If you look at the history of frozen pizza in the U.S., many of the largest brands started out as “bar pizzas” in Minnesota and Wisconsin. Small manufacturers made frozen pies, sold them to bars, to which they furnished a counter top oven free of charge. (There used to be laws that a certain percentage of sales at a bar came from food).
Manufacturers in the two states today sell hundreds of millions of dollars worth of pizzas per year, from many of your favorite brands. I’m written about quite a few of them, these are the Minnesota ones: Totino’s Party Pizza and Jeno’s Crisp ’n Tasty Pizza, Red Baron, Tonys, Freschetta, Bernatellos – Bellatoria, Orvs, Roma, Brew Pub, Green Mill, and literally dozens of single brand independents, like Kettle River, and pizzerias that make frozen pies to sell in-house.
Today’s sample is a regional favorite, in mid-Minnesota, which was spawned out of an Anoka restaurant, before hitting the bar and club circuit with frozen pies. Heggie’s Pizza is heavy on ingredients and mystery. Started in a garage, but now operating out of a newish plant in the middle of the state, an hour north of Minneapolis, the family run operation doesn’t talk about it’s ingredients or methods.
I don’t know if you can find them in a lot of local grocers, but I did see them in quite a few gas stations in the Twin Cities. They are a little spendy compared to most local frozen pies ($6 – $10).
They make a dozen varieties, and I started out with the “Six Pack,” which has sausage, pepperoni, bacon, Canadian bacon, cheddar and mozzarella cheese in ample quantities. (It’s their best seller).
In my opinion (the only one that counts here) Heggies makes one of the very, very few frozen pizzas that equals a pizzeria pie, in flavor and texture. Good sauce, good crust, great cheese ( a lot of it!), good toppings.
I only have two minor gripes about the Six Pack; even tho everybody loves bacon, the bacon “flavor” is the overwhelming one on the Six Pack. It is very similar to the taste and aroma of “bacon flavored” items. Also, for me, the sausage doesn’t have enough texture. It is reminiscent of institutional food service, pre-cooked sausage crumbles that some pizza shops use.
The gas station clerk that sold me the pie said she was an expert at cooking them, and baking them at a lower temp for longer than the directions would bring the best result; but I followed the package directions and it was just swell.
Neither of these are deal killers. If these pies were sold in my area, they would be my regular go-to frozen pie. No question.
Pies are made in Milaca, Minnesota at USDA est. M15816-P15816. Pic below.
Heggies Pizza Review