Sunday, February 19, 2012

Taste Test - Ristorante Pizza by Dr. Oetker

Do you have any dinner traditions? Maybe "Spaghetti Mondays" or "Taco Tuesdays"? In our house, we somehow got into the tradition of "Pizza Fridays". The girls love pizza, as do I - after all, I am a born and raised Noo Yawker - oh, how I miss me some good NY pizza! :(

Anyway, it has become our tradition to have pizza for dinner on Fridays. We usually order it for delivery and the girls love when the "pizza man" arrives. But every once in a while we will make it ourselves using tortillas as the crust or even more rarely we buy pre-made frozen pizzas. I'll be honest that we don't usually go the frozen pizza route as it isn't as tasty as freshly delivered (you know, my sophisticated New York palate and all) (LOL).

Well, I recently had the chance to try out a couple of (new to me) frozen pizzas  {for free!} as part of my "BzzAgent" participation in the lastest "BzzCampaign" (see details below)! The brand is called Ristorante Pizza by Dr. Oetker and I have to be honest that I had never heard of it before I received my little promo package. The name is pronounced "oht-ker" and according to the materials that came in my package, it is the #1 frozen pizza in Italy even though it is actually a product of Germany.

The pizza comes in six 10" varieties and cooks in about 12 minutes:
Mozzarella: Fresh Mozzarella, sun-ripened tomatoes, zesty pesto sauce
Spinaci: Savory leaf spinach, mozzarella, hearty garlic sauce
Funghi: Aromatic mushrooms, mozzarella, tomato sauce, parsley, oregano
Quattro Formaggi: 4 premium cheeses: edam, mozzarella, emmental, blue cheese, basil seasoning
Vegetale: Tangy tomatoes, bell peppers, onions, chilies, sour cream sauce
Speciale: pepperoni, cooked ham, spicy herbs

In my promo package I received 2 "free" coupons so I selected the Quattro Formaggi and the Speciale for my family to try. At my grocery store (Giant Foods) the regular price is $4.29 (your price may vary) which I felt was a good price compared to other brands of frozen pizza.

Ristorante Pizza by Dr. Oetker

This is what the pizzas looked like before they were cooked.

Quattro Formaggio before being cooked

Speciale before being cooked

They both took about 13 minutes to cook at 425* - we did them at the same time. The directions specifically say NOT to place the pizzas on a cookie sheet or pizza stone, but I took some liberties, and placed the Speciale one on my special air-ated pizza sheet. I did, however, place the cheese pizza directly on the oven rack. When they came out of the oven they looked like this. Not exactly like the pictures on the box, but close.

4 cheese after being cooked
Speciale after being cooked

The Speciale one had a nice crispy crust despite being placed on the pizza sheet. The pepperoni and ham was good (although I'm not a huge meat fan) and even the 5-year old enjoyed a slice of that one. But I'll be honest that the Heela said it was "decent" but didn't "taste much different than any other frozen pizza". Size-wise, the Heela said he could easily eat one whole pizza himself (they are thin crust and about 10" wide). I'm not sure I could eat quite a whole one in one sitting, but could probably do about 3/4 of one on a hungry night. (The package says each pizza has 3 servings - ummm... ok).

The Quattro Fromaggio pizza did not come out with a nice crispy crust which was disappointing. I think our probelm, however, was not the pizza's fault but was instead due to the fact that we cooked both of the pizzas at the same time. We had put the cheese one on the middle rack and the meat one on the rack below it and I think the bottom pizza blocked the middle rack one and, therefore prevented it from getting as crispy as it should have. But we really enoyed the overall taste of this one. I liked the variety of cheeses and those dollops were especially tasty. The 4- and 5-year old both had a piece of this one, but made me scrape off those dollops before they would eat it (you know how finicky little ones can be!). They liked it well enough, but asked me to heat up a leftover slice of Papa Johns for their second serving.

Conclusion: As mentioned, we're not huge frozen pizza eaters to begin with so we aren't going to be making any huge changes in our habits due to this taste test. But the Heela and I agreed that it wouldn't be bad to have a few of those Quattro Formaggio pizzas in the freezer given the inexpensive price (less than $5 for one). I'm not personally interested in any of the other varieties offered (except the mozzarella), but the Heela said he wouldn't mind trying them. So I would probably buy this Ristorante Pizza again. If you're a frozen pizza "regular" I would definitely give this brand a shot! Visit for more information.

Legal Stuff: I received coupons entitling me to 2 free Ristorante Pizza by Dr. Oetker and eight $1.50 pass-along coupons as part of my participation as a BzzAgent in the Ristorante Pizza BzzCampaign. However, my opinions are my own and have not been influenced in any way by the fact that I received the coupons for free.

Note: What is BzzAgent? "BzzAgent is a network of consumers who voluntarily participate in word-of-mouth (WOM) programs for a variety of products and services. BzzAgent puts products in the hands of countless Agents and helps them share their opinions about them with friends and family via reviews, Facebook posts, photos and videos, blog posts and more". "You get to try awesome products [for free!], your friends get to learn about awesome products and awesome products get even awesomer by listening to your valued feedback". And the best thing, it doesn't cost anything to join or participate - just a little bit of time and the willingess to share your feedback. For more information on the BzzAgent program, including how to join, visit HERE.

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  1. We actually did have Spaghetti Mondays in my house growing up. And now I don't like spaghetti. :) But I've never heard of this happening with pizza, so I think you're safe. :)

  2. Do try the Mozzarella.


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