Pizza saver

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A plastic pizza saver
Pizza in a box, with a pizza saver

A pizza saver or package saver (sometimes referred to as pizza table, pizza Ottoman, or pizza nipple) is an object used to prevent the top of a food container, such as a pizza box or cake box, from collapsing in at the center and touching the food inside.[1]

History[edit]

A pizza saver is made of plastic and has three (sometimes four) legs. They are often white, and the common practice is to place one pizza saver in the center of the pizza before the box lid is closed for delivery. The pizza saver is not re-used and is typically discarded by the patron, although some people have found secondary uses for them [2] such as egg holders when turned upside down.[1]

In 1985, Carmela Vitale of Dix Hills, New York, was issued a patent for a plastic 3-legged tripod stool that would sit in the middle of the box and keep the top from sagging into pizza, cakes or other foods kept in a box.[1][3] Vitale called her invention a "package saver" and used that term also as the title of her patent, but it has since been renamed the "pizza saver" since that has become its most common use.[1] The patent (#4,498,586) was filed on February 10, 1983, and issued on February 12, 1985.[4]

A patent for the same device, named "SEPI" ("guardapizza" or "Cosito de la pizza") , was filed in 1974 (10 years earlier) in Buenos Aires, Argentina, by Claudio Daniel Troglia but the patent was not renewed.[5][6]

Variations on the device have since been invented by other people, such as a disposable plastic spatula whose handle holds the box top up; and a plastic tripod, like the designs by Vitale and Troglia, but with one of the legs serrated like a knife, making for easy cutting of stuck cheese and bread. [1] Some pizzerias have eliminated the use of plastic pizza savers by returning to the old method of simply baking a bread ball into the center of their pizzas.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e Henry Petroski. "A Round Pie in a Square Box", American Scientist, July–August 2011.
  2. ^ "Tool Time Tuesday...Recycled Pizza Box Support". Sewmanyways.blogspot.co.at. Retrieved 7 January 2018. 
  3. ^ Finnemore, John (17 September 2013). "Episode 3". John Finnemore's Souvenir Programme. Series 3. Episode 3. Event occurs at 10:37. BBC. BBC Radio 4. Retrieved 18 April 2018. 
  4. ^ US 4498586, Vitale, Carmela, "Package saver", issued 1985 
  5. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2016-12-20. Retrieved 2016-12-20. 
  6. ^ "Se llama guardapizza, aquí su historia". Sitiosargentina.com.ar. 1 August 2017. Retrieved 7 January 2018.