Is Domino's New Pizza Really Any Better?
|Domino's new pizza could be a flop.|
Or something like that.
Anyhow, we took interest when Stephen Colbert lambasted Domino's on his Comedy Central program for having the
Well, we lied. After Domino's announced this week that it would be looking to sell upwards of nine million slices of pizza during Super Bowl weekend in South Florida alone, we decided we would forget our principles (wouldn't be the first time) and just eat a damn slice. After all, how bad could it be?
You're about to find out.
Let's go back to the campaign for a moment: Domino's claims to have reinvented it's pizza "from the crust up," developing a new dough, new sauce, and new cheese that are leagues better than the old schlock (descriptors for which include "cardboard with ketchup on it" and "plastic cheese"). But are any of these elements actually improved in the new pizza?
We'll break it down for you, ingredient by ingredient, to find out.
|To say the ad copy is tongue-in-cheek would be generous.|
Here's the first thing you see when you order a Domino's pizza, which three of us did the other night via Domino's handy online ordering system.
Unlike the crust, the pizza box is, in fact, still cardboard. It's also festooned with ridiculous slogans and ad copy like "It's taken us 50 years to create pizza of this perfectitude (sic)." The box's goal, it seems, is to convince you that this is not the same pizza it was before.
It's all very clever. Some lines read: "Now you may be wondering, is this really different? Will it be as good as they say? Is 'perfectitude' actually a word?" It's as if Domino's is just trying to cut all your doubts off at the pass. Are these copy writers trying the Jedi Mind Trick on us? "What are you talking about!" they're saying. "These are not the same old pizzas you've not been looking for!"
But my favorite part was written on the side: "Our expert pizzamakers are trained to sprinkle cheese from eye level to ensure even distribution. Technical? You bet!" Every part of that phrase makes me want to punch babies.
|The crust in focus.|
OK, now here comes the good stuff. Chain pizza crust (read: Domino's) has for years been likened to thick, bland, inedible pieces of cardboard. It's chewy and gummy, and gnawing on a piece of it is like popping one of those stress relieving balls in your mouth (literally and figuratively).
The new crust, I'm happy to report, is not at all like cardboard. It's way more like wet newspaper.
The crust is soggy as hell, and the garlic seasoning on it can't save it. There's almost no consistency to it at all -- it just kind of dissolves into a mealy goo in your mouth. If you picked up your pizza from a Domino's store it's easy to see why: The pizza is not baked in an oven. Instead, it's put on a conveyor belt and fed through a long salamander (a restaurant broiler, essentially), which "cooks" the pizza on the top and bottom. Once it's pooped out the far end of the machine, the pizza is done. There couldn't be more appropriate imagery.
"It's definitely a new crust," sampler Chris noted. "But it's not any better than the old one either."