REVIEW: DiGiorno Deep Dish Pepperoni Pizza

Chicago, I know you’re still celebrating your Blackhawks winning the Stanley Cup, but I want to bring something negative to your attention that would probably get lost if I mentioned it while your anger from the Cubs not winning a World Series for the 103rd straight year erupts.

I just want to let you know that DiGiorno has a new deep dish pepperoni pizza. Well, at least they’re calling it a “deep dish pizza” because if you saw it for yourself, you would boo it hard, just like you do every time Brett Favre steps on Soldier Field.

Chicago is the birthplace of the deep dish pizza and as someone who has had a Chicago-style deep dish pizza from Giordano’s Pizzeria (and thinks it’s frickin’ awesome), I believe the Windy City should be appalled at DiGiorno’s poor attempt to create a deep dish pizza. I also believe the Second City should use the most powerful person in the Free World that comes from the great state of Illinois to stop DiGiorno from tainting the greatness of the deep dish pizza.

No, I’m not talking about President Zombie Abraham Lincoln, I’m talking about Oprah.

For those of you who haven’t had the pleasure of experiencing a deep dish pizza, it’s like a large bowl that’s made of crust that’s filled with tomato sauce, cheese, sausage and other ingredients. However, the DiGiorno Deep Dish Pepperoni Pizza isn’t at all like that and is basically a Pizza Hut Pepperoni Personal Pan Pizza, except slightly smaller, with a less crispy crust, with a slightly better tasting sauce and would probably make the late Linda Lovelace say, “I know deep, and that’s not deep.”

While I believe the DiGiorno Deep Dish Pepperoni Pizza isn’t a good deep dish pizza because there isn’t enough filling in it to be considered a deep dish pizza, I do think it’s a good microwaveable pizza. The cooking tray does a decent job of making the pizza’s bottom crust a little crispy. On top of that crust is a few pepperoni slices that are cut into fourths, not enough cheese and a decent amount of sauce, which I thought was quite tasty and had a slight spiciness.

Overall, the DiGiorno Deep Dish Pepperoni Pizza is a fine microwaveable pizza, but calling itself a deep dish pizza is a stretch, just like it’s a stretch when anyone on a New Jersey-based reality show calls themself a celebrity or nicely tanned.

(Nutrition Facts – Whole Pizza – 590 calories, 33 grams of fat, 16 grams of saturated fat, 1 gram of trans fat, 45 milligrams of cholesterol, 950 milligrams of sodium, 52 grams of carbohydrates, 4 grams of fiber, 6 grams of sugar, 24 grams of protein, 15% vitamin A, 2% vitamin C, 35% calcium and 20% iron.)

Item: DiGiorno Deep Dish Pepperoni Pizza
Price: $3.00 (on sale)
Size: 7.5 ounces
Purchased at: Safeway
Rating: 6 out of 10
Pros: A good microwaveable pizza for one. Tasty sauce. My ability to learn about Chicago though Wikipedia. Nice source of calcium, iron, and protein. Cooking tray does a decent job of crisping the crust. Oprah. President Zombie Abraham Lincoln.
Cons: Not a true deep dish pizza. It’s basically a Pizza Hut Personal Pan Pizza. Not enough cheese. Awesome source of saturated fat and sodium. Contains trans fat. Linda Lovelace would probably not approve of its deepness. Spray on tans that make you look orange. The Chicago Cubs’ futility.

REVIEW: Pepsi Baobab

Do you know what the baobab in Pepsi Baobab is?

If you do, congratulations and I suggest you keep that nugget of knowledge in your head if you ever end up in the Cash Cab, get a call from one of your friends in the Cash Cab, get hailed by a complete stranger who is in the Cash Cab or if you want people to think you’re a pretentious douche.

For those of you who don’t know what a baobab is, let me be a pretentious douche and tell you it’s a tree that’s native to Madagascar, Australia and Africa. It’s also known as the bottle tree, upside-down tree and monkey bread tree. In Africa, it’s common to eat the baobab’s fruits and leaves, but that’s not the case in other countries.

And oh yeah…DUH!

If you’re a regular reader of The Impulsive Buy, you know I have a thing for redheads and limited edition Pepsi products from Japan. Over the past few years, I’ve subjected myself to whatever the flavorologists at Pepsi Japan have come up with to dare their fellow Japanese citizens to drink. In 2007, it was Pepsi Ice Cucumber. In 2008, it was Pepsi Blue Hawaii. Last year, it was Pepsi Shiso. This year, it’s Pepsi Baobab.

