It can be hard to keep up with the ever-changing array in the frozen pizza aisle.
Crusts, once simply thick or thin, can now be naturally rising, fire-baked, brick oven, crispy flatbread or even garlic bread.
There are pizzas for one, pizzas for a bunch and pizzas that will help you limit the nutritional debauchery to 200 calories at a time.
With Super Bowl parties in mind, we served Freschetta’s new PizzAmoré pies with fire-baked crust to The Spokesman-Review’s reader food panel. The pizzas are conveniently pre-sliced and bake on the company’s signature Fresch-bake tray.
Our tasters weren’t impressed. We served 3 Cheese with Tomato, Pepperoni Primo and Chicken Spinach and Mushroom. The pizzas eked out a two-star rating on our five-star scale.
Tasters complained variously that the crust was too thick and too chewy and that the toppings were greasy and bland.
“Unfortunately, has that ‘cardboard’ crust taste of frozen pizza,” Larry Inman said of the 3 Cheese and Tomato offering. “The topping couldn’t save it.
Marilyn Moore added, “You can sure tell it’s not Papa Murphy’s. In a box for a quick buy and eat. You might try it once, but never again.”
Even pepperoni couldn’t save the pizzas.
“After wading through the grease, I came to a very bland pizza,” said Peggy Kazanis.
Nancy Robinson didn’t like much about it either. Her list of complaints was long: “Greasy pepperoni, needs more cheese, the crust is too thick, could use more sauce.”
The Chicken Spinach and Mushrooms was not well-loved either.
“This is truly spinach-and-cheese-baked cardboard,” Vicki Deschaine said.
“Nice blend of toppings and the cheese is good, but the experience is severely damaged by the yucky crust,” Larry Inman said.
The pies were not without a fan.
Skip Hubbard liked Freschetta’s effort, especially with the Chicken Spinach and Mushroom. He gave it the panel’s highest rating.
“Mushrooms with actual flavor,” he wrote. “Wow. I’m a meat and potatoes guy, but this is actually good pizza.
But he was the lone voice in the frozen food aisle. Most food panel members said they will avoid the new Freschetta PizzAmoré when they go shopping.
Freschetta PizzAmoré, 3 Cheese with Tomato
Nutrition per serving, 1/4 pizza: 340 calories, 14 grams fat (6 grams saturated), 15 grams protein, 37 grams carbohydrate, 30 milligrams cholesterol, 2 grams dietary fiber, 810 milligrams sodium.
Taste: • •
Value: • •
Comments: “Yes Virginia, it is a frozen pizza. Nothing special or different.” – Vicki Deschaine
“I prefer to have a little bit more going on with my pizza, so I’ll say it’s not bad.” – Skip Hubbard
Freschetta PizzAmoré, Pepperoni Primo
Nutrition per serving, 1/4 pizza: 380 calories, 19 grams fat (8 grams saturated), 17 grams protein, 37 grams carbohydrate, 35 milligrams cholesterol, 2 grams dietary fiber, 1,010 milligrams sodium.
Taste: • •
Value: • •
Comments: “First thing I saw was the oozing fat. Then all I tasted was drippy fat, but I was so hungry I ate it all.” – Marilyn Moore
“Too chewy, not enough flavor and too greasy.” – Larry Inman
Freschetta PizzAmoré, Chicken Spinach and Mushroom
Nutrition per serving, 1/4 pizza: 310 calories, 11 grams fat (4.5 grams saturated), 15 grams protein, 38 grams carbohydrate, 25 milligrams cholesterol, 3 grams dietary fiber, 810 milligrams sodium.
Taste: • •
Value: • •
Comments: “It takes a lot of talent to make a good veggie pizza because a bad one is really bad. And this is bad.” – Peggy Kazanis
“The mushrooms are great, but everything else lacks flavor. Not too eye appealing. Very dry crust.” – Nancy Robinson
If you have been exposed to a bit too much "Spokane is practically perfect in every way" cheerleading and need a reality check, just ask someone who works in the ...
A GRIP ON SPORTS • "Big time" means a lot of things to a lot of people. To some, it has a negative connotation, as in "he big-timed me." To ...
Washington state is now so chock-full of candidates for statewide office that you may not be able to avoid stumbling over one the next time you venture into a gathering ...
You'll have to contend with Iron-type people, if you go downtown this weekend. They'll be practicing and strutting their muscular bodies on Saturday. And performing on Sunday. I'm curious what ...
sponsored Jargon is confusing, by definition. And the financial world has its own set of cryptic words.