In our Taste Test series, BA editors conduct blind comparisons to discover the best supermarket staples (like tomato sauce or vanilla ice cream). Today, which frozen pizza deserves a spot in your shopping cart?
Frozen pizza often serves a very specific purpose. Whether it’s a simple bite after school, or the beginning of an hours-long stoned snacking odyssey, a piping hot cheese pizza can satisfy gooey, crusty cravings in a way few other snacks can.
In the billion-dollar frozen pizza industry, there are innumerable options. Preparation is always easy, but results vary wildly between brands. While some crusts are pillowy soft, others are painfully thin; tomato sauces depend on the dealer’s choice of spices and herbs; likewise, many brands offer a blend of cheeses, but which cheeses and how and why?
To determine the best frozen pizzas, we tested some of the most popular brands, including DiGiorno, Red Baron, and California Pizza Kitchen. After cooking eight pies according to their packaging instructions, we tasted them just a few minutes out of the oven, judging on taste, texture, and crust.
The Abomination: California Pizza Kitchen Four Cheese Crispy Thin Crust
The ingredients: Despite its deranged crust, this pizza’s ingredients are mostly unremarkable. A trio of Fontina, mozzarella, and hickory-smoked Gouda provide the flavor here, joined by basil, oregano, and thyme in the sauce.
The flavor: Immediately no. “Sour,” associate cooking editor Antara Sinha said through her first bite. “This isn’t pizza, this is something else,” test kitchen coordinator Inés Anguiano declared. Perhaps the off-tasting cheese and lackluster sauce could be overlooked, but the flavorless, cracker-like crust was the final straw for many of our tasters. Senior cooking editor Emma Laperruque likened the crust to matzo, but couldn’t quite decide if that was a good thing or a bad thing.
Leave a Reply