Thursday, November 1, 2012

Palermo's Pizza is Far from Primo.

Palermo's Primo Thin Pizza


Every now and then I look for a frozen pizza that I can have in the freezer for spur of the moment cravings. Being in an area where the nearest decent pizzeria is an hour away, or not having the time or energy to make fresh, forces this issue to the freezer section. So, with their bragging of "third generation of the family business", "connections to Palermo, Italy", and "freshest, quality ingredients", I looked forward to a good substitute for freshly made. Sadly, I was to be disappointed, not once, but twice, as I gave this product two trials.

The first pizza I made was the "Cheese Lovers" which lists mozzarella, white cheddar (that's a Wisconsin addition, not an Italian one), provolone, parmesan and romano cheeses on the front panel; on the Ingredient listing, however, it only states cultured milk and water as the first two items. Wheat flour and tomatoes are the next two major components; less than two percent are: soybean oil, salt, sugar, olive oil, spices, garlic powder, vinegar and enzymes. Doesn't sound like much in there, and where are the Italian herbs?

Following the directions, I preheated the oven to 450F, placed the pizza on the lowest rack and waited the minimum of eight minutes. Checking on the pizza, while the edges were browned, the center still looked uncooked, so I left it in for only another minute before I smelled burning. Opening the oven, the cheese was puffed upward, while oil and cheese had begun to drip onto the oven bottom. I pulled the pizza out and wiped up the spill quickly, but my smoke alarm went off anyway.

The crust is indeed crisp and ultra thin, very much similar to "matzo crackers" or saltine crackers, but without the salt; crispy, thin and tasteless. The "robust tomato sauce" is a simple smear of tomato sauce without any seasonings; the cheeses were oily and not pleasing to the mouth. I sprinkled a little of my own seasonings onto the pizza, but it was truly not helpful; I ended up tossing it out.

I had also purchased a Pepperoni pizza and cooked that one up to see if the addition of pepperoni would be helpful to the overall product. The cooking time was longer (10 to 15 minutes), at 10 minutes it was still uncooked, at 12 minutes though it was dark and overcooked; the bottom of my oven covered in oily residue and smoking. I tossed it out, locked the oven and set the cleaning function on.

Overall, Palermo's Pizza is a waste of money, that is unless you are truly looking for a good excuse to clean your oven.

Mary Cokenour