Saturday, February 21, 2009
Dr. Oetker's Ristorante Pizzas
So the other day I got an email in my email@example.com box from a friendly representative of the Dr. Oetker brand Ristorante frozen pizza line. Apparently, the frozen pizzas were about to be launched at our local Price Choppers and Hannafords and the kind lady was wondering if I would like to receive a couple of samples (mailed on dry ice, very fancy). Of course I answered in the enthusiastic affirmative and soon after the two lovely boxes pictured above and below arrived on the promised dry ice.
Apparently the Dr. Oetker's Ristorante Pizzas are German-made but are the number one selling frozen pizza in Italy. I figure the Italians must know what they are talking about in regards to pizza so I was looking forward to an excellent product.
The pizzas come in mozzarella, spinaci, funghi, and vegatale and I chose the first two to try out. I began with the mozzarella.
Upon taking it out of the box I was immediately struck by the discs of mozzarella on the top. This was on top of a generous smattering of shredded mozzarella. As I am a believer in the more cheese the better this was impressive in comparison to the meager amounts of cheese that I have seen on some other frozen brands. As far as other toppings there was a scattering of diced tomatoes and some green flecked globules that I took to be some sort of basil mixture. At first I thought they were comprised of ricotta but I did not see it on the listed ingredients (although there was Edam, I guess if you are in Germany you go with what you got!).
Next I de-boxed the spinaci pizza.
Again I noticed the abundance of topping material. This pizza was covered in greenery, not the anemic sprinkling of veg that I have seen on some other gourmet vegetable type pizzas. The spinach even looked relatively fresh for being frozen. Again there was a pattern of globules of a cheesy substance on the surface that kind of looked like a soft cheese/ricotta kind of thing.
I followed the cooking instructions on the box to the word so I could be sure they came out as the manufacture intended. I threw them in the oven at 425 for 11 minutes (it said 10-12 so I split the difference). This is resulted in the nicely browned pizzas you see below.
When I opened the oven I could definitely smell an assertive amount of garlic which I like. Frankly, both of the pizzas looked surprisingly good. I am not a huge frozen pizza fan and rarely if ever buy it for home consumption, but my immediate thoughts were that if the pizza tasted as good as it looked I might actually consider buying these.
The Dr. Oetker's pizzas are of the thin crust variety, but not over crisp and cracker like as are some other pizzas of this type. Something that I noticed was that the flavors of the ingredients actually come through in both of the pizzas. In the mozzarella I actually tasted mozzarella, tomato, basil, etc... In the spinach I actually tasted spinach. It was not that bland, generic, frozen pizza, tastelessness that I am used to from so many of the American brands (Ellio's, Tombstone, Mama Celeste, etc...ad nauseum).
Overall I was impressed, and not just because I received these gratis. Believe you me had they been sub par, I would have skewered them mercilessly. I was even kind of looking forward to using my rapier wit, but alas I have to give these pizzas my recommendation. If you have to buy frozen pizza these are an excellent solution. Also, they are already available at P-Chops, the wife and I saw them on Friday at the Guilderland location. I apologize but I did not notice the price. Anyways, if there is anyone else out there who wants to send me frozen goodies let me know. I eagerly wait to devour your product.