have, UK, cinnamon pull-aparts. Again, apologies.
It’s been sitting for a while. Dude, yes to these. I guess I’m not supposed to, I mean, I don’t have to try everything, but I’m kind of curious, right? Oh, boy.