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Article Archive >> Community

Daze of My Life: It's Not DiGiorno's; It's Delivery

Daze of My Life
It's Not DiGiorno's; It's Delivery
by Kenneth B. Lourie

I realize what I'm about to admit may have ramifications beyond my own freezer, so far as the employees of the not-to-be-named brands are concerned but, I think I'm going to stop buying frozen pizzas from the supermarket.
Unfortunately, and this has been my experience for years now--make that decades, that despite the cooking instructions found on the packaging--more or less degrees for softer or crispier crust, placement directly on an oven rack or on a baking sheet for softer or crispier crusts and/or defrosting in the microwave, then baking in the oven, etc.--the ends have never justified spending the means to be able to open my freezer and have a staple of my diet within arm's reach.
Try though I have to find an answer to my preparing-at-home pizza needs, the question remains--Why do I even bother? Well, I won't be bothering anymore.
Believe me, I'm not a complete moron (only a partial one). I understand that the frozen pizza available from my local grocer is never going to taste like the pizza from Pino's Pizza in Cleveland Circle (in Massachusetts) used to taste, or how the pizza from New Haven Pizza in West Chester (Pennsylvania) tastes, but a few examples of the hundreds if not thousands of pizzeria-type sub joints all over America where pizza is the house, if not neighborhood, specialty. Still, I can't help myself, or at least until this most recent purchase. I have been unable to help myself from buying this frozen delicacy (though only when on sale) in the hope, delusional expectation might be more accurate, that one day, when I take that first bite, the crust crunches and the toppings melt in my mouth not on my hands.
Maybe it's my age or my taste buds (or lack thereof, right, Dina?) or my girth or my cholesterol or the parental words of advice so often heard from my mother, Celia, "KB, if you could only lose 50 pounds..." . But if there's one item I will definitely be eliminating from my shopping cart; it's the formerly ever popular and ever-available, frozen pizza. Please, don't feel sorry for me, there's still plenty of other convenient fast food frozen in my grocer's freezer. But for the moment, and hopefully many moments yet to come, I am through buying frozen pizza, other than Stouffer's brand French Bread Pizza's that is. They're still extremely high on my must eat list. Nevertheless, from now on, whatever the packaging or marketing enticement is--"Pizzeria-style,"
"Rising Crust," "Brick Oven," or the ubiquitous "Classic"--my inaction, as in not buying, will speak louder than words ever could.
I don't come to this decision lightly. If nothing else, I am a creature of habit and food familiarity. It's rare that I ever venture beyond what's already on my own plate. That's not to say, in this context anyway that, I'll never buy another brand of frozen pizza (never is a long time) but, if that pizza doesn't have pepperoni or sausage on it as toppings, forget about it. It is to say, however that, perhaps after all the relatively tasteless frozen pizza calories I've consumed, I'm finally developing an awareness and acceptance of the limits of frozen food in general and frozen pizza in particular.
I think what's always thrown me though is the pizza artwork on the box. It always makes the pizza look like it tastes delicious. And even after cooking the pizza at home, it still looks good: golden brown, the cheese melted, the toppings all gooey, etc. But looks can be deceiving, and as much as I wish it were not true, the inside of the box doesn't taste nearly as good as the outside of the box would have you believe. I'm not blaming anyone or any one manufacturer, I'm just realizing, finally, that books are not the only products that shouldn't be judged by their covers.

Lourie is a regionally syndicated columnist who resides in Burtonsville, MD.

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