Frozen Pizza

     Growing up in a small Italian community in central New Jersey, Betty could not spit without hitting a pizza joint. There was De Lucia’s and Frank’s in Raritan, Chimney Rock in Green Brook, Dominick’s in Somerville, not to mention the 30 others that were a stone’s throw from her childhood home. They were all good, and kept her cockles warm during the cold of winter. But it was the summer vacations that she looked forward to the most. Not only was school out for the summer but more often then not, her family would take that hour and a half trip to the Jersey Shore. Some looked forward to frolicking in the sun, surf and sand, but for hard-core pizza lovers, like Betty and her sister, there was only one thing on their minds and that was, Boardwalk Pizza. It didn’t matter which vendor they sampled, they were all equally fantastic. And to this day, Boardwalk Pizza has the best Pizza west of Italy. Yeah, yeah Betty knows that everyone raves about New York Pizza and nothing tops it, blah blah blah. She is not going to debate which side of the Hudson reigns superior when it comes to this cheesy delight. It doesn’t matter, because at this very moment, Betty's opinion is the only one that counts. Her opinion states that the New Jersey Shore’s Pizza will take home the prize every time. She is not sure if it is the salt water, the altitude, the oven temperature or the doughy hands behind it. All she knows is that it is sublime, with a capital S!

     What is a Misfit to do when her favorite pizza is 3,000 miles away? Embrace the stages of grief. Stage One: Cuddle with denial. Stage Two: Hold on to the anger. Stage Three: Accept the things you cannot change. Betty could not make Los Angeles Pizzeria’s serve edible pizza. She could no longer sulk in the misery over her lost childhood friend. She would no longer take friend's recommendations as to where to purchase good pizza. They were idiots and would not know good pizza if it hit them in the pepperoni. The loss was hard. 

     During her stages of grief, she began to explore the frozen pizza aisle at the local grocery store. Eight brands of frozen cardboard later, she resigned herself to the fact that pizza, as she knew it, would never be a part of her life again!

     Thirteen pizza-free years later, she came upon a surprising discovery. As she was browsing the aisles of Trader Joe's®, and embracing the friendly, old-style grocery store atmosphere, she happened upon the frozen pizza section. She noticed that the box read Handmade and Imported from Italy. The ingredients and instructions were written in English, Italian and French, and there were no chemicals or additives. She took the plunge for the very last time and purchased it. She proceeded home, placed it in the oven and waited the obligatory 10 minutes. The timer sounded, and as she opened the oven door, an explosion of smelly goodness came wafting out. She simply smiled. It smelled exactly like her old friend. And as she bit into the first slice, her taste buds cried out in delight. That was it! The closest thing to Jersey Pizza found on the West Coast. She was home. She was finally home!

     Thank you Trader Joe’s® for your Quattro Formaggi and Pizza Margherita. Betty Home-Mocker will be a customer for as long as she is away from her East Coast friend.

     So for all of you East Coasters out there who are missing your East Coast Pizza, make sure to try Trader Joe's® Quattro Formaggi and Pizza Margherita. Nothing will take the place of Boardwalk Pizza, but when you are homesick, this is as close as you are going to get and worth the $3.99 sticker price.

     The Standup Gourmet™ Misfit Crew taste tested 10 different brands of frozen cheese pizza and below are the results in order of Mockalicious to Mock It Away. (See Misfit Recommendation Ratings Guide for a description of ratings)

Frozen Pizza Recommendation Guide

Trader Joe's® Quattro Formaggi                                                Overall Rating: ★★★★★
Crust Texture: ★★★★★
Sauce Flavor: ★★★★★
Amount of Cheese: ★★★★★
Size: 10"
Price: $3.99
A Note From Betty: Best frozen pizza on the market and resembles in taste and texture to traditional NY or NJ Pizza. It is Mockalicious!

Trader Joe's® Pizza Margherita                                                  Overall Rating: ★★★★★
Crust Texture: ★★★★★
Sauce Flavor: ★★★★★
Amount of Cheese: ★★★★★
Size: 10"
Price: $3.99
A Note From Betty: Best frozen pizza on the market and resembles in taste and texture to traditional NY or NJ Pizza. It is Betty Good!

Newman's Own Thin & Crispy Four Cheese Pizza  
                  Overall Rating: ★★★★✩
Crust Texture: ★★★★✩
Sauce Flavor: ★★★★✩
Amount of Cheese: ★★★★★
Size: 10"
Price: $6.49
A Note From Betty: Crust becomes soggy very quickly.

Tombstone Original Extra Cheese Pizza                                    Overall Rating: ★★★✩✩
Crust Texture: ★★✩✩✩
Sauce Flavor: ★★★✩✩
Amount of Cheese: ★★★★★
Size: 11"
Price: $5.99
A Note From Betty:  Crust is like bread.

Frescetta Naturally Rising Four Cheese Pizza                          Overall Rating: ★★★✩✩
Crust Texture: ★★★✩✩
Sauce Flavor: ★★★✩✩
Amount of Cheese: ★★★★✩
Size: 10"
Price: $7.49
A Note From Betty:  Barely mediocre.

Red Baron By The Slice Four Cheese Pizza                               Overall Rating: ★★✩✩✩
Crust Texture: ★✩✩✩✩
Sauce Flavor: ★★★✩✩
Amount of Cheese: ★★★★✩
Size: 2 Slices
Price: $4.99
A Note From Betty:  Less than mediocre. It is Betty Not!

DiGiorno Traditional Crust Four Cheese Pizza
                           Overall Rating: ★★✩✩✩
Crust Texture: ★★✩✩✩
Sauce Flavor: ★★★✩✩
Amount of Cheese: ★★★✩✩
Size: 6"
Price: $3.99
A Note From Betty:  In flavor, texture and consistency crust resembles pastry dough.

CPK Traditional Crust Four Cheese Pizza   
                                Overall Rating: ★✩✩✩✩
Crust Texture: ★✩✩✩✩
Sauce Flavor: ★★✩✩✩
Amount of Cheese: ★★★✩✩
Size: 6"
Price: $3.99
A Note From Betty:  In flavor, texture and consistency crust resembles pastry dough, sweeter than DiGiorno's crust and not in a good way.

Tony's Crispy Crust Cheese Pizza                                               Overall Rating: ★✩✩✩✩
Crust Texture: ★★✩✩✩
Sauce Flavor: ★★✩✩✩
Amount of Cheese: ★★✩✩✩
Size: 7"
Price: $1.99
A Note From Betty:  Dough not crispy. A very bad or funky after taste. Does not taste like pizza.

Celeste Pizza Four Cheese Pizza     
                                            Overall Rating: ✩✩✩✩✩
Crust Texture: ✩✩✩✩✩
Sauce Flavor: ✩✩✩✩✩
Amount of Cheese: ★★✩✩✩
Size: 6"
Price: $1.99
A Note From Betty:  Mock It Away!



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