Confession time: I haven’t been in Whole Foods since their CEO came out against universal health care, so it’s been a while and I’ve missed a few things. Like the extended array of Chicago Diner desserts in the cake case last week (mislabeled but at least there was more than one choice). And tonight, I noticed that they’re carrying Tofurky® Vegan Frozen Pizzas, all three combo options:
But, are Tofurky pizzas enough to bring me back to Whole Foods on a regular basis despite the CEO obvious disconnect with his target market? Let’s find out.
Good combination offerings.
Toppings—Yes, I am happy with the basic three offerings. But because I’m a skeptic, I only wanted to risk $9 on one, I opted for the Italian sausage and fire-roasted veggie pizza. I was thrilled to see that the toppings indeed go all the way to the edge of the pizza. None of this skimpy, wimpy topping crap from regular mainstream pizzas. BTW, has anyone else noticed how Amy’s cheeseless pizza with onion marmalade has gotten skimpier and sloppier? Not to mention Trader Joe’s poor excuse for a copycat pizza. But there I go, digressing again….
True to the package description, there were little grill marks on the tiny diced veggies making me think that these were indeed fire-roasted. I don’t know how they managed that without a tiny Barbi grill but they did. And the Tofurky brand Italian sausage chunks did not disappoint. Score 1 point for good quality toppings and 1 for an edge-to-edge covering of toppings.
Tomato sauce—You know how many store-bought tomato sauces have added sugar? Yeah? I hate that too, seems weird to me to add sugar to tomatoes unless you’re making tomato jam but I digress. The sauce they use ain’t bad. Not sweet and contains a bit of garlic. Score 1 point for no sugar and 1 point for spices and garlic.
Now here’s where it gets really good:
Cheese—As all vegans know, a good vegan cheese is the Holy Grail of vegan foods. Within the past couple years we’ve had two major contenders for best vegan cheese. Each have their own merits and fan base (Chicago Soydairy Teese® cheese and Daiya® dairy-free cheese) and each would have worked as a partner on Tofurky’s pizzas, at least from a consumer perspective. Tofurky decided to partner with Daiya for their pizza toppings and it does a very fine job. But it seems the trick to getting any vegan cheese to melt is high heat. And it doesn’t hurt to put the cheese directly on top of the sauce which contains a bit of oil. Tofurky indeed places the cheese UNDER the veggie and sausage toppings so you don’t really see it like you would a normal frozen pizza. Even so, I personally like a little more cheese than the pizza came with so I added some of my own stash of Daiya.
Overall, kudos for including Daiya, wish Tofurky had put a tad more on so I didn’t have to. Score 1 point for inclusion, no points for quantity.
Flavor and texture.
Overall, good job on the flavor combo of the one pizza I tried. And the thin whole-wheat crust was crispy since I baked is directly on the oven rack rather than a cookie sheet. The pizza was sufficiently gooey so all it well with the world. Score 1 point.
Portions and price.
Each box lists the pizza as having 3 servings, 1/3 pizza each. As you can tell from this photo, the pizza really isn’t all that big so this is NOT your average oversized za from a parlor. You’re not going to feed your family with this pizza but it’s perfect for 2 people really but a stretch for 3. Score no points for smallish size.
Price was $8.99 each at Whole Foods. Can’t really compare to other retailers since no one else here seems to carry them. Higher in price than some but less than others. Seems to be about the range of a frozen pizza from Whole Foods. Is it worth it? For me personally? Occasionally as I’m not one to buy a lot of frozen pizzas because it is more expensive than make your own. But this little pizza does satisfy the craving, especially when you don’t have time to chop all your own toppings and create your own. Score no points for price—not a deal but average by comparison.
Overall, scoring 6 points out of a possible 9.
But back to my original question: Is it enough to draw me back to Whole Foods despite the CEO? If no one else carries Tofurky brand pizzas, then I will have to buy them here.
I wonder if that CEO is still in charge or if the board locked him in the supply closet? Anybody know?