What The Tiny Plastic Table In Your Pizza Box Actually Does

It's a Friday night and you're in the mood for something quick and tasty so you order one of the U.S.'s most popular take-out dinners – pizza. But whether you choose to top your slice with good old-fashioned pepperoni or, more controversially, want to add a little pineapple to your pie, you have probably noticed that your takeout always comes with a white piece of plastic sitting in its middle. However, while you may find yourself not giving this table-like doo-dad much thought as you pluck it from your soon-to-be meal, we're here to tell you that this unassuming piece of plastic is actually more important to pizza delivery than you may have imagined.

As Eater reports, this wonderful invention saves the pizza delivered to our doors (and, in some cases, the cakes we take home from your local bakery, per Snopes), from ruin. Affectionately known as the pizza saver, unlike butter, the creation of this pizza-protecting tool was no accident. According to Eater, in the 1980s, one Carmela Vitale ordered enough pizzas to her home in Long Island to recognize that pizza delivery had a fatal flaw. This is how her tiny table-like invention saved the pizza world.

The pizza saver is truly pizza's savor

In her 1983 application for a patent, Carmela Vitale brought a common pizza world crisis to light (per Eater). Everyone knows that pizzerias use carton boxes to deliver their pies to hungry customers. Of course, these packages are cost-effective. However, because ready-to-deliver pizzas are pipping hot, their steam can cause their carton box to collapse. This means that your pizza sticks to the package, which, as you can imagine, causes your meatball-topped pie to get half-stuck to your box's lid.

And Vitale, who Eater notes was just an average mother making her way through life, took it upon herself to solve this harrowing pizza delivery issue. That's when the package saver (most commonly referred to as a pizza saver) was invented. This little piece of plastic was designed to keep your pizza (or cake) safe from its drooping box. As Snopes reports, by setting this small plastic table on top of (not by squishing it down into) the center of a fresh-out-of-the-oven pizza, the package saver protects your pie from an unfortunate squished fate.

Vitale's invention was approved for a patent in 1985, and ever since, it's become a must-have for pizzerias in Brooklyn and beyond who want to guarantee this delicious fast food treat makes its way from their restaurants to their customers' mouths safe and sound.