It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single person in possession of a microwave must be in want of pizza. And though we understand microwaves are the worst appliance for cooking pizza (hello, soggy crusts), certain brands have attempted to do the impossible. They have created microwaveable frozen pizzas. [Cue gasp.]
Out of sheer curiosity, we rounded up five of such pizzas (making sure they're nationally available and sold in major grocery stores, of course) and put them to a taste test. We genuinely hoped to find a gem, because we'll be honest -- sometimes we're exhausted and want the world to magically make us pizza by doing nothing more than pressing a button. (And yes, we know delivery can make that happen, but it's a longer wait. And sometimes we're impatient.)
Before you dare try any of these pizzas, we must warn you. With one exception (Trader Joe's), these pizzas have a lot of ingredients that are difficult to pronounce and nearly impossible to define. Thanks to Michael Pollan, we all know that's a bad thing. In case we haven't been clear enough, we'll say it plainer. We do not recommend eating these as a part of your normal daily diet. They're strictly for hangover emergencies and hunger attacks.
So -- do any of these pizzas taste good enough to make up for the ensuing shroud of guilt? Find out in the slideshow below.
As always, this taste test is in no way influenced or sponsored by the brands included.
This story appears in Issue 33 of our weekly iPad magazine, Huffington, in the iTunes App store, available Friday, January 25.
#1: DiGiorno Deep Dish, Four-Cheese Pizza (Mildly Recommended)
<b>Comments:</b> "The tomato sauce and cheese were plentiful. And the dough is SO sugary, almost like sugar cookies in a weirdly addictive way (probably because I'm American)." "Good, salty cheese. The sauce is kind of sweet, and the dough is not pizza crust but pleasantly crispy in parts. Wait, I've turned on this. The dough is cookies." "It's a soft doughy masterpiece. Strong oregano flavor, sweet pizza sauce and so much soft dough." "The dough could be crispier -- it's very sweet."
#2: California Pizza Kitchen Crispy Thin Crust, Margherita
<b>Comments:</b> "This is 'fancy' microwave pizza. Lots of flavor, but it sort of tastes like my spice cabinet exploded on this." "Oh, hi herbs! I like that there are whole pieces of tomato on this. More flatbread than pizza, but not offensive." "This pizza does not taste like it was microwaved. But it does taste like they used a cracker for a crust." "It's the most flavorful of the bunch, and I like the crispy crust."
#3: Trader Joe's Pizza Margherita
<b>Comments:</b> "The tomato sauce is fresh and there's so much going for this pizza, but the cheese ruined it. It's like someone melted American cheese, let it harden into a rubbery disk, and threw it on top of this." "This is the only one that actually looks like pizza. I like the sauce, but the cheese is too weird to forgive. But it does taste like it could have been made in a (very bad) slice shop." "You have to be really brave to take a bite out of the cheese. It looks like glue." "This has the best crust of the bunch, but the cheese looks and tastes like plastic."
#4: DiGiorno Traditional Crust, Four-Cheese Pizza
<b>Comments:</b> "It's too sweet and the bread tastes stale." "Aside from the cardboard flavor, I like the slight crunch in the crust. How did a microwave do that?" "There is LOTS of dried oregano. The dough is dry and I want more cheese." "It's got a nice firm crust but it's too shortbread-y."
#5: Celeste Pizza For One, Original (NOT Recommended)
<b>Comments:</b> "Where's the cheese?" "Whatever you do, don't smile while eating this pizza. The sauce/paste glues to your teeth. I can't even comment on the flavor because the stickiness is so distracting." "Whoa. REALLY salty. The sauce sticks to your teeth, weirdly. The crust is rubbery, and where is the cheese? This pizza should die." "The cheese looks and tastes like brains, and the tomato sauce is more like a tomato fruit rollup on a roll of cardboard. If you blindfolded me, I wouldn't know this is pizza."