What holiday gift do you get for the food lover who has everything? Perhaps a slice of Forever Pizza. No, it's not edible; it's art made by sealing an actual slice of pizza inside an acrylic box. Slices are being sold for $200 each, and you get your pick of pepperoni pizza or plain cheese.
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The oddly charming food art is the brainchild of artist Steph Mantis, who began the project as a submission to a 2012 art show about weapons. Mantis's inspiration? If someone broke into her house in the middle of the night, she'd grab a slice of pizza and throw it like a ninja star at the intruder to defend herself. Since she couldn't display the slice on its own, she encased it in plastic. Pieces in Mantis' first series were pepperoni pizza slices embedded in triangular-shaped acrylic, as reported by Laughing Squid. The ones she's now selling are in rectangular cases.
Since then, Mantis says she's received thousands of inquiries from people who want their very own pizza art to gaze upon for a lifetime. "It seems to cover the full spectrum of human experience," she told The Daily Meal in an interview. "Some want to memorialize someone, and others have said they want to propose to their partner with it. From beginning to end, pizza brings people together."
It's been so popular that the first and second batches sold out; anyone buying it now will have to wait until early 2019 to receive one. Recent buyers include the Chicago-based U.S. Pizza Museum, which chimed in on Mantis' Instagram, "We can't wait to display one in our collection!"
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Mantis is quick to reassure visitors to her site that this isn't prop pizza. It's real - and it looks it. "Part of what makes this interesting is that it is real food," she told us. "It's more convincing because it looks a bit dry and old... IT IS!!!"
Lest you think she's just slapped any old slice into an acrylic prism and called it a gift, there's actually a family connection to the Italian standby. Mantis' father makes the slices himself at his pizzeria Pizza By Alex in Biddeford, Maine.
If you're holiday shopping for a pizzaholic, Mantis also sells a black t-shirt with the words "Pepperoni & Onion & Sausage & Mushroom & Cheese" in white text and a Foreveroni brass necklace. The jewelry is not made of actual pepperoni; we suspect that would be weird even for a dedicated pizza lover.
We think it's safe to say that any lover of a gooey, cheesy slice who receives the gift of Forever Pizza would be honored. Imagine the conversations it would start! If all this pizza talk has whetted your appetite for the real thing, you may want to order one of the 101 best pizzas in America.