Now I don’t know what baobab tastes like because I’m not able to buy-o a bag-o of baobab from my local African shaman or Whole Foods. However, if actual baobab tastes like Pepsi Baobab, then I may just have to make it worth my African shaman’s while to get me some.

The beverage has a pleasant and light citrus scent. Its flavor is also light, starting off with orange and then followed with a grapefruit-ish back end. It was surprisingly refreshing. However, by the time I reached halfway through the bottle it started to become a little chemical tasting. It’s like I’m sucking on the fingers of a French maid, not the role play kind one would pay an extra $200 to get, I’m talking an actual rubber glove-wearing French maid who has been cleaning the kitchen counter with a citrus scented cleaner. I think this is because the warmer it gets, the less tasty it becomes.

Of the four limited edition Japanese Pepsi flavors I’ve tried, I have to say that Pepsi Baobab is my favorite, but not by much. Its citrus flavor makes it taste a lot more normal than the others, but the chemical taste I experienced makes it a little unsavory. Another item that bothers me is the fact that it’s marketed as a cola, but I couldn’t detect any cola flavor. I wish next year they introduce a limited edition Pepsi with a little cola flavor, and I hope it’s called Pepsi Octopus and it’s black and ink flavored.

(Nutrition Facts – 100 ml – 42 kcal, 0 grams of protein, 0 grams of fat, 15 milligrams of sodium and 10.5 grams of carbohydrates.)

Here are other Pepsi Baobab reviews:
Japanese Snack Reviews
Mike’s Blender

(NOTE: I’d like to thank Reid for picking up a few bottles of Pepsi Baobab for me during his visit to Japan (along with a variety of KitKats). I’d also like to thank Meredith for taking the time to mail me a couple of bottle of Pepsi Baobab from Japan.)

Item: Pepsi Baobab
Price: FREE
Size: 500 ml
Purchased at: From a convenience store in Japan
Rating: 6 out of 10
Pros: Nice light citrus scent. Surprisingly refreshing citrus flavor. Fat free. Paying an extra $200 to get a French Maid. Cool people willing to pick up things from foreign countries to send/give to you. Having access to an African shaman. Cash Cab.
Cons: Only available in Japan (and if you’re willing to pay crazy shipping fees — eBay). It has a slightly unpalatable chemical flavor when it gets a little warm. No cola flavor. Sucking on the rubber glove-covered hands of a French maid. Being a pretentious douche.

REVIEW: Almond Dream Chocolate Non-Dairy Frozen Dessert

If almonds could strive for goals, or dreams, if you will, I wonder what they would want to achieve. Some would probably have the simple wish to be covered in chocolate with coconut in an Almond Joy candy bar. While others would desire to end up in almond milk.

Of course, if I were an ambitious almond, I would attempt to become ruler of the world by threatening to release the cyanide I naturally contain.

Another worthy goal for almonds would be to end up in the gluten-free Almond Dream Chocolate Non-Dairy Frozen Dessert. Why? Because there’s something virtuous about giving people who are allergic to gluten or lactose intolerant a frozen dessert that doesn’t give them diarrhea or kill them.

Although it looks like ice cream and comes in a container that usually contains ice cream, the Almond Dream Chocolate Frozen Dessert isn’t ice cream. Of course, the reason why it’s not ice cream is because it lacks bodily fluids from a cow. Unless the ingredient carrageenan is the scientific name for another cow bodily fluid that isn’t milk, and which I won’t specifically name, but instead will leave to your imagination to figure out which one I’m talking about.

Since it lacks milk or cream, the Almond Dream Chocolate Non-Dairy Frozen Dessert doesn’t have the same texture as ice cream. Sure, it’s cold and stiff like the contestants who get booted off first from Dancing With The Stars, but it’s also kind of like a fudgsicle/Jello Pudding Pop and it’s slightly chewy.

However, there’s an upside to not having milk or cream, beyond it being lactose-free. Without any dairy it’s also significantly lower in saturated fat than real ice cream. The Almond Dream Frozen Dessert has only one gram of saturated fat per serving. That’s significantly less than ice cream, which has anywhere between five grams to holy shit that’s half of my daily recommended intake of saturated fat.

The Almond Dream Chocolate Non-Dairy Frozen Dessert has a decent chocolatey flavor with, for some strange reason, a slight cherry aftertaste. It’s not bad, but to me it doesn’t have the tendency to make me forget will power exists like regular ice cream does. So if you’re someone whose used to regular chocolate ice cream, you’ll probably want to stick with the stuff made with cow bodily fluids.

