Thursday, September 24, 2015

We all scream for... pizza?

Continuing our theme of eating this week (and why should it be different from any other week?), I brought one of these home from the store, because I had a coupon:

What the hell?

It's a frozen pizza, and it was a big risk. My wife has grown weary of frozen pizzas and their claim of parity with pizzeria pizza -- not to mention that she's quite picky about which pizzerias we buy from, too. I find people in general are quite picky about pizza in general, and not just over Roman/Neapolitan/New York/Chicago/California/Whatever styles, but over which local guy has the best sausage, which chain ruins the onions, who still has anchovies and why, etc. I expected my wife to dislike this frozen pizza as well, but perhaps moved by the silly name Screamin' Sicilian, she was willing to give it a try. 

She liked it! 

So did I; it had less of that frozen pizza taste than others of its ilk. The pepperoni tasted of more than just pepper. The sausage was closer to real sweet Italian sausage than any I've ever had on a frozen pizza. The onions and peppers tasted like onions and peppers, not dry paper. 

I assumed that this was one of the big food companies in disguise. They do that a lot these days. Nestle owns DiGiorno; they don't try to hide it, but they don't trumpet it, either. Kraft used to own it. Kellogg's owns Kashi, but you won't find that K word on any Kashi boxes. Screamin' Sicilian seemed to pop out of nowhere and suddenly have coupons around and shelf space in the grocer's freezer, and that kind of thing takes big money. So who makes this stuff? 

The amusing box, which gives you a lot to read if you are eating by yourself, says a lot about the importance of using Wisconsin cheese. In microscopic print by the nutritional information, it says it is distributed by Palermo Villa of Milwaukee. 

Palermo Villa, which makes Palermo's Pizza, is not one of the big boys by any means, but a privately held company that apparently has gone into expansion mode. Wikipedia says that in addition to their own brand, they make "private label or house brand pizzas for other companies." So that store-brand pizza you bought might be pretty good, if it was made with the same care as a Screamin' Sicilian pie. For a relatively small outfit to go national like this, someone's taking a big risk. I think it will pay off.

The question remains: Is this a product owned by Palermo Villa, or are they manufacturing it according to the specifications of some pizza genius? The mystery deepens. 

Meanwhile, the back of the box gives you a nifty perforated mustache to punch out and stick in your nose. Those kind of things are always uncomfortable, which can only help your screamin'.

Of course, you know Fred has tried many mustache styles, so this is superfluous for me.

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