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It's been a while since we've reviewed any sort of pocket sandwiches. The Lean Pockets we've reviewed have been almost uniformly terrible, with the possible exception of their Ham & Cheddar, which got a thumbs' up by the barest of margins. Amy's version of these pockets hasn't fared any better, but it's been even longer since we reviewed any of them: it's been a good five years or more.
So I was dubious when my wife brought another couple of pockets from Amy's home for our tasting panel to try. But the numbers are good: both are about 300 calories and have under 500 milligrams of sodium, which is far and away better than many of Amy's other products.
The first one the panel tested was the Cheese Pizza in a Pocket Sandwich. They give instructions for conventional ovens, toaster ovens, and microwaves, but true to our goal of tasting these foods in the same way they're most likely to be eaten, we chose to microwave them. This requires microwaving for one minute, turning the pocket over, then microwaving for another 1 to 1 and a half minutes, then allowing to stand for 1-2 minutes.
Perhaps it's that my microwave is particularly powerful, but we microwaved for 1 minute and then another 1 minute to find that both pockets split their seams (so to speak). While they didn't exactly explode in the microwave, you'll definitely need a plate under these guys or you'll end up with more of a mess than you might want. This also makes them rather less than suitable for holding in the hand to eat : we used forks and knives. Perhaps if you cooked these in a conventional oven this wouldn't happen, but then you probably won't be using a conventional oven while at work.
The good news is that these are good. The Cheese Pizza in a Pocket we first tested has a whole wheat crust with good body and the flavor reminded our panel of my whole wheat pizza dough recipe. The tomato sauce is nice and bright with notes of oregano and basil, and there's plenty of cheese. Overall, the flavor is of a good cheese pizza!
The Spinach Pizza in a Pocket comes in the same whole wheat dough, but it fared even better with our tasters. This was only because our tasters enjoyed the spicy red pepper notes in the spinach and feta filling - more of a personal preference. Both pockets were more generously filled than those we've reviewed in the past and both have 4 grams of fiber. All in all, two thumbs' up for these pockets. Truly a surprise!
Reviewed: April 13, 2012