Valentine’s Day approaches fast, and hearts are everywhere. Pretty much any kind of food that can be fashioned in the shape of a heart has been (though some foodstuffs lend themselves easily to this sort of thing). Pizza is a natural, so it’s not surprising that the Papa Murphy’s people created a heart-shaped pizza for the season — under the playful name the HeartBaker™.

Their press release from two days ago:

HeartBaker Pizza returns to Papa Murphy’s

Papa Murphy’s has brought back its HeartBaker Pizza just in time for Valentine’s Day.

“There’s already enough pressure to impress on Valentine’s Day – leave the work to us,” said Carron Harris, vice president of product development at Papa Murphy’s. “The HeartBaker starts with our fresh dough that’s formed into a heart and topped with freshly grated cheese and loads of pepperoni. We keep the mess, you take it and enjoy the home baked aroma and minimal clean-up. Now that says ‘Happy Valentine’s Day.'” (link)

First, on the name. This nicely combines heart (the pizza is in the form of a heart) and baker (alluding to its preparation: Papa Murphy’s does all the work up to the last step, and then you bake the thing at home, in your own oven). The echo of heartbreaker is a bit unfortunate, though. (Digression: an amazing number of songs have been written with this title — see a list here — though I seem to have only one of them, written by Geoff Gill and Clint Wade and recorded in 1979 by Pat Benatar.)

Then, on the food. Papa Murphy’s calls it take-n-bake pizza: you take it from the store and bake it at home. (The label echoes the rhyming trade name Shake ‘n Bake — see here — and falls in with a large number of other X-n-Y trade names, including some that are alliterative rather than rhyming, for instance Pick ‘n Pay as a name for markets in Ohio, South Africa, and Australia.)

That brings me to a taxonomy of types of prepared food that you can buy in a store:

things you buy cold, to eat cold at home (salads, most sandwiches, etc.);

things you buy hot, as take-home (many pizzas, especially by the slice);

things you buy cold and then heat up at home (canned soups, fish sticks, etc.; some pizzas fall into this category);

things you buy cold and semi-prepared and then finish preparing at home (a range here, from cake mixes and pizza “kits” like those made by Chef Boyardee, where assembly as well as cooking is required, to cookie dough and take-and-bake pizzas, which require little more than cooking).

These various types of prepared food seem to have no standard labels; the taxa are unlabeled, though the distinctions are obviously important in everyday life (unless you’re someone who makes everything from scratch).

(Then there are left-overs, like the left-over pizza I had, cold, for breakfast this morning.)

For more ways of celebrating Valentine’s Day, see my posting — very much XXX-rated — on “Happy Valentine’s Gay”, here. And, on a sweeter, more domestic note, I observe that February 14th is a special day in my family: it’s my daughter’s birthday, and Jacques’s and my wedding-equivalent anniversary, as recognized by the City of Palo Alto:

(We actually took November 11 — National Coming-Out Day — as our anniversary day, so as not to get in the way of Elizabeth’s birthday.)

One Response to “Valenpizza”

  1. James Akita Says:

    I came up with the name “HeartBaker” as part of an online contest. I think that colloquially, the association with the word “heartbreaker” is not always negative, such as as when used to describe an attractive person, though I understand the point you make. I did think about that as I was coming up with potential submission ideas, and decided that it was still pretty good.

    Thanks for taking note of the name!

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