DiGiorno Cheese & Tomato 200 Calorie Portions
Sure, Girl Slice would like me to lose weight, but the box you see above is not part of that scheme. Rather, a package showed up at Slice/Serious Eats HQ a little while ago. I popped it open and found a foam cooler with DiGiorno's new 200 Calorie Portions inside. Hmm. OK. I'm game, I figured. I'm no snob when it comes to frozen pizza. I'll try it all, and I like most of it. I wondered if these things could replace my beloved Totino's. So, how is the new DiGiorno 200 Calorie Portion frozen pizza? Find out, after the jump.
There are two "portions" in a box. Each about 3-by-7 inches and very thin by DiGiorno standards (and even normal standards) — about a quarter inch.
The box states that you can either bake them or microwave them on a special lined cardboard tray that's supposed to make them crisp. Since I had two of them, I tried one each way.
DiGiorno 200-Calorie Portions, Baked
Here's what it looked like after baking in the toaster oven. Not a horrible-looking product.
What did it taste like? It wasn't bad. The sauce does not suffer from the usual downfall of frozen pizza — it is not overwhelmingly sweet. It's actually flavored with a pleasant blend of herbs that, unfortunately, none of us pizza nerds in the office could ID. I said it leaned heavily toward oregano, but nobody else here agreed with me. One Serious Eater here said, "It's whatever herb blend tastes like pizza. It just tastes like pizza."
I baked the "portion" directly on the rack, so it was plenty crisp but remained somewhat soft — definitely not crunchy. Here's what the underside looked like after baking.
And here's what the crust looks like in cross section. Not too dense. Enough airiness in there to remain soft, I suppose.
DiGiorno 200-Calorie Portions, Microwaved
What you'd expect. The microwaved version doesn't crisp or brown up like the baked version did.
As you can see, the size of these things is pretty small. I don't know if you could or would want to make a meal out of these things. And maybe that's not the point. You could certainly approach them as your entire meal — maybe as a light lunch with a salad — or maybe you could view it as a snack that's been handily carved into a 200-calorie chunk for you.
While it has "200 CALORIE" splashed across the front, it doesn't taste like boring diet food. In fact, I actually preferred this product to the regular rising-crust DiGiorno and to the 720-calorie DiGiorno for One pizza that I tested later in the day as a control. The 200 Calorie Portion pizza is well-balanced in terms of crust-sauce-cheese, whereas regluar DiGiorno and DiGiorno for one is way too bready.
I would eat these again, though I don't know if I'd necessarily reach for them if a cheaper Totino's were nearby in the freezer case.