Thursday, January 26, 2012
FROZEN PIZZA CHRONICLES: BABU AND YOU
When in need of a quick pizza fix, you might be attracted to the idea of pizza in a pocket. The gold standard for this form of urgent cheese-delivery is the Hot Pocket™, food of last resort, office lunch of kings; people who didn't know how to feed themselves in college totally made it into three meals a day. The Hot Pocket™ is, by definition, out of place and time. Wrapped in a crispy pastry crust of renunciation, it refuses to acknowledge any and all externalities, particularly the effect that it will have on your body after you eat it. The Hot Pocket™ is a reality unto itself, a thing that doesn't look like food and probably isn't, but that just makes you want to eat it more.
Naturally we at Pizza Club like to explore alternative quick-pizza solutions, the particular, varied, obscure back-alleys of the freezer aisle. Does it come with its own oven-proof tray? Is it enclosed in an impermeable membrane of pastry dough? Can you eat it while driving? And how sick will it make you if you eat a whole box at once?
For Babu's® Pocket Sandwiches Masala Pizza, the answers were as follows: no; you would think so but no; probably; and not sick at all. To be fair, we had two people and the box contained two pizza pockets, so Babu was clearly looking out for us when he packaged this product. The masala pizza, advertised as “crispy bread stuffed with mozzarella cheese, jalapeno peppers, and masala tomato sauce,” was quite easy to prepare. We defrosted it in the microwave and then fried it in a pan for a total wait time of seven minutes between realization of desperate hunger/laziness and satiation of said hunger/laziness.
We were promised “All-Natural ingredients and authentic flavor to instantly satisfy your cravings.” This isn't a huge claim, since eating anything would have satisfied our craving to eat something. Would we have done just as well eating a Hot Pocket™? The masala pizza was a little bit spicy and tangy; its innards were undifferentiated. The picture on the box portrays a vivid filling bursting with fresh peppers and tomatoes, but as you can see the actual contents were more of a brown-taupe mush.
There was an air about these pizza pockets of already having been chewed, which is fine I guess particularly if you're feeling lazy. The pastry crust wasn't light or flaky or bubbly – just a sturdy workmanlike container for the goo. Except that mine had some structural integrity problems and leaked at the seams. Had I been driving while consuming this pizza-pocket product, it would have been bad news for my clean, pressed button-up shirt.
I felt more satisfied with this frozen food item than with the Hot Pocket™ just because the things that are in Hot Pockets™ freak me out. Babu's pizza pockets didn't have anything crazy on the ingredients label, just tomatoes and onions and flour and stuff. It tasted kind of mushy and salty-sweet and was filling but not nauseating, thus doing the work of the Hot Pocket™ with less angst and more spices.