Full disclosure: I’ve never actually been to Wisconsin. But my parents are from Michigan and I have watched several episodes of That ’70s Show, so I assume I qualify as a part-time resident. However, I’m also from New Jersey, which means my standards for pizza are unreasonably high. This presents a dilemma because I want to give Domino€™s credit for experimenting just a little bit. Six cheese pizza isn€™t exactly cherpumple-level creativity, but it€™s at least a step outside their usual wheelhouse, so good for them. Doesn’t make up for unleashing the Noid upon humanity, but hell, it’s a start.
That said, I live on the PA/Jersey border. When there are four great pizza places within five miles of your house and another thirteen decent ones, it€™s hard to get jazzed about Domino€™s no matter how many improvements they make. I imagine it€™s akin to visiting Louisiana, stepping off the plane, and immediately asking where the nearest KFC is. It just isn’t done. But pizza snobbery has no place here, and I’ll admit I was curious about whether they’d successfully crafted a pizza with six distinct flavors, or if it’d be just one big gooey orgy of cheese, wantonly bumping and grinding on my palate. Don’t… picture that too vividly.
If nothing else, I think we can all agree that Domino’s nailed the exact right number of cheeses to slather on this thing. Seven would be ostentatious, and five? Five? Get fucking serious. No, it had to be six, and so it is. Now indulge me as I live out my secret dream of being a sportscaster and let’s break down this formidable Wisconsin lineup:
Mozzarella – The veteran. Classic, not flashy, just shows up every time and leaves it all out there.
Provolone – Highly heralded acquisition, known for solid play on a variety of other dishes.
Feta – Surprising pick. Not an anticipated “get,” but might be exactly what’s needed to plug holes in the flavor profile.
Cheddar €“ Coming off long stints with rivals like burgers and tacos, but has partnered effectively with mozzarella in the past. Look for a devastating one-two combo.
Parmesan – Perennial free agent. Rarely an integral member of the team, but proven ability to work well with others.
Asiago – The new hotness. Bold, crass, outspoken; could be trouble, but dammit, just so talented.
Upon getting the pie home, I immediately dug in because pizza waits for no man, woman or child; if you leave it alone long enough, it will actually eat itself. It was warm, a good start because it’s winter in the northeast and we’re keeping the heat low as a cost-saving measure. My pregnant wife, of course, is a virtual blast furnace and thinks the temperature is just fine; but meanwhile I’m chipping icicles off the thermostat and our daughter’s first complete sentence is “Mama, I can’t feel my legs.” So hot pizza was a welcome commodity. But that€™s not what you’re here for — you want to know how it tastes.
I mean, decent cheese pizza — give Domino’s credit, their new blend IS an improvement on what they used to offer. I’m not a foodie, but there was definitely a bit of tang attributable to the asiago. (Ironically, most of it seemed to come from the crust, which was crisp and quite tasty.) By concentrating I was even able to detect a very slight aftertaste that was almost certainly either provolone or my imagination. But, you know, that’s it. No feta chunks or discernible feta at all, really. Domino€™s press release claims “We€™re talking 40 percent more cheese than a regular Domino€™s pizza,” but I€™m talking you’d never know it. If you eat pizza the way I usually do, scarfing it down while watching TV or playing on the Internet, you are essentially eating a one cheese pizza. It’s like if the five Voltron lions flew up in the air and combined to form one and a half lions. Still cool, but the whole is less than the sum of the parts.
In the interest of giving a full and fair hearing, I even reheated some in the microwave to see if that changed the taste in any way. No, don’t thank me; that’s just the kind of journalistic excellence we strive for here at TIB. As expected, it didn€™t have much of an impact. There may have been a bit more bite to the asiago, but there€™s a 90 percent likelihood my mind was playing tricks on me. Or maybe it€™s just that I was eating it for breakfast. Either way, my initial impression remained the same: not bad, but just regular cheese pizza… no more, no less.
I think I walked away disappointed from Domino’s latest offering because I had built it up in my mind as something that was going to kick my tongue’s ass and convert me into a Wisconsin Badgers fan. It didn’t, but if what you’re looking for is a very slight variation on a familiar theme, it might be right up your alley. Otherwise, take the extra money you would have spent and get yourself a real topping instead.
(Nutrition Facts )one slice from 12″ pizza) 250 calories, 100 calories from fat, 12 grams of total fat, 6 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 25 milligrams of cholesterol, 500 milligrams of sodium, 25 grams of total carbohydrates, 1 gram of dietary fiber, 2 grams of sugars, 11 grams of protein, 10% vitamin A, 6% vitamin C, 20% calcium and 10% iron.)
Item: Domino’s Wisconsin 6 Cheese Pizza
Size: 12″/8 slices
Purchased at: Domino’s
Rating: 6 out of 10 (apropos, no?)
Pros: Supporting my almost quasi-part-time state. Thinking outside the box. Improved recipe. Crisp, cheesy crust. Fights the winter chill. Avoids the Noid.
Cons: Shaming my actual home state. “Outside the box” remarkably similar to “inside the box.” Neutered Voltron. Missionary-style cheese orgy. Not as fun to say as “cherpumple.” Costs more than getting 3(!) toppings on the same-size pie.