I was in the Publix last night picking up a few things for my daughter’s Spanish project. She was required to bring in an authentic spanish dish. Not being an authentic spaniard, this caused me some concern, but I managed to come up with something on the ethnic foods aisle.
I was standing in the ten items or less line, praying no one would count and notice I had eleven items. A gentleman got into line behind me, carrying a single frozen pizza. I generously allowed him to go in front of me since I was in line illegally. But his frozen pizza got me thinking.
I have never tasted a good frozen pizza. Ok, I admit to a strange fondness for the el-cheapo Jenos/Tostinos pizzas, but they don’t even really taste like pizza. I’m not sure what they taste like. However, I like them and they’re cheap, so I don’t think about it too hard. I never speculate as to what the composition of the pepperoni nuggets on their pizzas might be. It might be rat droppings dyed with red dye #48 for all I know, but they taste good, so why analyze it to death? You can feed a family of five for $2.00 and have enough left over for chemotherapy when the children get cancer from all the preservatives.
Its the frozen pizzas attempting to pass themselves off as real pizza that bug me. I have tried most of the varieties on the market and they all taste identical to me. They taste like cardboard topped with synthetic cheese food. It doesn’t matter if it’s a “gourmet” pizza, or a “brick oven” pizza, or a “self rising, cornmeal dusted, organic crust” pizza. They all taste like sawdust shavings, topped with nylon.
The gentleman in front of me had a Digiorno pizza. You all know their ad: “it’s not delivery, it’s Digiorno.” Damn right it’s Digiorno. Let’s examine the differences.
Delivery means I call the pizza place from my couch, in my pajamas, while watching a Sponge Bob marathon and place my order. The pizza place makes my pizza to my specifications then slips it, piping hot, into a special delivery pouch to keep it piping hot. The pizza man then breaks all traffic rules, mowing down armadillos and senior citizens, to deliver the pizza to my door while it is still piping hot. The only work I am required to do is pay him and then slip the pizza onto paper plates. We then retreat back to the couch to slurp up the greasy, cheesy goodness without having missed a single second of Gary the Snail’s antics.
Now let’s look at Digiorno. I have to go to the grocery store to purchase it, necessitating a change out of my pajamas. Remember, “it’s not delivery”!! I have to bring it home and heat up the oven. Then I have to decide whether to place the pizza directly on the rack for a crisper crust or to place it on a cookie sheet for a softer crust. If I opt for softer, I have to search for something to hold the pizza. You can’t actually put it on a cookie sheet, because cookie sheets are rectangular and pizzas are round. Even a toddler knows this. The sides of the pizza flop over the cookie sheet, and as the cheese melts, it drips down the sides of sheet and onto the bottom of the oven, resulting in a mess I have to clean up later, or, worst case scenario, an oven fire.
If I opt for placing it directly on the rack, a new set of problems ensues. The toppings still drip down onto the heating element. Sometimes they catch on fire. I am notorious for oven fires, so I am a pro at putting them out, but still, cajun pizza gets old after awhile. Putting the pizza in is not a problem; it’s great when the pizza is frozen, because that sucker slides right in! But getting it out is a different story. You see, I don’t have one of those cool, long handled pizza removal things the delivery place has. All I have is a lousy spatula. It’s not long enough to go underneath. It’s not wide enough to support the pizza. Two spatulas does not work any better. Invariably, as I try to slide the pizza out, I drop part of it on the oven door. Then I am cussing and trying to scoop up boiling hot cheese to get it back on the pizza so we will have more to eat than just cardboard crust.
Now really, which one makes more sense? Frozen pizzas are ridiculously over-priced. If I’m going to pay $7.99 for the Digiorno brick oven style, self-rising, deluxe pizza, I might as well pay $11.99 for a Papa Johns large, six cheese, Tuscan style pizza. With delivery, there is no oven fire, no third degree burns and no oven cleaning marathon afterward. There is just pizza, the way God intended it to be. So you can keep your Tombstone and your Digiorno’s, but I am calling Dominos!