Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Pizza bake-off day 4 Part II

As mentioned in Part I, there are health consequences to a diet of pizza. So beware!

Today's pizza is an old friend, the first frozen pizza ever produced that was actually edible. Before this, there was processed "food-like" pizzas that were soggy and limp and tasted ick. But for a time, this was the best of the best. Today it's sold as "Red Baron Premium Quality Classic Crust Pepperoni Pizza" and is at the low end of the Schwan Food Company's line of "premium" pizzas. So how does it fare today, all these years later, against more modern competition?

The first thing I noticed is that this is the first pizza thus far which calls for a cookie sheet. So now a little digression about pizza equipment:

My "cookie sheet" for pizza baking purposes is a heavy-duty non-stick pizza pan. Not a stone, not a sheet, a pan. The other equipment used is a large glass cutting board, a typical disc-type pizza cutter, and a metal pie spatula used to actually serve the pizza. Note that the pizza cutter never comes near the pizza pan, and the pizza pan never goes near the dishwasher -- it is handwashed after it cools down.

Now, back to the pizza: How does it fare? Well, fairly well. This is clearly now the budget entry in the Schwan Food pizza line, and the quantities of the toppings bear that out, but it holds up quite well compared to ringer #1 (the Little Caesar's $5 Pepperoni) and is still quite edible, compared to, say, the icky Totinos that I covered earlier.

Crust: The crust recipe shows its age but still does the job. It is not outstanding in any way, but it does not overwhelm the toppings and it adds a reasonable crunch and taste to the preceedings.

Sauce: The sauce is somewhat on the weak side, but the quantity is good. I would call the sauce "adequate".

Cheese: The cheese on this pizza performs its job of providing a base flavor underneath the pepperoni and sauce flavors quite well. The quantity is sufficient to provide a well balanced mix of flavors.

Pepperoni: This is where Schwan skimps a little bit to hit their price point. The quality of the pepperoni is nowhere as good as what's on the "Ultimate Pepperoni" mentioned earlier. However, the pepperoni is satisfyingly greasy and provides sufficient tang to balance out the cheese and crust flavors reasonably well.

All in all, this is a well balanced mid-range pizza. If you have $3.50 in your pocket and need pizza, you will not regret this choice. However, I do definitely prefer the "Ultimate Pepperoni" thin crust version, which provides a richer taste palate and has better-quality pepperoni on it.

And BTW, I tasted one of the pieces of yesterday's pizza just in case my taste buds were having an off day yesterday. Nope. Still tastes like library paste with vegetable oil, completely overwhelming the taste of the toppings.

So, tune in tommorrow for the *next* exciting pizza in the Badtux Frozen Pizza Bake-off!

-- Badtux the Pizza Penguin


  1. Okay, whatever, I guess that in violent and ignorant societies we buy jeeps and rate pizzas instead of fixing things?

    Just asking.

  2. If the Titanic is sinking, and the lifeboats are already all away, why not play "Nearer my God to Thee" on the foredeck? As Dave mentioned somewhere below, if tomorrow is going to be worse than today, why not enjoy today?

    - Badtux the Bacchanal Penguin


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