I didn’t have anything to make for dinner, so when I chanced upon frozen/refrigerated boxes of Belafino Take and Bake Pepperoni Pizza at Grocery Outlet, I thought I’d give it a try. Probably I won’t do it again.
The 2lb, 16″ pizzas seemed good enough in the box. They are made with 100% real mozzarella cheese, and at $3 each they looked like a good bargain. They seemed to have a fair amount of cheese and pepperoni – though once I took them out of the box, the pepperoni seemed rather scant. Still, what ultimately matters is the flavor, and these pizzas taste only of sauce.
There was no cheese flavor /at all/, and while the mild pepperoni was nice in itself, it couldn’t stand up to the sauce. I found the sauce to have an unhappy combination of a predominant too-sweet taste, with hints of annoying bitterness. I just didn’t like it.
The crust was OK, though it had a slight refrigerator taste that I didn’t really appreciate, still it was masked by the sauce.
All of this said, the kids *loved* it. I can’t imagine why, but kids are funny.
I did a bit of googling about this pizza and it seems it’s a relatively recent brand from Schwan, the makers of Freschetta, Red Baron and Tony’s frozen pizzas. Belafino is supposed to be a “gourmet” offering, one to be sold on the deli section of the supermarket – giving the impression that it’s fresh (though the box does note that it’s been previously frozen). Supermarkets are supposed to defrost them, put a “sell by” date of 10 days after the pizza was defrosted, and place it in the deli. I find that kind of scary, because nothing on the box says when the pizza was made (it has a 6-month freezer life). It also seems sort of deceptive.
In any case, the pizza doesn’t taste good and that’s what really counts.