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Posts Tagged ‘Pepperoni’

Vernon Manor Pepperoni Review

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Vernon ManorOne of my local groceries seems to get more than their share of ‘scratch and dent’ foods.  That’s my term for products that aren’t regularly stocked or are on the shelf at a deep discount.   They do have a close-out bin, as well, which is odd, because the products in there are rarely products that one regularly sees on the shelves/coolers at thes tore.   My favorite is “meat ends,” chunks of chubs from the deli, apparently too small to go through the slicer without the potential for significant loss of limb to the deli workers.

In any case, yesterday they had a pile of these two pound packages of pepperoni from “Vernon Manor,” a brand manufactured by Fresh Mark of Ohio, also the parent of Sugardale meats.

Two pound packs of pepperoni, in and of themselves, are unusual, these more so by the fact they were only $2.99 each.  At a buck and a half a pound, that’s about 90% off the big name brands.

I only bought one, for as much processed pork as I consume, I knew I would have to attempt to freeze some of this, not sure if that will work, but I put the pork slices in baggies in 1/3 – 1/2 pound increments. Sort of.

It is a pork and beef product, and there are some ‘cracker jack like surprises’ in the pack – in addition to 95% traditionally thin sliced pieces, there is also an occasional chub end or six, perfect for snack noshing.

I’m picky about my pepperoni, I want a flavorful slice, not all that fatty, as high fat pepp is what causes your charring and cupping on a pizza.  There are some that say that’s a good thing, but it doesn’t appeal to me.  I like this one, good flavor, a nice little kick.

It’s made at the Canton, OH factory pictured below.

Fresh Mark Ohio

Fresh Mark Factory

Fresh Mark Factory

Fresh Mark Aerial

 

Vernon Manor Pepperoni Review

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7-Eleven Pizza, the Home Version

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I have previously written about 7-Eleven adding more hot food items, round-the-clock, including pizza, both whole and sliced. A whole pepperoni retails for 9.99.

The program of adding ready-cooked foods reflects changing consumer habits – for one thing, 7-Eleven has to make up for the rapidly decreasing income from tobacco sales. Plus they have moved towards more in-house branding (“Select”), undoubtedly to boost margins. Very shrewd.

My previous review of take-out slices is here.

Today, I walked into my neighborhood 7-Eleven (which doesn’t offer the cooked pizzas or slices) and I noticed a stack of frozen 7-Eleven “Self Rising Crust Pizzas” in the freezer section.

The pepperoni one weighs in at 27 oz, which is good weight for a frozen pizza. Price point is $5.99. Which means they are going to charge you an additional $4 per pie, if you are buying a whole cooked one at some other outlet. This seems fair, as usually retail prices are double wholesale, so they are paying roughly $3 a pie, and prepared food costs are generally 3x wholesale, so that multiple is correct too.

I say it’s fair, because if your 7-Eleven is selling the baked pies, that means they shelled out $5,000+ for the Turbo Chef oven.

There are two descriptors on the front of the box. “Made with real cheese”, and “topped with mozzarella cheese, pepperoni, parmesan and romano cheeses, and a blend of spices.

An examination of the ingredients proves this out; the cheese are indeed real, as is the pepperoni (beef & pork; garlic and dried oregano are the final two ingredients on the panel.

There’s no indication of who is making these for 7-Eleven, and I could not find a reference to that online; however there is no shortage of contract frozen pizza manufacturers in the U.S., could be someone like Schwans, in Minnesota, or Palermo’s in Milwaukee. I suppose even Kraft cranks out a few. No matter.

Instructions call for direct on center rack, 425, 20-25 minutes, and when I do these tests, I follow the instructions explicitly, and don’t add any additional toppings; I don’t ‘relocate’ any of the toppings. I want to see what the product is exactly the way they intended it.

I don’t much give a damn for rising crusts, as you well know if you read me occasionally. Set the timer for 20 minutes, and out it came, just on the cusp of being overcooked. No, my oven doesn’t run hot. Anyway, I much prefer an overcooked pizza to an undercooked, limp one.

Taste, aesthetic, and texture-wise, this pizza is just fine for what it is, and a terrific value calculating weight versus price. The outer crust is crispy and chewy, the inner crust doughy and chewy, which I am sure is what they intended. Sauce is flavorful without being annoying, and you can always tell the difference when real cheese is used. The pepperoni is good, didn’t cup or char, there could be more, but 7-Eleven does include more slices than most frozen pizzas.

Will I buy it again? Sure, it’s a couple hundred feet from my house, and I don’t have to order ahead of time. They also offer a cheese and supreme variety; I’d like to see an Italian sausage, with big pieces of bulk sausage amply sprinkled across the top.

As I wrote when I sampled the take-out slices before, I’ve had this pizza previously, and it didn’t have the 7-Eleven label on it.   Can’t quite place it, but it will come to me eventually.  The ultimate test for me, as it is for all pizza, is how good this the next morning, after sitting on the counter all night.

But in the meantime, to quote a cliche. “Oh thank heaven, for 7-Eleven.”


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