Friday, February 21, 2020

Trader Joe's Pizza Parlanno

I love sausage... when it's good. The problem is that far too much sausage is simply not good.

I grew up a few blocks from a wonderful butcher shop, one of those butchers owned by the same family for more than half a century, the kind of place that takes extreme pride in their product. They made some of the best sausage I have ever tasted.

"I've never gotten a chunk of fat in one of your sausages," I remarked to the proprietor one day.

"And you never will," he replied, in a tone that was not arrogant but factual. He knows how good his product is, because he has overseen its production for decades.

"It just kills me what Farmer John is able to get away with," he continued. "If we had the means, we could put them out of business."

The point of this anecdote is that I rarely eat frozen pizzas with sausage, because the kind of sausage you find on frozen pizza is the exact opposite of that made-with-pride sausage from my local butcher.

But there are a couple of exceptions. One of them, I will write about soon; today I will tell you about Trader Joe's Pizza Parlanno.

When this first appeared more than a decade ago, it was labeled Pizza Palermo, after the city in Sicily. However, there is a brand of frozen pizza made in Wisconsin known as Palermo's Pizza, so TJ's had to change the name.

In addition to sausage, the pizza contains pepperoni, roasted peppers, and roasted onions.

As with all TJ's pizza, it cooks in the oven in a short amount of time. It seems like TJ's pizzas require less time than any other brand, but that can't possibly be true, can it?

The sausage is great but the peppers and onions are what truly make the pizza. Have you ever had a great sausage sandwich with roasted peppers and onions? There is an umami presence to the whole thing, and that is echoed here.

I want to say the pizza sauce is delicious, but to be honest it's probably just the combination of all the other flavors.

I have tried every frozen pizza that Trader Joe's has offered this century, and the Pizza Parlanno is my favorite. It's possible that if those beloved five-star pizzas of my youth were brought back into existence and I tried them next to the Parlanno, I would like the latter more.  (But it's also possible I would not, as those were amazing.)

As with all Trader Joe's products, the price is great: This cost $4.99.

I really love this pizza.


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