However, if you’re looking for an alternative to ice cream because you’re lactose intolerant, allergic to gluten, believe Ben & Jerry are conspiring to kill you via their ice cream, or you think Tofutti is fuckin’ bullshit, the Almond Dream Chocolate Non-Dairy Frozen Dessert is a good choice.

(Nutrition Facts – 1/2 cup – 190 calories, 10 grams of fat, 1 gram of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 2 grams of polyunsaturated fat, 7 grams of monounsaturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 170 milligrams of sodium, 27 grams of carbohydrates, 3 grams of fiber, 18 grams of sugar, 2 grams of protein, 2% calcium and 6% iron.)

Item: Almond Dream Chocolate Non-Dairy Frozen Dessert
Price: $5.79
Size: One pint
Purchased at: Safeway
Rating: 6 out of 10
Pros: Decent chocolate flavor. Good replacement for ice cream if you’re allergic to gluten or lactose intolerant. Made from real almonds. Significantly lower in saturated fat than ice cream. Source of polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats. A particular cow bodily fluid.
Cons: Has a slight cherry aftertaste. Not creamy like ice cream. Threatening the world with the cyanide you contain. Being too lazy to look up the word carrageenan. A particular cow bodily fluid.

REVIEW: Cherry Vanilla Pepsi & Cherry Vanilla Diet Pepsi

Whenever I order a Pepsi and the waitress says, “Is Coke okay, hon?”, I slam my hands on the table, jump up from my chair and say, “Heeeeeell no, ma’am! Coke is not okay. I’d rather drink the ink from the blue pen you’re using to write down our order than that piss poor excuse the folks in Atlanta have the nerve to call a cola.”

And that’s how I earned my Pepsi Fanboy card.

But it seems like I’m going to have to turn in my Pepsi Fanboy card because I’m not really digging their new Cherry Vanilla Pepsi and Cherry Vanilla Diet Pepsi. If I am forced to turn it in, I will not cry, nor will I drink Coke, because I’m used to getting my fanboy cards taken away from me. I recently had to turn in my Apple Fanboy card because I was not willing to wait in line at an Apple Store and spend $500-$800 on an iPad while dressed like Steve Jobs in a mock-turtleneck, Levi’s jeans and New Balance shoes.

The Cherry Vanilla Pepsi line may sound entirely new, but it’s not the first time Pepsi has combined cherry and vanilla to form a supersoda in an attempt to blow your taste buds away and pump either more high fructose corn syrup or aspartame into your body. They also did it a few years ago when they introduced the ridiculously long named and now discontinued Black Cherry French Vanilla Diet Pepsi Jazz.

At first, I really didn’t care for Cherry Vanilla Pepsi and Cherry Vanilla Diet Pepsi, but since then I’ve consumed enough of both varieties to make a dentist see dollar signs and slightly improve how I feel about Cherry Vanilla Pepsi.

The HFCS-sweetened Cherry Vanilla Pepsi has a strong vanilla scent that brings back memories of every Bath & Body Works I’ve ever been dragged into visited. As for how it tastes, it starts off with vanilla, then cherry and then an aftertaste that I can’t determine, but can only describe as significantly less appealing than what came before it. It’s good, but it took me several bottles for me to warm up to it and I’d rather have a Wild Cherry Pepsi.

As for the aspartame-sweetened Cherry Vanilla Diet Pepsi, its vanilla scent makes me feel like I’ve been bribed with sex forced into visiting the candle section at a Pier 1 Imports store. Its aroma is stronger than regular Cherry Vanilla Pepsi, but it’s also less appealing. The flavors in this diet soda present themselves in the same order as the regular version: vanilla, cherry and then wicked aftertaste. The flavors are much more pronounced, but that’s not a good thing. I’m a fan of Wild Cherry Diet Pepsi, but the cherry flavor mixed with vanilla in this soda makes cherry cough syrup taste more like Kool-Aid.

Do. Not. Like.

Cherry Vanilla Pepsi and Cherry Vanilla Diet Pepsi are available for a limited time, but if you have a 7-Eleven nearby you can experience a cherry vanilla Pepsi anytime of the year. Their soda dispensers allow you to add cherry and vanilla syrups to your Super Big Gulps filled with Pepsi or that piss poor excuse the folks in Atlanta have the nerve to call a cola.

