Just back from a two week burger and pizza tour, by the 2nd nite home, naturally I was craving a little…….pizza.
Perused the freezer in the home ice box, and came up with two I hadn’t tried. Ziyad Brand Middle Eastern Style Gourmet Pizza and White Toque Brand Four Cheese Tart.
Both of these were in the frozen food sections of my neighborhood Halal market. Ziyad is a Chicago based importer and distributor, their website says they currently distribute over 1000 products to 46 states and 6 countries. It would seem the only thing they manufacture themselves is pita. The pizza does not have a country of origin label on it, so one would assume it has been sitting in a storage freezer since that labeling law came into effect. Nor can I find any reference to the origin on their website.
If you haven’t had a “Middle Eastern Style Pizza”, they run snack size (there are 6 in this box, for about $7), and generally are like a very thin flat bread with minced beef, onion, and a few other veggies and herbs, in a tasty combination. These are “heat and eat” as opposed to “bake and eat” and thus can be ready in the microwave in less than a minute. Since I was also doing another type of pie, I did both on a stone in the oven.
My other choice, the cheese tart, imported from France, rivaled the Trader Joe’s tart of a few weeks ago. White Toque (toque is French for a type of hat……thus “White Hat” = “good guys?”) and describes themselves as a “leading importer of frozen foods to the food service industry”.
The box says that the four cheese tart (or flammekueche – which means “with burnt edges” is typical of the Alsace region in France, traditionally cooked in a wood fired oven. This one is topped with Bleu, mozzarella, cheddar and swiss, tho the traditional flammekueche might have bacon, onion, and fromage blanc.
Both pies were great, are great as appetizers, or in quantity as entrees. The Ziyad is mildly spicy, very flavorful, and the Cheese Tart creamy with a bite of tang from the Bleu. I liked them both very much. Along with the Trader Joe’s Mushroom tart, these very well may replace all other frozens in my household, going forward.
Baking note – it was a mistake to try the tart on a stone. It would perform much better placed directly on an oven rack, as is recommended in the instructions.
The past couple of bites of the cheese I decorated with a few “Greek style dried black olives” which I had picked up at the Olivepit a couple weeks ago. Nice. Olive Pit is one of my “must stops” when driving through Northern California. Put is on YOUR list!