IT was up there with carrying coals to Newcastle or selling snow to the north Pole.

Right enough, given what the Tories did to the coal industry in Scotland, and what the climate crisis is doing to the ice cap, these analogies are somewhat out of date.

But Domino’s has pulled out of the Italian market after failing in its plan to sell pizza to the people who invented it.

The US fast-food chain has shut up shop in Italy after seven years. The business was badly hit by the coronavirus pandemic, which in turn saw traditional Italian pizzerias offering their own delivery services.

Domino’s Pizza set out with the ambition of opening 880 outlets across the country by 2030, hopeful that it could win over Italian customers with their own version of pizzas with all the trimmings, some less familiar than others to the Italian palate.

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Just who thought it was a good idea to combine ham and pineapple with tomato sauce, cheese and dough? I appreciate Domino’s are not alone as purveyors of this particular delicacy. But whenever I see this on a menu, I just ask myself … why?

The company got as far as opening 29 branches, all of which have now been closed.

Franchise holder ePizza filed for bankruptcy in April this year and all outlets stopped delivery services from April 20, according to the Italian food website Agrodolce, which first reported the story earlier this month.

The company said in a statement: “The Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent and prolonged restrictions from a financial point of view have seriously damaged ePizza,” the company said.

The Italian firm had already been scaling back the business from its peak in 2020, while deliveries stopped from the end of July.

The world’s largest pizza chain, Domino’s has more than 18,300 stores in 90 plus international markets globally, most of which are run as franchisees.

Its Italian adventure started in Milan in 2015 then branched out into other cities including Turin, Bologna, Parma and Rome.

It did not, however, make it to Naples, the southern city where pizza margherita was created.

Domino’s has pulled out of the Italian market

“It would have been very strange if [Domino’s] had worked here,” Gino Sorbillo, who owns a pizzeria in in the city, told The Guardian. “Naples is a very particular market – it wins on tradition, identity … it wouldn’t have worked if the only goal was to make money.”

News that Domino’s was leaving the home of pizza was cheered by some social media users.

“I’ve always wondered how Domino’s could survive in New Jersey, let alone Italy,” journalist Dave Jamieson tweeted.

A resident from Bologna said: “It’s like me going to England and making fish and chips, it doesn’t make sense.”

As they say, when in Rome (or anywhere else in Italy) … Just don’t try to teach Nonna how to suck eggs (surely another ill-advised pizza topping).