After newly minted Papa John’s board member Shaquille O’Neal “secretly” unveiled a sneak-peek in a Twitter video over the summer, Papa John’s has now officially announced the arrival of the “Papadia.” The $6 lunch item is made like a flatbread pizza but folded like a quesadilla and will be available at all Papa John’s locations all day long starting Feb. 3.
"Remember the name 'Papadia,’ It's gonna be a big one,” O’Neal says in the “secret footage” he took at a Papa John’s board meeting in August.
The “Papadia” — Papa John's first foray into the lunch daypart — comes in four different varieties: Italian (made with Alfredo sauce, spicy Italian sausage, salami, mozzarella, and banana peppers), Philly Cheesesteak (sliced steak, peppers, onions, mozzarella and “Philly sauce”), Grilled BBQ Chicken and Bacon (grilled chicken, onions, bacon, mozzarella, and bbq sauce), and Meatball Pepperoni (spicy meatballs, pepperoni, pizza sauce, mozzarella, and Italian seasoning). Each Papadia sandwich comes with a unique dipping sauce.
Although it looks and sounds like quesadilla, the “Papadia” was inspired by the piadina, an Italian flatbread sandwich derived from the historic Romagna area of Northern Italy. The piadina is traditionally made with lard, olive oil, salt, and flour and cooked on a griddle.
“The Papadia combines the original Papa John’s crust people crave along with fresh toppings, making it the best of both worlds – it’s both a pizza and a sandwich,” Paul Fabre, senior vice president of product innovation at Papa John’s said in a statement. “The Papadia is great for people on the go who are looking to mix up their traditional lunch routine.”
This is not the first new item Papa John’s has introduced recently. In November, the Louisville, Ky.-based pizza company unveiled the new Garlic Parmesan crust, the brand’s first original dough flavor in 35 years. At the time, new CEO-president Rob Lynch said that the company had, “literally taken the guardrails off the innovation team” when it comes to creating new menu items and limited-time offers.
And apparently there’s more where that came from: in a news release, Papa John’s hinted that more new menu items would be revealed later in 2020, although the company would not elaborate further.
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