The Japanese do pizza their own way—soft-boiled eggs and ham, potatoes and mayonnaise, shrimp and mayonnaise. It’s their country, they have that right, and pizza, after all, lends itself to wild experimentation.

But you’d think they’d leave the classic Margherita alone. Why try to improve on perfection?

Just don’t tell that to Pizza Hut Japan.

As Sora News 24 reports, the chain has introduced the Super New Star Umegherita, which is also billed as a “Japanese Margherita.” And it’s different from the classic Italian pie in almost every way possible.

The star of the Super New Star Umegherita is the ume, or Japanese plum. Every slice of the pie gets topped with a whole pickled plum (umeboshi), specifically the Shirara, a type of Kishunanko plum grown in Wakayama. Pizza Hut reportedly settled on that variety after partnering with umeboshi stand Tachigui Umeboshiya, located in Tokyo, and testing about 300 varieties of pickled Japanese plums.

The Shirara plums are known for their thick skin, a plump, meaty texture and sweet and sour notes in the juice.

For cheese, Pizza Hut Japan went with a blend of mozzarella and gouda, then drizzled it with a pink ume sauce for more plum flavor. The chain also added oba, which is a Japanese version of basil.

Pizza Hut Japan will offer the specialty pizza through June 12 for 2,600 yen or $16.75. For 3,500 yen, customers can pair the Umegherita with a regular Margherita and compare and contrast.

Food & Ingredients