Billys Pan Pizza: Comfort Food For The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo
With Lisbeth Salander, the tiny, pierced, tattooed protagonist of the hugely popular Millennium Trilogy, Swedish crime fiction writer Stieg Larrson created a modern day feminist action hero. When cornered, she takes down hulking foes with an arsenal of weapons that include computer hacking skills, a high voltage Taser gun and stinging Thai boxing high kicks to the head. She also knows when to lay low -- which is when she holes up in her apartment and exists primarily on a diet of cigarettes, coffee and a frozen food section item mentioned so often in the trilogy that it reaches minor character status: Billy's Pan Pizza.
Billys, as it is referred to lovingly in Sweden, is teenager cuisine, bachelor food: A rectangular single-serving slice of deep crust pie that costs about 14 kronor (about $1.85) and can be defrosted in the microwave in two minutes. The most popular Billy is the old-school tomato sauce and cheese. But there are also ten other flavors, including beef bearnaise, and one topped with chunks of kebab, a common pizza topping in Sweden, but which still sounds like the kind of thing you'd grab if you were wandering through a 7/11 just after getting high.
Either way, the makers of the film adaptation of The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo or the more recently released The Girl Who Played With Fire were able to resist product placement in their movies, When Lisbeth comes home with a shopping bag of provisions, she unloads the junk food but the distinctive looping Billys blue and white logo is nowhere in sight.
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