Review: Gluten-free pizza satisfies a craving
FARGO — A few weeks ago, I smelled Totino's pizza in my apartment building hallway.
The pizza-like (let's face it, Totino's is the Velveeta of pizzas) scent reminded me of elementary school sleepovers, and I really wanted one.
Except I can't eat Totino's now that I eat a gluten-free diet for gluten intolerance. I'm not Gwyneth Paltrow-ing this. My doctor helped me decide it's the best option for my health.
Anyway, I found a gluten-free version of the $1.50 frozen pizzas of my childhood: Smart Flour Foods gluten-free pizzas. I hope Smart Flour Foods doesn't mind that I compare them to Totino's. Because it's not a bad thing. It fulfills a craving.
Disclaimer: I am not suggesting that people should eat frozen pizzas regularly. They're an "I haven't bought groceries in two weeks" kind of meal, and we all need those sometimes. Please eat vegetables, too.
Back to the pizza. The two-serving pizzas (really, you're going to eat the whole thing alone) are free of MSG, preservatives, gluten, egg, soy and rice. Tapioca, sorghum, teff and amaranth flours compose the "smart flour" crust. The pizzas are available in five flavors, including the Garden Margherita that I tried.
They'll cost you more than Totino's — $7.49 at Cash Wise — but the ingredient list is much shorter and far more pronounceable. And the packaging is modern and cute.
I baked the pizza the suggested time and it smelled like Totino's in the best way. The dried basil on top makes it practically gourmet.
The pizza wasn't the cheesiest and it tasted like you'd imagine a tiny frozen pizza to taste. The gluten-free crust was thin and cracker-like and not too crispy or too soft. I'd like the pizza more with extra cheese on top.
It didn't taste like other gluten-free pizzas I've tried — not better or worse, just different. Like I've been saying, the closest comparison is a Totino's Party Pizza. It'd take a lot of these pizzas to feed people at a party.
I'll keep a Smart Flour pizza in my freezer for those nights I have a craving and veg out on my couch with Netflix or don't feel like cooking.
Now I don't have to feel jealous of my college-age neighbors when they bake their pizza. But I'll feel more adult since my pizza is fancier.