There's a moment in almost all our lives when it comes time to choose...so which frozen pie is the best?
'Frozen pizza' on Serious Eats
As most of us ramp up to one of the most epically involved cooking days of the year, pause for a moment and check out this episode of the Discovery Channel's "How It's Made" for a behind-the-scenes peek at a food on the other end of the spectrum—frozen pizza.
If tasting 'regular' frozen pizza requires reduced expectations, then tasting frozen 'cheeze' pizzas might be termed an exercise in complete and utter futility. So, let's cut to the chase. What's the point?
Uh oh! Put down your Farm Rich Mini Pizza Slices and Stuffed Crust Pizza Dippers! And any of these other products. They're kind of gross (and you totally know it). Also, they may be contaminated with a rare, potentially lethal strain of E. coli.
Is co-opting pizza's good name okay? Yesterday's dessert pizza post got us musing about the meaning of pizza. We know better than to dive headfirst down the pizza-definition-hole with reckless abandon. But there's nothing wrong with a friendly round of "one of these is not like the other." Or, in this case, "are any of these self-proclaimed pizza products at all like pizza?"
What's that? You're too darn busy to make your own pizza? Even if it's The World's Easiest No-Knead No-Stretch Pan Pizza? Or the perfect-for-a-large-crowd, almost-100%-hands-off Party-Sized Square Pie? I get it. There's a time and a place for frozen pizza, and perhaps that time is Sunday and that place is your living room.
When it comes to frozen pizza, I'd just give up eating it before I'd ever buy the fancy-pants kind. They fall within the UNCANNY VALLEY of pizza: close enough to the real thing but not quite there. Either give me the real thing or give me the obviously cartoonish version of "pizza."
There's a lot of value to be found in ordering high-end versions of typically humble restaurant foods, and I suppose it's possible that the same rule could apply in the grocery store. Actually, I know it works in the condiment aisle, where the $4 mustard is leagues better than its half-price shelfmates. Why can't Annie's Rising Crust Organic Supreme Pizza be worth the ... wait? What? $10.99 for frozen pizza?* All right, let's investigate.
Hola, homeslices. When I last rapped at ya, I extolled the virtues of Totino's/Jeno's frozen pizzas. Some of you agreed. Some of you were like, "Ew, nasty" (even though I TOLD you not to argue with me). And some comments stuck with me weeks later. Like when Kdroste mentioned the "pepperoni nubbins."
What's the best frozen pizza? See the photo at left, people. And you know what I don't want to see in the Comments here? Any other pizza that is not pictured at left.
In the last installment of From the Freezer, we explored the California Pizza Kitchen's Margherita. This time, we take the BBQ Chicken to task and find a few ways to best their "best recipe".
Slice has had a fair amount of frozen pizza coverage over the years, and yet to date California Pizza Kitchen has escaped close scrutiny. Although toppings have a lot of draw with the CPK fan base, the Margherita, whether fresh or frozen, is a tell-all. So what did CPK's tell?
Any frozen pie retailing for north of $5 really needs to be legitimately good eating. I've had recent and pleasant experience with the in-house version of Uno's Artisan Thin Crust pizzas, so I figured I'd start my exploration of the deluxe frozen pizza market with the icebox rendition.
Jeno Paulucci, the man responsible for what are known today as Totino's Pizza Rolls, died on Thursday at home in Duluth, Minnesota, of renal and coronary failure, according to the New York Times obituary.
As you may have read last week, the Artichoke Basille boys, Francis Garcia and Sal Basille, have partnered with A&P on an Artichoke-branded line of frozen pizzas. According to the company's press release, all A&P stores and its subsidiaries (Waldbaum's, Food Emporium, Pathmark) should be carrying the pies now. I was one of the first to highlight Artichoke on this site back in early 2008, so you know I'd be there to grab a frozen pizza or six to test out for you.
Frozen pizza. When you do resort to it, do you eat it as is or do you doctor it up with your own toppings? »
Call it the curse of the frozen vegetables. This pizza from Trader Joe's is topped with mushrooms, tomatoes, red peppers, artichokes, asparagus, and black olives. And you can't taste a darn thing.
[Photograph: Adam Kuban] What is a pizza puff? No, seriously. That's not a rhetorical question. I'm asking you, Chicagoans. OK. Actually, from what I've read and seen firsthand after a visit to a very well-stocked supermarket frozen pizza aisle, it's simply pizzaesque ingredients with a flour tortilla folded around them in an almost envelope-like manner. From everything I've googled on them, I know they're a Chicago thing. So, more specifically, how is a true pizza puff prepared? And what is its natural habitat?...
Whenever we mention frozen pizza on Slice (as we did in last week's poll), the subject of Home Run Inn's iced slices almost always comes up. (As it did last week.) The problem is, you can only get HRI frozen pizza in select markets — I've never seen it in NYC (although it appears to have made inroads to Kansas City in the time I've been away). So when I was in Milwaukee over the weekend, I made it a point to pick up a pie to try.
The crust makes this vaguely Indian pizza worth seeking out. It's quite likely the tastiest frozen pizza crust we've tried. It's a bit thicker than any naan I've seen, with a crisp skin and totally tender interior—this crust has life to it! It had none of the off flavors or density we've come to expect from frozen pizza. We're looking forward to trying another Original Naan Pizza. Have you seen them in any stores near you?