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DiGiorno Cheese & Tomato 200 Calorie Portions

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[Photograph: Adam Kuban]

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

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Baked 200-calorie "portion."

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."

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Baked crust.

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.

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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

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What you'd expect. The microwaved version doesn't crisp or brown up like the baked version did.

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Conclusion

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.

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