Food & Drink Magazine

Columbus Pizza Naturale Take & Bake Pizzas

By Slowdownandsavor

Can I be honest for a second? In these last few weeks of pregnancy, I have really hated cooking. Hated. I don’t know what it is, you guys, but I just can’t stand it. How terrible is that? Yes, I am the worst food blogger of life at this point, but seriously… I’m monstrously uncomfortable, and the sheer idea of “slaving over a hot stove” really has zero appeal to me. Zip. Nada.

Pre-pregnancy and even early in my pregnancy, I would yearn for the opportunity to get in the kitchen and try some new and completely involved and complex recipe that would end up as our dinner that night, and then maybe later find itself here on Slow Down and Savor. And yes, putting a super tasty, mostly healthy and well-balanced meal on the table every night for our little family is something that’s always been extremely important to me, and while I may not be making the world’s most innovative and exciting meals any more, getting my family around the table at the end of each evening to eat, talk and be together without any form of electronic remains important.

One other thing before I get into the real meat of this post… I want to let you all know, once again, how much I love pizza. In one of my previous Pregnancy Journal updates, I talked about how I’ve been eating like a teenaged boy, fawning over burgers and fries and pizza and chips and dips and everything else teenaged boys fawn over. Do teenaged boys fawn? Probably not… Salavate over. Drool over. Whatever. I just love it. I love everything from the chew of the crust, the sweet, tangy and savory sauce, and the creamy and salty cheese to the creativity and deft hand with the toppings. Personally, I’m a cheese pizza sort of girl, but a little jalapeno here or pepperoni there never hurt anyone.

So when I received an email from someone representing San Francisco-based Columbus Foods regarding a trial of their brand spankin’ new take-and-bake pizzas that launched this past February, I was intrigued. But due to pregnancy brain and a busy life, I completely forgot to respond to the email. Like, straight up, forgot to hit send.

Luckily for me, the contact that pursued me was diligent and followed up a few days later, and this time I remembered to hit that pesky little send button after enthusiastically agreeing to test products and provide any and all feedback we may have.

So who is this company, Columbus Foods? I had no idea, but after a bit of research I was able to determine that Italian immigrants founded this San Francisco based food-manufacturing company in 1917. They used their authentic Italian recipes along with their mastery of salame-making to begin crafting and selling their Old World artisan salame. OMG I love salame…

Screen Shot 2015-03-18 at 8.58.46 AM

Today, in addition to authentic, 100% pork salame, Colombus manufactures premium-quality deli meats made with the finest whole cuts of turkey, ham, beef, and chicken. They promise that you can taste tradition in every single bite. Interesting.

Apparently, because so many people continued to comment on how delicious their salame and other meats would be on a pizza, they decided to just go with it, and make their own take-and-bake, super fresh, never frozen pizzas featuring their renowned meats. Smart.

So, to sum up, the Columbus Pizza Naturale Take & Bake Pizzas feature their very own authentic Italian salame, coupled with recipes inspired by their Italian heritage. Yum. Their pizzas are made with an oven-baked artisan crust and are topped with a rich tomato sauce, 100% real cheese and, of course, premium meats.

After reading up on these folks, and their new pizza line that’s available in three varieties: Four Cheese, Uncured Pepperoni and Uncured Piccante Salame & Sausage, I was excited. The pizzas promise to be wholesome, delicious and easy to serve, and honestly, there was nothing that sounded better to me than that.

A few days after confirming my participation in testing out these new pizzas, I received a pizza party kit, complete with cute mini cheese grater planes, the sturdiest pizza cutter I’ve ever seen, a traditional red and white checkered pizza parlor place mats, and a gift card to H-E-B, where I was promised to find these pizzas in the cooler at the deli section.

