Released in the mid-1990s, Dairy Queen’s Treatzza Pizza was one of those decades-defining consumer events – a’la Reebok Pump shoes and the Nickelodeon Time Blaster Alarm Clock – that seemingly EVERYBODY but me got to experience back in the day.
The commercials did a five-star job explaining why the $6.99 delicacy was more than a fast food gimmick – it was literally marketed as edible pop culture and digestible ephemera. Missing out on this was like missing out on Yikes! pencils and Pop-Qwiz popcorn – absolutely unforgivable.
Since I never tried the product in my youth, I assumed I would NEVER find out if the Treatzza lived up to all the hype. So when I heard the long discontinued product was coming back, I was ecstatic.
Even now I’m not entirely sure how long the Treatzza (which came in four glorious versions – more on that in just a bit) was sold. Some sources say the thing hung around as late as 2008, but I certainly don’t remember seeing the product on sale since at least 1999 in my neck of the woods. Obviously, I can’t tell you how the relaunched Treatzza compares to the original taste-wise, but it sure as sugar passes the eye test – this thing looks EXACTLY like it magically materialized from a 1995 sales circular ad.
Just like in the good old days, the Treatzza comes in four permutations: one topped with Heath bar chunks, one topped with Reese’s cups, a “Choco-Brownie” one and – my personal fave – one sprinkled with diced M&M’s.
The featured iteration has a fudge cookie crunch base, vanilla soft serve as the “sauce,” and is complemented with a fine chocolate drizzle. The pie is divvied up into eight fairly consistent slices, so it’s easily enough to feed two people or provide quick snacks for at least four.
Naturally, the fog of nostalgia could impair my judgement, but regardless of its retro appeal this thing is just delightful. We’ve all had brownies topped with ice cream before, but the Treatzza feels like an entirely different kind of dessert. Here, the cookie, ice cream, fudge, and M&M’s merge into a delicious singularity. Conceptually it might be nothing more than an open-faced ice cream sandwich, but all the ingredients just gel into blissful, congealed harmony. It’s yummy, it’s filling, and I’d swear eating it automatically transported my taste buds back to the DQ of my youth, circa the opening night of Batman Forever.
Yes, it’s just a giant frozen cookie with an entire M&M’s Blizzard dumped atop it, but I suppose that’s what makes it beautiful. Considering the $10 price point and (presumably) low consumer demand – not to mention it takes up so much space in the freezer – there’s no way this one’s going to be around for more than a few months.
All I can say is try it while you can, folks – that is, unless you feel like waiting around to 2037 to get your third chance.
(Nutrition Facts – 1 slice – 200 calories, 80 calories from fat, 9 grams of fat, 7 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 5 milligrams of cholesterol, 85 milligrams of sodium, 28 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of dietary fiber, 20 grams of sugar, 3 grams of protein.)
Purchased Price: $9.99
Rating: 9 out of 10
Pros: The totally phat crunched up M&M’s taste both boss and fly on your tongue. The vanilla ice cream IS all that and a bag of chips. You and seven of your homeboys can share a pie while blasting a cassette tape of “Gangsta’s Paradise” on a loop for an hour in the parking lot.
Cons: The $10 price tag is inflation-tastic. The cookie crust might be a tad too hard to chew for some consumers. Wondering if this will or will not bring us one step closer to the resurrection of Dunkaroos and/or a Hootie and the Blowfish comeback.