Nah, I’m only kidding Coke Fanboys and Fangirls. I enjoy Coke Zero.

(Nutrition Facts – 8 ounces – Cherry Vanilla Pepsi – 100 calories, 0 grams of fat, 20 milligrams of sodium, 28 grams of carbohydrates, 27 grams of sugar, 0 grams of protein and 25 milligrams of caffeine. Cherry Vanilla Diet Pepsi – 0 calories, 0 grams of fat, 25 milligrams of sodium, 0 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of sugar, 0 grams of protein and 25 milligrams of caffeine.)

Item: Cherry Vanilla Pepsi & Cherry Vanilla Diet Pepsi
Price: $1.29 each
Size: 20 ounces
Purchased at: 7-Eleven
Rating: 6 out of 10 (Cherry Vanilla Pepsi)
Rating: 3 out of 10 (Cherry Vanilla Diet Pepsi)
Pros: Cherry Vanilla Pepsi was good. Wild Cherry Diet Pepsi. My Pepsi Fanboy card. Both have shorter names than Black Cherry French Vanilla Diet Pepsi Jazz. Bath & Body Works is an awesome place to buy gifts for women. Super Big Gulps. Pepsi.
Cons: Cherry Vanilla Diet Pepsi makes cough syrup taste like Kool-Aid. Cherry Vanilla Pepsi contains high fructose corn syrup. Being dragged into a Pier 1 Imports. Both have unappealing aftertastes. Not having my Apple Fanboy card anymore. Cavities. Coke.

REVIEW: Ritz Crackerfuls Cheddar Cheese & Bacon

It’s fitting I found the Ritz Crackerfuls Cheddar Cheese & Bacon in Wisconsin — the land of cheese and meats. If only it came with a beer dipping sauce or made with beer bread batter, then it could be the state’s unofficial cracker snack.

The Cheddar Cheese & Bacon flavor is the latest in the Ritz Crackerfuls line and puts an end to the hoity-toity sounding flavors that preceded it, which include Classic Cheddar, Four Cheese and Garlic Herb.

Like small-breasted porn starlets, the Ritz Crackerfuls Cheddar Cheese & Bacon keeps it real. It has real cheddar cheese made with cultured milk, salt, enzymes and annatto extract color. It also has real bacon in the form of rendered bacon fat and bacon bits that have been cured with water, salt, sugar, sodium phosphates, sodium ascorbate and sodium nitrate.

Mmm…You can totally read the realness.

You know what else this cheese cracker sandwich has? Green tea and rosemary extracts. No fo’ realsies. Although I don’t taste either of them. I’d show you the ingredients list to prove it, but you would quickly get bored by its vastness or due to the number of ingredients that end with -ate, you would suffer PTSD (Periodic Table Studying Disorder) and relive the horrors of memorizing chemical compounds in your high school and college chemistry classes.

The Ritz Crackerfuls Cheddar Cheese & Bacon has a smokiness to it, but I’m not sure if it’s from the cheese, the bacon, both or from one of the ingredients that end with -ate. Well, whatever creates that smoky flavor, it makes this cheese cracker sandwich slightly more enjoyable than the original flavors of Crackerfuls. The bacon bits are large enough to be seen and provide a different kind of crunch than the cracker, so if you’re one of those mouthy-feely eaters you might get a kick from the almost crystalline-like crunch.

Just like the original Crackerfuls, this latest variety is also as fragile as a mofo. It’s a crumb creator, so if you don’t have manners, I’d suggest getting some and pulling out a plate to eat these.

(Nutrition Facts – 1 Crackerful – 130 calories, 7 grams of fat, 2 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 1.5 grams of polyunsaturated fat, 2.5 grams of monounsaturated fat, 5 milligrams of cholesterol, 250 milligrams of sodium, 35 milligrams of potassium, 17 grams of carbohydrates, 3 grams of fiber, 3 grams of sugar, 2 grams of protein, 6% calcium and 4% iron.)

Item: Ritz Crackerfuls Cheddar Cheese & Bacon
Price: $3.19
Size: 6 pack
Purchased at: Festival Foods (Wisconsin)
Rating: 6 out of 10
Pros: Decent smoky flavor. Real bacon bits. 6 grams of whole grain per serving. Contains polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats. Having manners. Contains green tea extract. Porn starlets. Wisconsin before the mayflies.
Cons: Crackerfuls are crumb creators. Unsure of how it gets its smokiness. Vast ingredients list. Lots of ingredients that end with -ate. Periodic Table Studying Disorder.