Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Pizza! Pizza!

Remember those Little Caesar's pizza commercials? The commercials were pretty funny back in the day, although I was never a big fan of Little Caesar's - probably because they were the only pizza joint technically on my college campus. We all OD'd on pizza during those years, didn't we?

I'm blogging about pizza today because (drum roll please), NuVal has released frozen pizza scores!

Now, I've never been a frozen pizza eater - ever. Growing up in Rhode Island (the home of all things Italian, where lots of people could pass as Sopranos cast members), there were plenty of good local pizza restaurants around. As a child, Mom often took us for a big night out at Uncle Tony's. During my teenage years, it was slices at Papa Gino's at our local mall. My grandparents liked to take us to the restaurant side of said Papa Gino's because they had table service and wine and beer. As a grown-up, I lived in Connecticut for a while and thoroughly enjoyed Harry's Pizza in West Hartford. My husband and I still remember Harry's wistfully: the lightly dressed salads, fresh garlic and basil on our gourmet pies, all followed by lemon or grapefruit sorbet. Aaaaaaah. Once we moved to the Boston area, we never could top Harry's, so we made our own pizza every Friday night on the proverbial wedding shower gift of the 1990's: the pizza stone. We tried to replicate Harry's, sprinkling cornmeal on our stone, adding sliced calamata olives, onions and grilled eggplant. Oh, the things we had time to do before those 2 kids came along!

Now, we still have pizza night every Friday - as does most every other family on our cul-de-sac. We even pool our orders from our favorite gourmet delivery pizza restaurant, so that they only need to visit our little street once. The kids get cheese, and we get a gourmet veggie that is nothing like Harry's, but it will do.

Still, I have friends who have been waiting for these frozen pizza scores. So here they are:

Pizza scores range from 2 (ouch) to 25 on the NuVal scale, where 100 is best. The median score for frozen pizza is an 11.

Some of the best frozen pizza labels will not surprise you: South Beach and Kashi.

South Beach Living Pepperoni Pizza with Harvest Wheat Crust 25
Kashi All Natural Margarita with Tomato Garlic Cheese Thin Crust 23

Still Ellios scores just as well as Kashi:

McCain Ellio's Cheese Pizza 23

Weight Watcher's does not score as well:

WeightWatchers Smart Ones Stone Fired Crust Pepperoni Pizza 15
Hmmm. Stone Fired. Guess they got a pizza stone for their wedding too.

Among the lowest scoring frozen pizzas are Celeste and Totinos:

Celeste Original Pizza 4
Totinos Crisp Crust Party Pizza Classic Pepperoni 2

I wonder how the restaurant pizza stacks up against the frozen versions. Eventually, NuVal plans to score all food wherever it is sold. For now, we are focused on foods purchased in grocery stores.

So whether you like pizza in a restaurant, via takeout, delivered to your door, or hot out of your oven, there's one thing we can all agree on: our kids will eat it.


  1. I do not eat pizza unless I make it myself. With one exception. There is a frozen pizza in my grocery store made with a cheese crust instead of white or wheat flour. It is one of man's greatest gifts.

    This pizza is the one thing I buy once a year, put it in my cart without looking at the nutritional information and enjoy every sinful bite. Everything in moderation, right?

    Since it does not have a NuVal score yet (that I am aware of) I was thinking of sending you the nutrition facts to see what number popped up. But, in this case, ignorance is bliss! ;-)

  2. I have been making pizza on Naan flat breads. I use light cheese or no cheese, saute tomatoes garlic spinach, shrimp and crushed red pepper. I bake them right on the oven rack until crispy. It is so good. The Naan flats come in whole grain which I assume is not so bad for you.? Very good!