California Pizza Kitchenʻs Margherita Pizza
When Queen Margherita of Savoy visited Naples in 1889, tavern owner Raffaele Esposito had three pizzas awaiting her. Her favorite was the one whose ingredients mirrored the red, white and green of Italyʻs flag. While some consider Esposito father of the modern pizza, he is more the father of the margherita pizza, which gained popularity and soon became an Italian classic. I recently tried California Pizza Kitchenʻs (CPK) frozen margherita pizza.
Frozen vs Fresh
There are those who cringe at the idea of frozen food; My Italian American mother comes to mind. Modern society has a place for frozen pizza. Sure Iʻd rather have a hot homemade one fresh from the oven. Major cities with Little Italys are hotbeds for hot and cheesy margherita pizzas with only the freshest mozzarella, tomatoes and basil. My mouth waters remembering a fresh margherita pizza I had in San Francisco. Frozen pizzas are cheaper and more convenient that restaurant pizzas and sometimes just as tasty.
What happens when hungry cranky kids are ready to sabbotage your closet cleaning or or last minute tax filing session? Frozen pizza to the rescue, margherita for me, pepperoni for them.
According to Italy Magazine a true margherita pizza has a crust only 3 mm or .1 inch thick, and even thinner edges. As I enjoy a crispy, crunchy crust, the margherita is my favorite. If you are a deep dish crust lover, the margherita is not for you. Italy magazine says to hand toss the dough with no rolling pin for a genuine margherita pizza.
- The basil was there, but I could not taste it. It did not look fresh.
- A bit bland. Something is missing in the spice department.
- How CPK creates their thin crust is anyoneʻs guess. I canʻt envision factory workers hand tossing dough. CPKʻs margherita crust was crispy enough for me. I baked it in my electric oven so my expectations werenʻt high.
- The diced tomatoes were a delight - they tasted and looked fresh. I did not know you could freeze fresh tomatoes.
- The hot melted cheese was fresh and tasty.
- The pizza was ready in 16 minutes. Five minutes to preheat the oven and 11 minutes to bake.
- My CPK 14.8 oz/ 419 g pizza cost $8.29 at Foodland.
|Serving size: 1/3 pizza or 140g|
|Calories from Fat||144|
|% Daily Value *|
|Fat 16 g||25%|
|Saturated fat 6 g||30%|
|Unsaturated fat 0 g|
|Carbohydrates 33 g||11%|
|Sugar 3 g|
|Fiber 2 g||8%|
|Protein 19 g||38%|
|Cholesterol 50 mg||17%|
|* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.|
The simple margherita pizza makes the perfect base for culinary exploration. Adding fresh basil and red crushed pepper easily adds another star to this 3 star pizza. My garden has fresh oregano, rosemary, kale and red pepper. Adding any of these with a little diced garlic, onions or mushroom could create a whole new taste experience.
On the box, co-founders Larry and Rick suggest getting creative by pairing it with baby spinach salad that has been tossed in a vinaigrette. They suggest serving the salad on top of the hot pizza. Attorneys Larry Flax and Rick Rosenfield created CPK in 1985, opening the first restaurant in Beverly Hills. I may take Larry and Rickʻs creative advice. With CPK frozen pizzas in most grocery stores and a restaurant chain that spans the globe, Larry and Rick are rolling in Pizza dough.
Italymagazine .com http://www.italymag.co.uk/italy-featured/recipes/pizza-margherita-history-and-recipe web 11/11/12