Man cooks pizza on red-hot lava from Guatemalan volcano

View of a pizza being cooked on a lava river that comes down from the Pacaya volcano at the Cerro Chino hill in San Vicente Pacaya municipality, Guatemala, on May 11, 2021. - The pizza is made in a very particular oven: an extensive river of lava that springs from the furious Pacaya volcano. (Photo by Johan ORDONEZ / AFP) (Photo by JOHAN ORDONEZ/AFP via Getty Images)
Would you eat the volcano pizza? (Photo: Getty)

Just when you thought hotdogs on lava couldn’t be topped, along comes a challenger: cooking pizza on a volcano.

A wily Guatemalan businessman has used an active volcano to launch a new food trend – cooking pizzas on a river of lava.

David Garcia dons protective clothing and uses special metal pans to cook his pizzas on the Pacaya volcano lava flow, which can reach upwards of 1,000 degrees Farenheit.

The pictures of Garcia’s adventurous cooking has travelled far and wide on social media, with tourists flocking to the mountain to have a slice and post their own ‘volcano pizza’ snaps.

David Garcia places a pizza on a lava river that comes down from the Pacaya volcano at the Cerro Chino hill in San Vicente Pacaya municipality, Guatemala, on May 11, 2021. - Garcia makes a pizza in a very particular oven: an extensive river of lava that springs from the furious Pacaya volcano. (Photo by Johan ORDONEZ / AFP) (Photo by JOHAN ORDONEZ/AFP via Getty Images)
David Garcia is an accountant in his spare time (Photo: Getty)
People stand as streams of red hot lava are seen during an eruption of the Pacaya volcano at San Vicente de Sales municipality in the Escuintla region, Guatemala May 8, 2021. Picture taken May 8, 2021. REUTERS/Luis Echeverria
The Pacaya volcano has been spewing lava for weeks (Photo: Getty)

Guatemala has three active volcanoes, and Pacaya’s eruptions, which first began 23,000 years ago, can be seen in Guatemala City, the capital, 15 miles away.

Pacaya was dormant for decades, but started to erupt frequently in the early 1960s.

The most recent period of activity isn’t too dangerous, with the National Institute of Seismology, Volcanology, Meteorology and Hydrology saying it’s only ‘spewing ash of small-to-moderate size,’ as of May 12.

‘The eruptive fissure vent on the northwest flank produces lava fountains, about 50-100 meters [164-328 feet] tall, that feed the advancing lava flows,’ the update reads.

‘The flow fronts have reached more than 2,300 meters [7,545 feet] distance and are slowly approaching towards the farmland of La Breña on the west.’

Garcia is an accountant for his day job, but has been baking pizzas in the mountain since 2013.

David Garcia prepares a pizza to cook on the lava rivers that come down from the Pacaya volcano at the Cerro Chino hill in San Vicente Pacaya municipality, Guatemala, on May 11, 2021. - Garcia makes a pizza in a very particular oven: an extensive river of lava that springs from the furious Pacaya volcano. (Photo by Johan ORDONEZ / AFP) (Photo by JOHAN ORDONEZ/AFP via Getty Images)
Garcia makes the pizza fresh on site (Photo: Getty)
David Garcia checks a pizza he is cooking on the lava rivers that come down from the Pacaya volcano at the Cerro Chino hill in San Vicente Pacaya municipality, Guatemala, on May 11, 2021. - Garcia makes a pizza in a very particular oven: an extensive river of lava that springs from the furious Pacaya volcano. (Photo by Johan ORDONEZ / AFP) (Photo by JOHAN ORDONEZ/AFP via Getty Images)
He uses specially made pans that can withstand the high lava temperatures (Photo: Getty)
David Garcia serves pizza to tourists after cooking on the lava rivers that come down from the Pacaya volcano at the Cerro Chino hill in San Vicente Pacaya municipality, Guatemala, on May 11, 2021. - Garcia makes a pizza in a very particular oven: an extensive river of lava that springs from the furious Pacaya volcano. (Photo by Johan ORDONEZ / AFP) (Photo by JOHAN ORDONEZ/AFP via Getty Images)
Tourists have flocked to the spot at the unique food offering (Photo: Getty)

‘I put it in a hot cave that was approximately 800 degrees [1400 degrees Fahrenheit] and it came out in 14 minutes,’ he told AFP.

‘When I tasted the flavor of the pizza cooked with the volcanic heat, I said, ‘this is a good idea.”

But as Pacaya began to ramp up in its activity and heat, he shifted his operation to a patch near the crater so he could cook the pizza directly on the lava itself.

There are perils to cooking on a lava flow – the high temperatures can easily damage the pans and the dough if left for too long, and if Garcia isn’t careful, the lava can carry the pizza too far away for him to reach.

But for Garcia, the risk is worth it, with tourists flocking to his makeshift pizzeria.

David Garcia prepares a pizza to cook on the lava rivers that come down from the Pacaya volcano at the Cerro Chino hill in San Vicente Pacaya municipality, Guatemala, on May 11, 2021. - Garcia makes a pizza in a very particular oven: an extensive river of lava that springs from the furious Pacaya volcano. (Photo by Johan ORDONEZ / AFP) (Photo by JOHAN ORDONEZ/AFP via Getty Images)
Cooking the pizza on the volcano isn’t without its risks (Photo: Getty)
Lava flows from Guatemala's Pacaya Volcano as seen from Cerro Chino in San Vicente Pacaya municipality, south of Guatemala City, on May 5, 2021. - A new fissure vent opened recently in the Pacaya volcano which has maintained high levels of activity with strong eruptions, ash clouds and rivers of lava spewing out. The 2,500-metre (8,200-foot) volcano has been erupting for weeks, damaging plantations in the path of the lava and threatening nearby communities. (Photo by Johan ORDONEZ / AFP) (Photo by JOHAN ORDONEZ/AFP via Getty Images)
The pizza can float away on the lava if Garcia isn’t careful (Photo: Getty)

‘Having a pizza cooked in the embers of a volcano is mind-blowing and unique in the whole world,’ visitor Felipe Aldana told AFP.

Garcia isn’t the first to cook food on a volcano, with a visitor to Icelandic volcano Geldingadalur achieving fame for his lava hotdog.

As a river of molten lava cascaded 500m down the slopes of the volcano, one chap decided to cook his sausages on the red hot rock that bubbled up from Earth’s core.

MORE : Man cooks hot dogs for lunch on molten lava after Iceland volcano eruption

MORE : Phenomenal drone footage shows molten lava erupting from Icelandic volcano

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Tech Guatemala Volcanoes