“ Brand: Chicago Town / Type: Pizza „
I am a connoisseur of the frozen pizza, either that or I'm just a lazy cook!
I have my favourite but as Chicago Town were on offer at Tesco's I chose a couple of those.
The first I tried was the New Orleans Cheese Pizza. I'm not sure the reason for the name as its Mozzarella, Red and Mature Cheddar Cheese none of which says New Orleans.
As usual when I open this pizzas I am invariably disappointed. Edge to edge it may be but 'more toppings that any other pizza' (*as compared to any other frozen brand) I'm unsure of. It certainly doesn't seem to be the case.
I followed the instructions, but decided to have a look at it after just under 15 minutes. Good job too as if I'd waited the 18-20 minutes it says, it would have been charred. Actually it probably could have done with 5 minutes less.
The base was crispy but bland, there was a good helping of tomato sauce on the base, and it was just tomato puree. It was completely void of any other flavour. All pizzas should have a flavoured sauce on them, although in the ingredients there is garlic and herbs, there is no trace of those flavours.
The biggest disappointment was the cheese. I like my mozzarella to be stringy, now it states 19% mozzarella so I would expect it to be so, but no it didn't happen. The cheeses had melded into a mass plasticy meld. And the taste wasn't too far off plastic either! No discernible taste of cheese at all. I am aware that mozzarella is fairly bland but you should be able to taste mature cheese. And as per usual, take one bite and the entire lot of cheese comes away leaving you to try and fork it back on, or remove the whole lot from your chin!
All in all, as you can probably tell I'm extremely disappointed with this pizza. Its bland and tasteless, even the value pizzas contain more flavour, albeit with less cheese but its not that much of a hardship to put some more on.. A definite waste of money and calories.
Typical values per ¼ pizza
Of sugars 2.1g
When my best friends daughter was coming to tea last night I had my kitchen upside down due to not only decorating the living room and plenty of stuff all in the kitchen that shouldn't be there but we had a washing machine leak that destroyed the lino and allsorts. I knew I needed to feed her straight from school but didn't have the time and space to prepare a lot which is why I grabbed a pizza and a frozen bag of chips in Tesco and having tried a different variety of this Chicago Town Edge To Edge Pizza a short time ago and knowing it was totally gorgeous couldn't wait to get stuck into another one!
The pizza comes in a black box with a photograph of the pizza, cooked on the front of it and we are told that it is Chicago Town, Edge To Edge, Thin & Crispy Calfornia Cheese Pizza 'Mozzarella, Mature Cheddar & Provolone cheeses' and that this pizza has a brand new crust, is lighter and crispier and contains more toppings than any other pizza....fact!' and the weight is stated which is 305g. On the back of the box other information listed includes being told a bit about the pizza, ingredients and allergy advice is given, there is a full nutritional chart shown and cooking instructions are given (From frozen this takes 12-15 minutes in the oven) and contact details for Dr Oetker are listed and inside the pizza is wrapped tightly (to protect it of course) in a see-through but easy to tear off wrapper. Nice enough informative packaging this is.
The Pizza Itself:
Well these pizzas are a great size, have a crispy bread base (once cooked!) that is thin, round and the crust is barely there and the toppings all go right to the edges of the pizza...hence the name.
Once cooked (which is ever so simple to do of course lol) the cheese melts and you get a variety of light yellow and darker yellow cheeses and these melt well and don't appear to have a greasy residue to them at all. You can see little specks of green herbs and garlic within it and all in all it looks and smells great.
Taste wise both me and Charlotte loved this pizza. Crunchy, thin and crispy this is not too hard on the teeth, has a generous amount of tasty and moist, tangy and thick tomato sauce and the cheese is melted in abundance over that and gooey with a hint of a garlic taste that really isn't too overpowering at all.
I love the fact that this has no crust and is thin based and yes, I agree that after trying out many home cooked pizzas in the past few years that this has more on than any I have ever tried and I love this brand!
Nice one again from Chicago Town I just want to keep trying out all the different varieties they have on offer!
Nutritional Information Per 1/4 Pizza (The important bits!):
Energy (Kcal): 304
of which saturates 8.8g
Available in all good supermarkets etc and if not on offer (in Tescos they are at the moment!) expect to pay about £1.80 per pizza.
More topping than any other pizza. Fact*
* Product tests proved that Edge to Edge has more topping than any other frozen branded deep pan pizza. Fact!
Have you had bad experience with pizzas? Me too. The worst pizza I have ever eaten was served in Venice, Italy... Despite the bad experiences from time to time I can't resist and have pizza because I love it. My very favourite pizza is Pizza Hut's Cheesy Bites. I love the cheese filled bites so much that any topping would do. Luckily there is no Pizza Hut in our neighbourhood so it is easy to keep my diet. I used to make my own pizza from scratch until I tried Chicago Town Edge to Edge deep pan... I think fresh pizza is always better than frozen ones but there are some really tasty ones available nowadays.
Chicago Town is not an American brand as the name suggests, this pizza is made by the old, well known Dr.Oetker. I know this brand mostly for its premium quality home baking ingredients and medium quality Ristorante pizzas. I have to admit that the manufacturer of Chicago Town was discovered only when I started to write this review. The manufacturer's logo is hidden in the bottom of the right corner on the back of the box. It is not an accident I think. The Chicago Town logo and brand is highlighted on the box and the webpage (www.chicagotown.com) is based around this brand too. The Edge to Edge logo is even better, not to forget that your pizza is well topped.
