Product Type: Chicago Town Ready Meals
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Don't take this pizza anywhere near a microwave...
Chicago Town Deep Dish Pizza
Member Name: ryeb
Chicago Town Deep Dish Pizza
Date: 30/05/12, updated on 30/05/12 (352 review reads)
Advantages: Plenty of cheese, good crust and base if oven cooked.
Disadvantages: Does not taste anywhere near as good if microwaved as per the instructions.
I like both deep dish and thin and crispy pizzas, but whatever type they are I like them to have plenty of topping. So when I saw a temptingly full looking pizza pictured on a box of Chicago Town's Deep Dish Pizza duo, I decided to buy a packet and see if they live up to their image.
I bought the 4 cheese variety.There are others in the range but I haven't tried those. Chicago Town describe their pizza as "topped to overflowing" with tomato sauce and cheese - the four types used being mozzarella, mature cheddar, Monteray Jack, and Emmental. As I mentioned above, this frozen pizza comes in a twin pack, with each pizza being an individual portion. This makes it handy if you want a pizza and aren't going to share it with anyone else. I tend to buy and use larger pizzas normally, but they are next to impossible to divide up in their frozen state, so you have to cook the whole one or none of it. Having an individual sized pizza also helps if no-one can agree on what pizza to cook - they can all have something to suit themselves.
First impressions were good. I could smell tomato even before the pizza was cooked, and there looked to be lots of cheese. You can cook it either in the conventional oven, or in the microwave. Apart from McCain's Micro pizzas, I can't think of many other pizzas that are suitable for microwave cooking, and with hindsight I can see why. It doesn't work very well! Unfortunately, I didn't realise that and cooked my first pizza that way. The process is at least easy, and quick, taking three minutes in an 800w microwave. You sit the base on a silver coloured card disc that is supplied in the box. I presume this is to help the base of the pizza crisp, as dough doesn't usually do this very well in the microwave. Once it has finished cooking, the pizza is really hot and I couldn't eat or slice it for a minute or two. Once it was cooler, I took my first bite - and what a let down! The crust was tough and chewy, and had no crispiness at all. The topping was o.k, and properly melted, but as I had to chew through the crust to get to it, I didn't enjoy it at all.
Not wanting to waste the rest of the packet, I decided to give Chicago town another chance, and cook the second pizza in the oven. This takes 20 minutes so it is still quick. What a difference! It looked lovely when it came out of the oven, with the topping lightly brown. As soon as I cut into the crust and through the base, I could tell this was the only way to cook one in the future. They were crispy, and light, rather than doughy as some thicker crusts can be. The cheese is plentiful and gooey. It seperates into strings but not so much that it is difficult to eat. It is nice to see a deep dish pizza that really is deep. I would like to have detected more of the tomato, as I could see plenty of it but the flavour wasn't there. The good cheese taste makes up for that a little though.
I found one a perfect size for a snack or a light meal. They are filling despite their smaller size. I didn't feel the need to add any other toppings, but you could do, if you were prepared to pile it up and open you mouth wide as they are already deep! However you eat it though, please oven cook it.
Chicago Town pizzas seem easily available in the different supermarkets. What varies a lot is the price. I have bought these a few times now, and I have only once paid full price. They are frequently on offer in Iceland for £1 for the twin pack, and the same offer has also been in Tesco and Sainsbury's.The only time I paid full price I spent £1.98 in Waitrose. So it is worth keeping an eye out for deals.
I would recommend these to those looking for a deep pizza, with a good crust and flavour, with the proviso that you stick to oven baking though. It is worth taking a few extra minutes in cooking to get a proper crust and base.
[This review is also on Ciao under my user name.]
Summary: A good quality pizza that really needs oven cooking for best results.