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For folks eating gluten free, pizza is something that is missed the most. It's ubiquitous in our American culture. You can order it from dozens of places by phone or online, make your own, go out for pizza, or take one out of the freezer. While most of the take-out or pizza parlor pizza isn't all that great as far as quality and healthiness is concerned, it can actually be a healthy choice. A lot of chains and many local pizza joints offer a whole grain crust, and if you go for the veggies and downplay the processed meat, it can actually be really healthy and still be delicious.
However, for those not eating gluten, the options are limited. You can make your own crust (on OK option), purchase a ready-made frozen crust, or buy a frozen pizza. Ordering delivery or eating at a pizza place is possible, but still pretty rare.
As such, the gluten free frozen pizza market has grown a lot, and we have reviewed a number of those with variable success. Today we try a couple from Smart Flour Foods. First up was their Classic Cheese Pizza. There are no instructions for the microwave, which we found refreshing, and after 11 minutes in the oven set directly on the oven rack, the pizza was done.
The pizza is described as "pizza with mozzarella and smokey provolone cheese." Spelling aside (this should really be "smoky provolone"), it doesn't matter because it is neither smoky nor smokey. This pizza is pizza. Not great pizza, but not bad pizza. The tomato flavor is a bit like the pizza you would get in a high school cafeteria, the cheese nothing special, the crust neither crisp nor floppy. It's a bit sad maybe that this is just a mediocre pizza: a gluten free mediocre pizza, but a mediocre pizza all the same.
Next up was the Garden Margherita Pizza. No grammar or spelling issues here that we can see, and the pizza is better - but still not fantastic. Maybe even good - but not very good. On a pizza scale of one to ten, this is maybe a 6, where their classic cheese is a 5. The sauce is a little better, being less sweet, but the basil is dried basil and the Roma tomatoes are diced so small that they lose all their flavor. After the initial taste of the basil, that goes away and you are left with another just a bit better than mediocre pizza.
The numbers are not all that bad. Smart Flour notes that a single serving is half of the pizza: two good sized slices. This comes in at around 300 calories (320 for the cheese and 300 for the Margherita). Both have 3 grams of fiber, with 660 and 620 milligrams of sodium respectively. With a side salad, not a bad dinner but, again, only an OK frozen pizza.
An OK pizza at an OK price (we paid $7.99 at our local Whole Foods). Gluten free pizza has come a long way.
Reviewed: September 7, 2018