Archer Farms Mediterranean Tomato and Arugula Pizza

I’m not sure what kind of benefit importing foods or ingredients can lend to specific foods. Certain ingredients, for example, are impossible to obtain within the borders of the USA, like burrata, bush meat (it’s not what you think) or the impressive McRice. But can imported mozzarella really make a frozen pizza taste better than a crispy New Haven pie? Will imported gelato taste more luxurious than Herrell’s homemade ice cream?

Granted, there are certain physical and chemical properties of these ingredients that can enhance foods in ways local specialties cannot. But adjusting to such a change in an ingrained love can have negative repercussions, especially when innovative chefs and companies try to reinvent the wheel. We all wept when Coca-Cola sold out to the man and took cocaine out of their formula for the more economical, purified imported coca leaves.When Keepitcoming and I found this pizza at Target, a frozen favorite that all but gave the equation that directly correlated the relationship between imported ingredients and blissful nirvana. I mean, really. The whole damned thing was shipped in pieces from Sicily, complete with a grade-school map on the back. It had better be good. Out of the box, I wasn’t impressed by the sum of its far-away parts. Though it had thickly slices pieces of buffalo mozzarella neatly spanning the inner circle, it was also inconsistently scattered with tomato and arugula, in a mannerism some may call “artful” but I liken to reaching into a D-cup set of breasts and coming up wrist deep in inflatable bra mechanisms. Damn you, Victoria’s Secret. Damn those fake nipples. But I digress.

What came out of the oven can only be best described by wordsmiths far better than I: in the immortal words of Joan Jett, “my, my, my, whiskey and rye, don’t it make you feel so fine.” Simply replace “whiskey and rye” with “tomato and arugula” and you have a point, Ms. Larkin. It looked perfect, but just didn’t do it for me. Without expounding upon the irritation I have about ignoring ingredients that are featured in the product’s title, I’ll just say that the amount of tomatoes on the entire pizza couldn’t have covered a stripper’s nipple, much less six large slices. The smells that wafted off the pizza radiated little more than steam and vaguely removed dairy, and forecasted the eventual taste. TL; DR, this shit was bland, yo.
While the mozzarella gave a nice chew to the toppings, the tomato and arugula had been so frozen and refrozen and cooked and exposed to high altitudes that they were shells of their former selves, bitter and mushy remains of vegetables that exclaimed more of maceration than Mediterranean. That being said, I didn’t quite see the connection between these ingredients and the Mediterranean. Maybe someone in copyediting mixed up the Med and the Margherita, but it lacked all of the acidic, tangy features I typically associate with the cuisine. The crust was inedible as well, having lost all semblance of moisture and airiness in the oven, but provided entertainment the next morning as we broke it in jointed segments like tree branches. This was a fun deviation from our standard Amy’s Pizza, but I think I’ll stick with my favorites and let the natives handle my requests in the future.

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