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Posts Tagged ‘Frozen pizza reviews’

Mandia Ciboitaliano Frozen Pizza Review

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Mandia Ciboitaliano Frozen PizzaI’ve wondered aloud many times why US frozen pizza manufacturers can’t make a really great pie. I’ve had a few really good ones from smaller Chicago manufacturers, such as Vito & Nicks II, and Home Run Inn, but the big guys? Totinos? Red Baron? Tombstone?

Yechh.  Fortunately, several years ago, I “discovered” the frozen pizzas at Trader Joes, all of which are imported from France or Italy and are f***ing great. There’s the Olympiad, with feta and olives, and the margherita that I’ve tried and been happy with.

Lo and behold, the other day I was in a “Fresh Thyme” market, and they have a pizza from Italy called Mandia Ciboitaliano, from a contract, private label manufacturer F.I.A.D. SRL.  Not much information is available online about the manufacturer.  This version is a margherita, with tomatos and cheese. Pretty hard actually to find a purer ingredient list: Wheat flour, water, tomatoots, mozzarella, grana padano cheese, egg whites, salt, EVOO, yeast. Wow.

It bakes up fast at 475, the box provides instructions for frozen or thawed, it just take a few moments if thawed, and less than ten if frozen.   Doughy crust, REAL cheese, and sauce that tastes like……………….wait for it…………………TOMATOES! 

AND IT’S A GREAT PIE.

I’ll do it again. Often.  Don’t know if they make other varieties, but I’m find with this basic cheese version, and I can pile on processed pork pizza toppings if I am so inclined.

If you see these in your store, stock up. They may be available at Whole Foods, I’ve seen a reference to that, but cannot personally attest to the fact.

Mandia Ciboitaliano Frozen Pizza

Unbaked

Mandia Ciboitaliano Frozen Pizza

8 Minutes, 475

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mandia Ciboitaliano Frozen Pizza Review

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Trader Joe’s Frozen Wild Mushroom & Truffle Flatbread

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The back of the box says “while similar to a simple pizza, this fabulous, fascinating flatbread defines a category of its very own.” Agreed.

While living in Europe, even the worst pizzeria often put out a product superior to a lot of US pizzas; on those nites when I didn’t feel like going on, European frozen pizzas, especially those from Italy and France, more than satisfied my peculiarly picky palate. I often thought, “why can’t we get frozen pizza like this at home?” Now we can. As I have previously reviewed two of Trader Joe’s frozen offerings, the mushroom ‘tarte’, and the Pizza Olympiad, when I saw this “Wild Mushroom and Black Truffle Flatbread” yesterday, I knew it was destined for my oven last night.

(Note, Trader Joe’s is a smallish nationwide specialty grocer, to find locations click here).

Further description on the package goes on to say “a hand-stretched crust is carefully covered with truffle sauce, then topped with whole milk mozzarella, truffles, and mushrooms. The golden colors are appealing, the flavor is outstanding!”

And again, we agree. Bake at 425 for 6-8 minutes, and this 9 oz pie becomes a hearty entree or an appetizer for several people. The flatbread is crispy, and the flavors of the mushrooms, truffle sauce, and cheese come through brilliantly!

I’m fortunate to live in a city where there are several Trader Joe’s – first encountered in Los Angeles, and at least once a week I am in there to pick up their flavored sparkling waters and juices for Mrs. Burgerdogboy, as she has a penchant for them, and it gives me an excuse to peruse the “what’s new” products in their aisles. I only picked up this one item for myself yesterday, but noted there were several more pies that I haven’t tried. Looks like another trip is in order!

As I said in one of my previous posts, on the @worstpizza.com scale of 0-8 slices, 8 being best, I rarely give a “7”, but I did for Traders Joe’s frozen, and that surprised even me.  I put this one in the same category!



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Home Cookin’ – More Frozen Pizzas

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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.

This has a nice puff pastry crust, with a curled decorative edging, and is recommended to be baked for 8-12 minutes at 425. No artificial flavors, preservatives, and not genetically engineered.

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!



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