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thereuare

Frozen Pizza

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Those of you who know me from these boards know that i am a pizza fanatic.

Well, take a seat, because i don't want you to hit your head on the floor when you read the following:

I have actually found a frozen pizza that is GOOD! It's not the best pizza i've ever had, but it certainly is better and more enjoyable to eat than most of the stuff i can get around my neighborhood, and it's easily the best frozen pizza i've ever tried.

It's made by Freshetta and comes in a green box. They have a few varieties, but my favorite is "4 Cheese". I've also tried "Southwestern Chicken" which is more of a chicken fajita style pizza, "Chicken with Rosemary", and "Mozzarella and Basil". The one with rosemary isn't very good (rosemary overpowering), the one with chicken is "good" but the chicken has that "i've been frozen" taste, the mozzarella with basil is 'ok', but not a very high quality basil. Don't get me wrong, they're all pretty good so feel free to try whichever fits your personal tastes, but i think the 4 Cheese is best (followed by the Southwestern Chicken).

The thing that makes these so good is the crust. It one of the rising crust varieties of pizza and it is indeed excellent. I keep a bunch in my freezer for when i'm too lazy (usually) to go outside for a slice. They also make a few varieties of "sauce stuffed crust" which i haven't seen around here (tried it when i was recently in Tallahassee) and it was good. My wife liked the sauce stuffed better, but i prefer the regular type crust.

Give it a try and let me know what you think. It's certainly better (IMO) than anything else on the market, and has become one of my favorite foods to eat in the house.

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I'm with you. I think their special combo or whatever it's called is the best of it's kind. The pepperoni ain't bad either. However, you can't do this too often given the fat and calorie content. Otherwise, you'll be forced to eat Morningstar Farm's veggie pizza (which has veggie pepperoni,etc.) Not the same thing but much lower in fat and cals. And you can microwave it.


Edited by hollywood (log)

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Trader Joe's 4 cheese frozen pizza is excellent, better than 80% of the fresh (true that's not saying much, but it is very good).

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Tony's, Red Baron, and DiGiorno are all in my opinion better than Freschetta. I think the Good Housekeeping taste test results, with which I agreed, ranked them pretty much in that order. I find Red Baron particularly appealing, with the major defect being blandness -- something that can be corrected with a little seasoning (it is always helpful to supplement frozen pies with your own grated parmesan and crushed red pepper, at the very least).

Frozen pizzas with rising crust can be good products. Frozen dough and par-baked breads are, on their own, potentially excellent products. Dough freezes very well. The other ingredients in pizza freeze pretty well, at least when used for pizza-making purposes (e.g., the cheese will ultimately be served in melted form). So if the frozen pizza product is made from decent ingredients, there's no reason the end-result can't be okay. That's the big if, actually, because most of these products contain too much oil and unnecessary filler -- they could be made to higher standards without significantly increasing cost, which is already pretty high. Although it's not really possible to achieve a compelling thin-crust/Neapolitan-style pizza with frozen ingredients, it is possible to do something decent more along the lines of Chicago-style pizza.

Stouffer's French Bread Pizza is not in my opinion a particularly good product. I understand the nostalgic appeal, which is also applicable to crappy square frozen pizza such as from Elio's, but the newer generation of rising-crust pizzas are infinitely better.

I actually find that heating frozen pizza is more labor-intensive from a time-and-motion perspective than getting a pizza delivered. They have pizza delivery in New Jersey, right?

It's also not that hard to make your own pizza using frozen dough, such as the terrific product available from Trader Joe's. And don't overlook the pretty good middle ground of a Boboli-like shell garnished with your own toppings, which are likely to be of superior quality to what the frozen pizza manufacturers use.

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Before you diss frozen pizzas, try a California Pizza Kitchen BBQ Chicken pizza. Granted, you'll probably need to take out a second mortgage to pay for it (something like $6 for a 12' pie), but that just adds to the cachet.

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Tony's, Red Baron, and DiGiorno are all in my opinion better than Freschetta.

Can't speak to Tony's or Red Baron, but the Freschetta Supreme is clearly superior to Di Giorno. Way better--both going down and in terms of after effects.

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Tony's, Red Baron, and DiGiorno are all in my opinion better than Freschetta.

Can't speak to Tony's or Red Baron, but the Freschetta Supreme is clearly superior to Di Giorno. Way better--both going down and in terms of after effects.

I tasted Freschetta and DiGiorno pepperoni simultaneously, so it wasn't possible for me to assign blame for after-effects to one or the other, but I though the DiGiorno had better pepperoni and a nicer crust -- I actually enjoyed the crust. Cheese and sauce were mediocre on both.

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I love the Trader Joe's imported Italian thin pizzas. The 4 cheese is better than the 3 cheese and I don't like the vegetable one as much as the others. But, they've got a good crisp crust, and the sauce and cheese are real.

