Thursday, March 3, 2011

Nippon Ham "Meat and Vienna" La Pizza

The DSM-IV is a reference guide for those working in psychologically related professions that sets criteria for mental illnesses. I no longer have access to one (and when I did, it was the DSM-III... yes, I'm an antique), but I wonder if there is a disorder listed in there which relates to people who crave bad pizza yet still are disappointed by it when they get it. I'm pretty sure that I suffer from such a disorder (malus pizza opto), and the fact that I bought this package of 3 mini pizzas is proof of that.

When I saw this for 250 yen ($3.00) at Yuakaraya supermarket, I could see enough through the clear parts of the packaging to see that there isn't enough cheese on one of these to satisfy an African Pygmy mouse. I knew that, yet I threw it in my basket anyway because the compulsion to buy bad pizza is utterly irrational. Considering that there was truth in advertising, not only from what I could actually see but also from the illustration in the upper right corner, I can't even hold Nippon Ham responsible for my disappointment.

Each pizza is about 12 cm. wide (4.7 in.) and comes with a decent amount of sauce and a serviceable smattering of little pieces of sausage. There are only 199 calories per pizza, but that's no surprise given the small amount of cheese. Frankly, I knew when I bought them that what I was really getting as "pizza-like bread". My hope was that the crust was a good experience and the flavors of the sauce and wieners pleasant. I don't eat much white bread (I mainly make my own whole wheat bread) and this was an indulgence that I wanted to enjoy with some leftover chicken breast.

While the cheese was practically non-existent, the crust was pretty nice, but not as a pizza crust. It was more like a mildly crispy, chewy bit of bread reminiscent of nan. The only thing is that I wouldn't follow the cooking instructions on the bag for the best results. It recommends 4 minutes at 1000 watts, but I got the best result using 500 watts for about 10-15 minutes. Cooking at the higher wattage for a shorter time just left the bread soft and warm rather than givng a bit of a crispy edge to it.

As a pizza, this really doesn't work at all unless your definition is limited to a smattering of toppings on soft bread. If that floats your boat, then by all means run out and buy this pizza as soon as possible and experience three nights of subjectively good pizza bliss. For me, this worked well as an interesting bit of bread, but it also was a nice base for building a better pizza by adding an ounce (28 grams) of cheese and some leftover cooked chicken. However, I wouldn't buy this again. I'm far more likely to try a new sort of bad pizza next time my disorder kicks in.


Anonymous said...

haha aw it looks so lame!

Somni said...

If you make your own bread, how about your own pizza dough?

Being in Japan has made me love corn on pizza, haha.

Orchid64 said...

Making a crust is no problem. In fact, I've made my own dough many times. Unfortunately, without a pizza stone or proper oven, it just comes out really bready. My combo microwave/convection oven just doesn't cut it on the pizza-making front...

Besides, it really doesn't cater to my need to buy bad pre-made pizzas if I do it myself. ;-)