Thursday, November 18, 2010

Nippon Ham French Bread Pizza

I rarely buy frozen or chilled pizzas in Japan. In fact, I'm pretty sure that aside from a random Lawson VL "Mix" pizza for 100 yen (like this tuna one, only without the tuna and mayo) every once in a blue moon (however often blue moons make an appearance), every pizza I've bought of this type has been reviewed in this blog

I like to think I buy such pizzas when I have forgotten how bad they are in Japan, but the truth is that I occasionally sort of crave a bad pizza. That is, I crave one until I actually have one and then I am full of regret and bad carbohydrates. At the very least, I can always get a review out of these things when I take the occasional pizza plunge.

One "pizza" sealed for your protection.

This particular "chilled" pizza is "Japan's #1 brand" of said type of pizza according to the advertising. I have to wonder if that has more to do with the pricing and portions than the quality. I found this bag of 4 hot-dog-bun-sized "French Bread" pizzas at Seiyu supermarket for a mere 298 yen ($3.69). Any time each serving comes in at less than 100 yen ($1.24) each, it's on the cheap side for Japanese prepared foods. Each serving provides 245 calories and a small mix of cheese and a few scraps of ham and sausage. The ingredients include flour, "natural cheese" (as opposed to the ominpresent processed stuff in Japan), tomato puree, bacon, and very curiously, "apple pulp".

It sort of looks like the bottom of your shoe after you have stepped in something really nasty, doesn't it?

I had the first pizza as I imagine they are intended to be prepared. I unwrapped it from it's tight plastic and placed it directly on the toaster oven grate without a tray. The packaging makes a point of telling you not to use a tray so that you can get cheese all over the toaster oven and have a devil of a time cleaning the mess up later. The instructions recommend you toast it for a spare 3 minutes at 1000W, but that wasn't even long enough to melt the cheese. I think I gave it 7 minutes to get the cheese to the melted state you see in the picture above.

As for the pizza itself, there's a reason I compared its size to a hot dog bun and that's the fact that it tastes a lot like the devil's spawn of said bun and French bread, and this is an offspring which favors the dog's bun side of the family in texture. The bread does not get crispy at all if you heat it from the chilled state to a point where the cheese hasn't turned into a mass of brown bubbles. The results were a little better when I froze the remaining "pizzas" and toasted them longer. The bread had time to get slightly crispy before the frozen cheese got too over-cooked.

The flavor of this was pretty much like cheese on bread with the faintest hint of tomato. It wasn't a bad thing, but it was nothing like a "pizza" or even French bread. I did eat the rest, but mainly because it was there and easy to prepare. I also had a vat of lentil soup I had been trying to eat up over several days and this was a decent accompaniment. I wouldn't recommend this unless you're too lazy to put cheese on your own hot dog bun or piece of bread. You can do better even doing that if you use more flavorful cheese.


Hip-Hop Hikikomori said...

That actually doesn't sound so bad; doesn't look that bad, either.

>The flavor of this was pretty much like cheese on bread with the faintest hint of tomato.

I actually like it this way, heh. Different tastes, I suppose.

gossip_bangkok said...

Jinx.. I brought the same thing last weekend. :)

Alex C. said...


Some of the names make me laugh! I run Japanese Cooking Lessons here in London, no junk food here!


Adri said...

I absolutely know what you mean about occasionally craving a bad pizza. Once every few years, I crave vienna sausages. I eat one, remember they are disgusting, and discard the rest...and then crave them again after some time.