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My guilty pizza pleasure is Ellio’s 9 piece done in a toaster oven with extra cheese and some additional spices. Funny that McCaine has its headquarters only a few miles from Chicago but I have never seen it out here.

I guess I will have to find someone to send that, Sabrett dogs and Taylor pork roll to me from back east. Red Barron seems to be OK but Jack’s will do in a pinch. There are some local brands here in Chicago that are not too bad. Some are rather dismal.

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My guilty pizza pleasure is Ellio’s 9 piece done in a toaster oven

I also indulge in Ellio's on occasion. To me it's like the White Castle of pizza. I don't deny enjoying sliders, so why should I try to hide that I eat the pizza equivalent of junk food every now and again? Actually, I think I may enjoy it for nostalgic reasons, because you know what Ellio's tastes very similar to? Boardwalk pizza. This topic originated on the Jersey board, so I am sure many of you know what I mean. Those slices with very dark red sauce, and the crust often tasted semi-burnt, though not in a coal oven type of way. I probably haven't had a slice of pizza from a boardwalk in 25 years, but I am still fond of the memory, and Ellio's comes close to the taste.

For a better tasting frozen pizza, I used to buy Tree Tavern, which I think may be an East coast only product, but I haven't seen it on store shelves in more than 10 years. Anyone know if it's still being sold anywhere?

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When I was a teenager growing up in Northern NJ, Tree Tavern was my standard frozen pizza. I moved to CT years ago, where I've never seen it, but last month on a visit to south/central NJ I saw it in a supermarket. I'm pretty sure it was a Shop-Rite in Manchester Twp. but I was in several supermarkets in the area so I'm not 100% sure.

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American Flatbread Company makes a great frozen pie, the closest I 've ever tasted to homemade. Whole Foods carries it, and it's kind of expensive, but it sure beats Totino's. Or Celeste.

Stouffer's 5-cheese is pretty damn good, if you don't mind burning the roof of your mouth.

California Pizza Kitchen's garlic chicken is pretty damn good too.

Trader Joe's imported Italian pies are very damn good.

I like Ellio's when I'm nostalgic for bowling alleys.

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American Flatbread Company makes a great frozen pie, the closest I 've ever tasted to homemade. Whole Foods carries it, and it's kind of expensive, but it sure beats Totino's. Or Celeste.

I've never tried any of the others, but I second the mention of American Flatbread. Not bad at all (which is the highest praise I can bring myself to give a product like that. :raz: )

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i had DiGiorno for the first time last night (personal size, "deluxe"). to me, this pizza didn't hold a candle to stouffer's. the rising crust tasted like cardboard, with an almost rye-bread flavor. the pizza overall was pretty dry as well. the toppings didn't reach the edge of the crust, which i just cut off.

looking at the nutrional information, this little sucker was about 1000 calories, which is a bit more than 2 stouffer's pizza. i don't know where they hid the flavor that can generally be associated with those calories.


Edited by tommy (log)

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i had DiGiorno for the first time last night (personal size, "deluxe").

Tommy, try Freschetta's new Brick Oven Style and get back to me.

It's good. :biggrin:

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Having moved recently and thus not knowing anything about which delivery pizza places are any good, I've tried a couple of frozen pizzas, and found one that's pretty good -- California Pizza Kitchen's Crispy Thin Crust.

I tried some of the regular CPK pizzas when they first came on the market, and maybe it was the varieties I tried (not my choice, as I recall), but I wasn't very impressed.

But these, which I think are pretty new on the market, are really good as far as frozen pizza goes. I've tried the Sicilian and the white, which is all the market by my place carries. The white is fine if you like that sort of thing -- cheese and spinach. I prefer the Sicilian, which has a generous amount of good quality meats. The "fresh" basil and oregano taste dried, and if I have a complaint, it's that the dried herb flavor is a little heavy. But when I get off work at 10:30 and need something for a quick late dinner, it's a definite step up from bad delivery, and it's a lot quicker.

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I have to concur with the original post singing the praises of Freschetta. While the stuff is nothing like a properly handmade, woodburning-oven-baked pizza or tomato pie, as an industrial food product these things are really pretty good.

I find that the Freschetta flavor profile appeals most to my taste buds... the crust has a hint of yeastiness and no cardboardiness, the sauce is the right balance of sweet sour and salty for me (and that point of balance is a very idiosyncratic preference to each taster), and its herbal component is complementary and neither overpowering nor absent. Its pepperoni and sausage are clearly bulk processed and not artisanal in any way, but they're inoffensive.

All that said, one of these makes a fine lunch every so often.

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90% of the time I make my own crust and everything but for those pizza emergencies we keep Tombstone cheese which I purchase on sale at 5 for $10. I then ad toppings and pop in the oven. Actually not too bad but i have never found a frozen pizza to come close to my thin crust pizza. -Dick

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So long as this thread has been bumped-

.... I understand the nostalgic appeal, which is also applicable to crappy square frozen pizza such as from Elio's..

