I don’t ask much from frozen foods I have to prepare in a microwave. Here’s the short list:
- Be edible.
- Don’t have a microwave cooking time that’s longer than an Adult Swim show.
- Don’t make a mess while in the microwave oven.
The DiGiorno Pepperoni Speciale Artisan Style Melt barely passed #1, passed #2 with flying colors, and completely failed #3.
The first step of the microwave directions says, “Remove product from plastic wrap. Place product onto crisping tray and directly on the microwave surface.” As you can read, there’s no suggestion for a microwave-safe plate or a paper towel. Just put the flat crisping tray on the microwave surface and just spin it right round, baby, round round like a record, baby, right round round.
This is what happened after I followed the instructions on the box:
As you can see, the three types of mozzarella cheese and marinara sauce melted over the edges of the garlic and onion focaccia bread onto the crisping tray and then onto the microwave surface. Watching this happen was like watching lava flow into the ocean, except watching lava flow into the ocean is awe-inspiring and watching a fancy-sounding Italian bread pizza make a mess that I have to clean up is aggravating.
I scraped together whatever mess was salvageable on the crisping tray and plopped it back on the bread, but it didn’t help it from tasting too bread-y. I thought lack of toppings skewed its intended flavor, so I decided to heat up the second one in the box using the toasted oven directions. However, I did put it on a small sheet of aluminum foil so that I wouldn’t have to clean my toaster oven too.
Even though the toppings stayed on the second one, the bread continued to be the dominant flavor. So if you’re thinking this will taste like a DiGiorno pepperoni pizza, you need to lower your expectations. There were many pepperoni bits, but they didn’t pop with flavor.
As for the “three types of mozzarella cheese,” they sound exciting, don’t they? Maybe there’s a garlic-infused mozzarella? Or an aged mozzarella? But alas, according to the ingredients list, the three mozzarella cheeses are mozzarella cheese, low-moisture part-skim mozzarella cheese, and reduced fat mozzarella cheese.
Ooooh, low-moisture part-skim mozzarella cheese! The hyphens make it fancy!
Whether microwaved on the crisping sleeve or prepared in a toaster oven, the focaccia bread wasn’t what I would call “crispy.” But it also wasn’t soggy or flat, so I guess it could’ve been worse. Also, I thought the garlic and onion in the bread would enhance its flavor, but I didn’t taste the usually pungent ingredients.
DiGiorno is promoting the Pepperoni Speciale Artisan Style Melt as a snack, but it’s not a satisfying one. It’s just a messy one.
(Nutrition Facts – 1 melt – 320 calories, 110 calories from fat, 12 grams of fat, 5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 25 milligrams of cholesterol, 440 milligrams of sodium, 40 grams of carbohydrates, 3 grams of fiber, 2 grams of sugar, and 14 grams of protein.)
Purchased Price: $2.99
Size: 8.1 oz/2 pieces
Purchased at: Target
Rating: 4 out of 10
Pros: Edible. Doesn’t have a microwave cooking time longer than an Adult Swim show.
Cons: Following instructions led to a messy microwave. Bread is the dominate flavor. Three mozzarella cheese aren’t anything special. Onion and garlic in bread not noticeable. Stupid box!