I think Dr. Oetker's marketing strategy worked, as I haven't checked the box all over and discovered only now that this brand belongs to Dr. Oetker too. I am hooked on this pizza for a while so I don't care any more I just wonder how they can do such different pizzas...
Price and where to buy
I bought the last 2 boxes in Tesco yesterday and they were on offer for 2 pizzas for 4 pounds. It wasn't hard to choose two pizzas so I took advantage from the offer. Chicago Town branded pizzas are available in all the supermarkets where the frozen pizzas are. There is a chance that you won't find all their products in your local store but this can happen to any other products...
Deep dish pizzas are available in the following tastes: pepperoni, barbeque chicken, meat combo, ham and pineapple, four cheese and supreme. The box contains 2 pizzas, each weight 170 g.
Take Away pizzas have a crust filled with spicy tomato sauce and have fresh dough base. The Take Away selection consists of pepperoni, four cheese, chicken and the limited edition X-Factor pizza (meat and pepperoni).
Edge to Edge pizzas are available on thin and crispy and deep pan base. The common is that the base is packed with delicious topping from edge to edge. The range contains: Deep Pan Miami Meaty Pizza, Deep Pan New Orleans Cheese Pizza, Thin and Crispy California Cheese Pizza, Thin and Crispy Manhattan Chicken Pizza and Thin and Crispy New York Deli Pizza.
Box design and content
Deep Pan New Orleans Cheese Pizza comes in a black cardboard box with a huge pizza picture on it. The Edge to Edge logo is almost as big as the pizza itself. Everything is mega on this box. The logo consisting of some blue office buildings and Chicago Town label below them seems small compared to the other labels on the box. It seem so American.
The back side of the box contains the cooking instructions, the ingredients, nutritional information and the manufacturer.
The pizza inside the box was wrapped in foil which has to be removed before you put it in the oven. It was surprisingly high and well packed. It looked very appetizing even frozen. It is about 28 cm in diameter and 375 g.
The manufacturer recommends cooking from frozen. Preheat the oven to 190C/375F/Gas Mark 5. While the oven is heating up you can comfortably open the box, remove the transparent plastic film then place your pizza on the oven shelf or pizza plate. Cook it for 24-27 minutes until the cheese is melted and lightly browned.
As all frozen pizzas have to be cooked the same way I don't check these instructions just drop the pizza in the preheated oven. I prefer using a pizza plate because I hate cleaning the burnt cheese from the oven. The plate is dishwasher proof...
It takes a while for your pizza to be well cooked so you have plenty of time to check the ingredients. Not that you have too many options at this stage... So the Deep Pan New Orleans Cheese Pizza is made of wheat flour, mozzarella cheese (19%), tomato puree, water, red Cheddar cheese (16%) contains colour (annatto), mature Cheddar cheese (5%), vegetable oil, sugar, salt, yeast, modified starch, skimmed milk powder, emulsifier (E472e), garlic, spices, herbs, flour treatment agents (E920, E300), flavouring, colour (beta carotene).
Contains milk, wheat and gluten. Suitable for vegetarians.
Apart from the emulsifier and flour treatment agents it seems quite regular, nothing really special I wouldn't use when make my own pizza.
The pizza seemed too small when you removed it from the box? Looks tempting but you are not sure whether it will be enough for you or not? Well, still a couple of minutes till your pizza gets ready so take a look at the nutritional information. If you eat the whole pizza - not a big challenge - you gain 1087 kcal energy. This is about half of the daily energy needs. I share my pizza with my sons but even this way I gain at least 600-700 kcal energy so no excuse, a good jogging is due on that day.
Ready! Taste it/Test it!
The baked pizza looks really appetizing; the cheese is melted and overflowing. Glad I used the pizza plate... Two volunteers express their urgent need for pizza from their highchairs so no time for looking for the camera and taking pictures for you. I place the pizza on a plate and bring it in the dining room for the taste test.
My elder son doesn't like cheese and this pizza practically is a three cheese pizza... I never give up trying... and he likes it! My younger one is a pizza lover since the first trial so he loves this pizza too.
The base is a deep pan base which is very light. The dough is raised well hence airy and light. It has no characteristic taste, the topping gives the main flavour of the pizza. The pizza base is spread with spicy tomato puree and topped with the mix of the three different cheeses. The garlic and pepper give a special and very appealing taste to this pizza which makes it outstanding from the 3-4 cheese pizzas I have ever eaten. I think it was a brilliant idea.
When a food is frozen or chilled you have to use extra spice to get the same taste as in case of fresh dishes so I guess in this case this means an extra quantity of spices but I really don't care, my pizza tastes better than any other frozen pizza on the market.
I think this pizza is reasonably priced and tastes heaven. I would never consider wasting time on making my own pizza when I can buy Chicago Town pizzas for 2-2.5 pounds. The ingredients used are quite natural apart from the few additives and the result is delicious. Did I forget the comfort? It is so easy-peasy to cook them compared to making your own pizza...
We all know pizza doesn't belong to the healthiest food category but from time to time it is so good having one. Its energy content is unfortunately extremely high due to the ingredients rich in carbohydrate and fat.