A Pageantry of Pizza
Store brand frozen pizzas went head to head against DiGorno Rising Crust, the tried and true, to determine who would come out on top as Ms. Frozen Pizza 2018. The competition was hot, and at times cheesy, as each contestant emerged from the oven ready to establish their title. But, only one could win. The results are as follows:
Fourth Runner-Up: Publix Premium Self-Rising Crust Pepperoni Pizza
This pizza missed the mark. Plain and simple. Testers likened the crust to cardboard and said the sauce was sweet like BBQ sauce. Not only did the pizza not taste as good, but the packaging lacked the easy-open peel that comes standard on the DiGiorno. We see no reason to switch to the generic on this one, as Publix pulled a 41% similarity score, and it is the SAME cost as the name brand. The Floridian, and self-proclaimed Publix enthusiast in the group, so delicately commented:
Third Runner-Up: Lidl
We have to say, we get the Lidl hype. Their generics look like name brands and we picked up some great dupes (coming soon!) while we were there. Unfortunately, the Self-Rising Crust pizza just didn't do it for our judges' panel. With a similarity score of 42%, Lidl just scraped by Publix, dodging the last place. Testers kept commenting, "this tastes like cafeteria pizza." They found the crust much chewier throughout than the DiGiorno, and the sauce much sweeter. We'll let you in on a secret... DiGiorno infuses smoke into their recipe for added flavor. Without quality spices, some zas choked under pressure.
Second Runner-Up: Wegmans Bake and Rise Four Cheese Pizza
With a 50% overall similarity score, it was difficult for our testers to get past the extra chewy crusts of many a store-brand pie, and Wegmans was no exception. One taster likened the crust on this pizza to a soft pretzel. If you like soft pretzels (or Bagel Bites), it might be for you. If you are loyal to DiGiorno, this one won't cut it. The Wegmans sauce was sweet, but tasters thought it had a little more complexity than Publix or Lidl. Bonus points: it has easy-open packaging.
Runner-Up (and Ms. Pizza 2018 if our winner is unable to fulfill her duties): Great Value Rising Crust Four Cheese Pizza
Luckily, the talent only goes up from here. We must say, the underdog showed up to the competition. While the Great Value pizza looked different coming out of the packaging, it was there for us in taste. Great Value has finer shredded cheese, one of which is cheddar, so we were skeptical out the gate. While the Digiorno looked and smelled better, testers were pleasantly surprised by the spices in the sauce, as well as the texture of the crust- a perfect balance of crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside. At $2.50/ pizza, it is half the cost of the name brand.
Ms. Pizza 2018: Great Value Rising Crust Pepperoni Pizza
In a true display of beauty and grace, the Great Value pepperoni pizza narrowly beat out her less meaty sister to be crowned the title. Like the cheese pizza, this pie didn't smell as good as the name brand, but it was all there on taste and texture. This bargain dish proves that true beauty is on the inside (aka the flavor profile).