Food & Drink Magazine

Boxed Pizza Mixes . . . Here's What I Think.

By Mariealicerayner @MarieRynr
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I am a child of the 50's/60's/70's.  There was not a lot in the way of convenience foods when I was growing up.  Being born in 1955, food in our home was really simple.    We didn't have access to exotic ingredients.  Pineapple was probably one of the most exotic ingredients we had and that came in a tin.  I don't think I ever saw a fresh one until I was an adult.  I did not live in a large urban area.  We had the rodeo room ( which was a family restaurant), a Chinese Restaurant in the village,   and the cafe in the Metropolitan department store which had super french fries, that I still remember and drool over.  We also had a local, family run and owned Bakery that had great bread and made delicious donut twists.
I never ever tasted a pizza until I was about 16 years old and it was by way of a Chef Boyardee Pizza mix that a boyfriend brought over and showed us how to make.  I remember thinking that it was pretty good, and actually it really was tasty.  The sauce had plenty of flavor and the crust wasn't too bad either.  So was the Kraft one . . .  if I am being honest, and I always try to be.
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The crust was yeasty, quick and quite tasty.  Not like a pizzaria crust by any stretch, but what do you expect from a box.  For what we paid for it . . .  it delivered a decent pizza experience that was pretty good.
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 There was even a sausage option for those who wanted something a bit meatier.  We used to brown hamburger and sprinkle  it on top . . .  along with drained canned mushrooms, chopped onions and chopped green peppers.  And Mozzarella cheese.  Sometimes we would splurge and add olives.  We were very happy with the results.
In fact I often kept a pizza mix in the house through the years for the kids (and the two parents, true confessions.)
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  A few weeks back,  I saw these Pizza Kits in the grocery shop and so I picked up one for nostalgia sake.  I thought it would be handy to have in the house just in case I wanted a pizza in a hurry.  I was hungry for that old Chef Boyardee experience, truth be told . . .  and I had great expectations.  At the very least I thought it would be edible.
I finally had the opportunity to cook it last night and . . . I confess, it was the SINGLE worst tasting pizza I have ever eaten in my life.  The crust left my mouth feeling like it had been overloaded with baking soda or something.  You know that really astringent feel?  Aluminium like.  Terrible.  Absolutely terrible.  The sauce was flavourless.  It was just pureed tomatoes, with no seasonings or flavours added . . .  there was a packet of dried oregano to sprinkle over top, but surely the sauce could have, should have been done better.  Dried oregano doesn't cut the mustard.  I bet a real Italian would be appalled by this.   Even the Chef (Boyardee) made a hugely more flavourful sauce than that.  There was NO cheese, even though the photo on the box shows a pizza covered with cheese.  Chef Boyardee always included cheese.  I added my own cheese and sprinkled some garlic and onion over the sauce before adding the cheese.  I used a mix of \Parmesan and Mozzarella . . .  and some cheddar.  I also added bacon that I had in the fridge that had been cooked already.  I just crumbled it on top.
I really wanted to like this . . .  I was quite hungry and starving  . . .  but the fact is  . . .  it was the WORST PIZZA EVER.  I struggled my way through one piece and then had to gulp down a couple of glasses of water to get rid of that horrible baking powder/soda taste and feeling in my mouth.  It was quite literally gross.  I threw it away and had peanut butter on toast instead.
I think these people need to buck up their crust and sauce or face the fact that this is a product that people will only ever buy once and then never again.  If you have never bought it, I have only one word for you . . .  DON'T.  The sauce I could cope with, but that crust.  No way.
Total waste of  money and time.  It had  no redeeming factors.
The End.

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