Sometimes I tell myself I should just be grateful that certain gluten free products exist. Whether they are very good or not it feels slightly mean spirited to look at someone’s gluten free offering and say that it just isn’t great. They are trying after all and I applaud that effort but given the price consumers are asked to pay for gluten free products I have decided that I am going to expect a little bit more from the producers even if that makes me seem ungrateful.
Case in point would be the Marco’s Gluten Free Irish Pizza I picked up for the bargain price of €4.99 on my way home from a very long day at work. I am in the midst of getting a hole in my kitchen ceiling repaired so the contents of my kitchen currently live in my sitting room, this makes cooking an adventure. On this particular evening I was tired and unwilling to prep food in a building site, convenience is what I was looking for and I found it in the freezer section.
It isn’t too hard to find gluten free pizza, a few restaurants offer it as an option and Domino’s will even deliver one right to my door. I make my own pizza base using the recipe on the back of the Dove’s Farm Bread Flour mix and I would recommend this base to anyone. My point is that GF pizza is not the Holy Grail it once was and as such I want my pizza to be good. Marco’s pizza was just not that good.
On the plus side the base was very good, it was thin and crisp just the way I like it. As the GF base is normally the most difficult thing to get right I don’t understand how in getting this part so right Marco got the rest of the pizza so wrong.
I don’t know if you remember the little individual pizza’s that used to come in packs of five; grim little discs with a smear of tomato sauce and a sparse sprinkling of processed mozzarella, Soviet era pizza. Well that is all this pizza reminded me of when I took it out of the box. Looking over my shoulder my best beloved remarked that it reminded him of a St Bernard value pizza from the 80’s. I gently reminded him that we in Ireland didn’t get frozen pizzas until at least the 1990’s. Before that we had to make do with thick based pizza’s they made up a deli counters and gave to you in big styrofoam containers to cook at home. Those were the days.
Back to Marco’s pizza, it cooked well, sat nicely on the oven rack and didn’t disintegrate and end up a burnt crumbled mess on the floor of my oven. This has happened to me before and not just with GF pizza. Unfortunately it just didn’t really taste of anything. It was bland, unsatisfying and felt like it wasn’t really trying. I looked over at the non GF pizza I had also cooked, oozing sauce, bubbling strings of melted cheese stretching as each new slice was lifted off the plate and just felt hard done by. The fact that the fault lay not in the base but in the lack of flavour and the skimping on cheese, which must be a cardinal sin when it comes to pizza, annoyed me, I was in fact peeved. Post pizza I should be in a happy carb induced stupor, not peeved.
To Marco I say, you are halfway there, a little bit of work and you may have a pizza I am happy to pay a fiver for!