I would recommend that anybody seeking nostalgia steer clear of present-day Elio's pizza. It is quite different from the stuff we grew up with during the 70's. I'm not quite sure when it changed because I wasn't really paying attention until I had kids, but the "original Elio's" is still out there under the name Betzio's (or even Shop Rite store brand), and it hasn't changed a bit. My kids love the Betzio's, but won't even consider touching the Elio's (and I'll even admit to stealing a slice or two every now and then.)

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OMG, I had forgetten about Elio's, brings back memories, except I grew up with it in the 80s as a kid and loved it, so I do not know if the recipe had changed by then.

Also to add, I love the goat cheese pizza at Trader Joe's, thin crust and delicious.

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wow, elio's.

that used to be one of the hot lunch options we had when i was in elementary school back in the early 80s. ah, memories...

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Tony's, Red Baron, and DiGiorno are all in my opinion better than Freschetta.....

I actually find that heating frozen pizza is more labor-intensive from a time-and-motion perspective than getting a pizza delivered. They have pizza delivery in New Jersey, right?

It's also not that hard to make your own pizza using frozen dough, such as the terrific product available from Trader Joe's. And don't overlook the pretty good middle ground of a Boboli-like shell garnished with your own toppings, which are likely to be of superior quality to what the frozen pizza manufacturers use.

I just had to try the Freschetta after reading this thread. DiGino used to be my "go-to" pizza for something I could keep in the freezer and just toss in the oven when the mood hit.

I have a number of personal justifications for occasional use of frozen pizza:

1) Convenience - can cook it any time - even late when pizza delivery is not available

2) Portion size - I can whack one in half and just bake half of a 12" pizza - I've never had any luck re-heating left-over slizes of already cooked frozen pizza and even with pizzeria pies I prefer it fresh cooked

3) Economy - we don't all have buckets of money - I can get DiGiorno Supreme in a 2-pack at BJ's or Sam's Club for under $10. $5 for a loaded 12" pie is way cheaper than paying $10 plus tax, delivery fee and tip for a pizzeria 12" loaded - which will costs me about $13 if I tip the delivery man $1 (and I usually give them $1.50 or $2)

So - in the interest of science I tried the Freschetta Supreme this [past weekend. I think the pepperoni and sausage are less greasy than and unlike DiGiorno I wasn't burping the next day with an aftertaste of those items.

The cheese and sauce appeared to be of similar flavor profile and quality but the crust cooked more evenly. My biggest issue with DeGiorno was that cooking it long enough to get the center of the crust completely cooked resulted in some scorching of the cheese and crust along the outer edge - not so with the Freschetta.

IMO the DiGiorno has a slightly yeastier taste and better texture on the parts of the crust that cook correctly but the uneven nature of the cooking pushes it well into second place for me now that I've tried the Freschetta.

I've tried Tony's, Red Baron and few others but for me the problem is that they try to emulate a what a thinner crust pizzeria style pie is all about and fail sadly in comparison. The Freschetta and DeGiorno are in a category that is different for me - more like a sort of bread dough with toppings that's eaten with knife and fork - not at all like traditional pizza.

As for Boboli style pizza - I've tried it but found the price/value proposition to be lacking. It cost far more than frozen pizza - and tasted batter but still nto as good as fresh made pizza.

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I just can't get into frozen pizza - Now I love pizza but it is one of those strange things for me, I have to really be feeling it and if I am...then it is on and it must be fresh. Not that they are bad (because I would always have to doctor up the frozen pizzas for the kid) but I just don't have a taste for them. Sometimes my partner actually craves a frozen pizza...what is that about?

I've consumed my fair share of this frozen commodity. I remember back in the day "taking out a second mortgage" for Wolfgang Puck's frozen pizza and really loving. We tend to buy Stouffers french bread pizza or Publix has a great thin crust square shape pizza or it maybe Freshcetta that has the spinach one. If partner or kid picks up a frozen pizza I will eat a slice and be gone. They don't "add" or as I say "doctor" their frozen pizza enough for me.

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There's a golden mean between fresh-from-scratch pizza (delicious, labor-intensive) and frozen pizza (easy, not so tasty).

When I make pizza, I'll make a few extra pizza crusts, partially bake them (around 3 minutes in the oven, enough to firm up but not fully bake), and then freeze them.

On a busy night when I'm in the mood for pizza, I'll heat up the oven, top a frozen crust with whatever, then bake it on the stone. It's only a little more work than a frozen pizza-- the main time issue, letting dough rise, is taken care of-- and tastes a lot better. Not quite as good as unfrozen dough, but perfectly good for a reasonably quick weeknight dinner.

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