Pizza and Beer: North Korean health food

If you visit Pyongyang, you can make a discovery that has been known in bowling alleys across the United States for decades: beer and pizza go together. This year, new approaches to both the food and the drink have been developed, and the only thing missing is the crash of pins in the background.

Back in March, North Korea celebrated its first pizzeria. It took nearly a decade, but the country was able to import the necessary cooking equipment to set up its first “authentic” shop. To keep it going, Kim Jong Il will need to source and import high-quality ingredients regularly. With many of the 24 million people in his country starving, this doesn’t strike me as the best use of national resources.

But, it’s easy for me to judge. I live in New York, a town with 1,520 pizza establishments, according to a search conducted by Reason. That’s one pizza place for every 5,921 people. Meanwhile, North Korea has a person-to-pizza ratio of 24 million to one. Unpleasant, really.

Now, what is pizza without a cold beer?

Beer has been available in North Korea – at least to the extent that anything is over there. A new brand, though, could fortify the members of the working party, as this new brew is purported to have health benefits. The beer is being touted in a commercial on state television. This is strange, in that commercials in general are extremely rare in North Korea, and this seems to be the first for any food or beverage product.

Look for the commercial after the jump.

Of course, the question remains: how many people could actually see the commercial? Let’s not forget, North Korea is famous for its regular power shortages, which affect even the showplace capital city. So, the secret to happiness and longevity may be missed, because nobody could see the ad.