Pretty much everybody loves pizza—but it’s unlikely you’ve ever have had it the way David Garcia is serving it up in Guatemala.
Garcia, a 34-year-old accountant, began serving pizza with a unique twist back in 2013. While the dish is generally made in an oven, he began baking his special “Pacaya Pizza” on the sizzling, 300°C (572°F) rocks surrounding Guatemala’s Pacaya volcano—and now cooks it on actual, active lava flows.
“Many people today come to enjoy the experience of eating pizza made on volcanic heat,” Garcia told a local publication.
Pacaya volcano towers at an imposing 8,200 feet, just south of Guatemala City, the country’s capital. The volcano started erupting back in 1961, and has remained active to this day—including two significant eruptions in March of this year. While most people would do their best to steer clear of this veritable magma geyser, however, Garcia saw an opportunity to make one of the world’s most popular dishes in a totally unprecedented way.
“I didn’t sell much the first few days,” he admitted.
Garcia’s process is—with the exception of the setting—pretty straightforward.
He puts the pizza dough on a special baking sheet that can withstand temperatures to 1,000°C (1800°F), applies the requisite layer of sauce and a liberal dusting of cheese, veggies, and meat, then places the pizza on the lava—while decked out in special, heat-resistant gear, of course.
A matter of minutes later, it’s ready to eat—that is, once it’s cooled down.
While cooking pizza near the caldera of an active volcano certainly comes with its fair share of risks, it sounds like an unforgettable dining experience for those lucky enough to try it.
“Having a pizza cooked in the embers of a volcano is mind-blowing and unique in the whole world,” said Felipe Aldana, a tourist who recently tried Garcia’s famous Pacaya pizza (via Forbes).