Friday, May 1, 2020

Trader Joe's Pizza Margherita

This is the one, folks.

This is the pizza that started my love affair with Trader Joe's frozen pizzas. It could be argued that this pizza - along with the Argentinean red shrimp - is more responsible for my love affair with Trader Joe's itself than anything else.

You see, back before I was a famous frozen pizza blogger, back in the middle of the first decade of the century, I worked a quite ordinary job. It paid just well enough to allow me to go out drinking five or six nights per week. (I would say six or seven nights per week but I didn't really go out Sunday night; that was more of a day-drinking situation.)

I often would get fast food on the way home. Then, for some reason lost to history, I decided to try Trader Joe's Margherita pizza one day. Not only was it very good, but it was only $3.99.

I could just keep a bunch of these in my freezer and not have to worry about getting fast food at night, I thought to myself.

So I did. And I would eat this pizza at least twice per week.

These days, it's probably once every few months. But it deserves on a spot on this website.

I'm not sure if I've ever noticed this "Imported from Italy" wording before. I mean, I must have at some point, but I am truly not sure.

Someone asked me why I am so critical of the appearance of frozen pizza. And it's a fair question; if something tastes good, should I really care what it looks like?

But this pizza is a good illustration of why I am critical. If Trader Joe's can make a pizza this attractive at this extremely-low price point, there is no excuse for frozen pizzas that cost $7-10 to look so sloppily thrown together, as they often do.

After ten minutes in a 425ΒΊ oven, this is what comes out.

Is it the most exciting pizza you'll ever see? No. But a great Margherita pizza doesn't need to look fancy. Its beauty is in its simplicity.

And it is a very tasty pizza. On occasions that I have fresh basil - quite often in summer; almost never the rest of the year - I will add torn leaves to this pie. But even without, the combination of the cheese and tomato sauce is wonderful, reminiscent of bruschetta.

It is also my favorite of Trader Joe's pizza to enjoy with wine. Many years ago I brought a cooked and refrigerated one of these on a wine-tasting picnic in the Sierra Foothills southeast of Sacramento. It was a wonderful choice.

If this pizza were a few dollars more, it would probably receive a three-slice rating. But for $3.99, combined with all the wonderful memories, this was inevitable:

THE RATING: πŸ•πŸ•πŸ•πŸ•

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