Columbus Pizza Naturale Take & Bake Pizzas

Three H-E-B’s in a 30-mile radius (San Marcos, Dripping Springs and Kyle) and 3 weeks later, I still had yet to locate these pizzas! Where, oh where, could they be? After some back and forth with my Columbus contact, we decided that it would just be easier for them to actually SEND the pizzas to my house. But from what I hear, you can find them easily at the Austin H-E-B’s, as well as select Target stores. So if you’re like me, out in the boondocks near San Marcos and Dripping, you’ll have to plan on a special trip out to Austin, but honestly, it’s not that big of a deal. When you have to travel 30 minutes to get to ANY grocery store, traveling an additional 10-15 minutes more isn’t going to make much of a difference. Plus, since these pizzas only hit the market 1 month ago, I imagine they’ll be MUCH easier to spot when they gain some more traction.

Columbus Pizza Naturale Take & Bake Pizzas

Anyway, I was really grateful that they were able to actually send the product to my doorstep, because call me crazy, but with all the contractions I’ve been experiencing as of late, I’m a bit paranoid to stray too far from San Marcos, where I’ll be delivering the baby. So while I COULD have gone into Austin, I’m just thankful for the kindness of these people!

Columbus Pizza Naturale Take & Bake Pizzas

Lucky for us, the pizzas arrived via UPS close to lunch-time on Tuesday afternoon, and with a grumbling tummy, Michael and I tore into the box containing two of the three pizza varieties: the Uncured Pepperoni and Uncured Piccante Salame & Sausage. With our little one out at his Opa and Oma’s for a couple of days for Spring Break, we decided to go with the salame & sausage one, because I just KNOW he’d freak out if we ate the pepperoni without him. I can hear it now. “You at the pepperoni without me?!?”

Columbus Pizza Naturale Take & Bake Pizzas

So like I said, Piccante Salame & Sausage it was, so I preheated the oven to 400F per the instructions, unwrapped the pizza, thought there wasn’t enough cheese, but decided to just go with it and not add my own, and once the oven let me know it was preheated, we got to cooking.

Columbus Pizza Naturale Take & Bake Pizzas

Columbus Pizza Naturale Take & Bake Pizzas

About 14 minutes later, (like I how I said about and then gave a really specific time amount?) the pizza was done, and the kitchen smelled really good. That dough… the smell is really unambiguously mouthwatering and I loved it before I even opened the door. But once I opened the door, I loved it even more.

Columbus Pizza Naturale Take & Bake Pizzas

The crust looked crisp, and everything melted beautifully into a cheesy, saucy, meaty, bubbly layer of love on top of it. YAS. I used the fancy new pizza slicer to cut the pizza up into triangles of yummyocity, and dug right in.

Columbus Pizza Naturale Take & Bake Pizzas

Michael and I were both extremely and pleasantly surprised with everything about this pizza. The crust was nice, the sauce was tasty and there was a perfect amount of it. Plus, the cheese ended up being just right. The salame was what’s up. I loved it. But the sausage wasn’t our favorite. Michael isn’t a big sausage fan to begin with, and as for me, I could have done without it.

Columbus Pizza Naturale Take & Bake Pizzas

Our final verdict on pizza #1: It’s awesome. Hurrah! We were impressed and are excited that we have another one to test out in the coming days. We likened the whole experience of a fresh take-and-bake pizza to that of a Papa Murphy’s experience, minus the customization. However, the Columbus Pizza Naturale Take & Bake Pizzas are right there in the grocery store, so you won’t have to make any extra stops. They’re super convenient, super delicious (for real), all natural and easy to bake.

Columbus Pizza Naturale Take & Bake Pizzas

So guess what? Next time I am not feeling the kitchen (probably tomorrow night) and have to put SOMETHING on the table for my family, I plan on it being another Columbus Pizza Naturale Take & Bake Pizza. I won’t feel bad about giving my boys the same old, same old, i.e. spaghetti or *gasp* take out, AND I’ll feel good about giving them something fun, something they love and something that’s healthier than the other pizza alternatives. Plus, when paired with a fresh salad, I’m pretty sure that nothing could be better for a weeknight dinner.

I definitely recommend Columbus Pizza Naturale Take & Bake Pizzas, and will be repurchasing these puppies in the future.

Have you tried Columbus Pizza Naturale Take & Bake Pizzas? What do YOU think? Want to try for yourself? Click here for a $1 off coupon!

This post was not sponsored, and I was not monetarily compensated. However I did receive the products free for review and test purposes. All of the opinions reflected are my own.

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