Review: Archer Farms Four Cheese Pizza
With magazine deadlines to meet and two birthdays in the family, I’ve been a busy girl this past week. So busy, I’ve been digging heavily into my supply of frozen pizzas for late-night, bleary-eyed noshing. But hey, who am I kidding — a cheese pizza is usually my meal of choice, anyway. I did mention that my husband and I served pizza (Little Caesars, to be exact) at our wedding, right? So yeah, we’re serious pizza eaters. Although we have our favorites, as I’ve mentioned, I’m always looking out for new kinds of frozen pizzas.
Maybe it’s because of the new box design, or maybe because I have a bad habit of shopping while hungry (the Target popcorn scent wafting through the building doesn’t help), but the Archer Farms Four Cheese pizza stood out to me on one of my recent trips. I think I’ve had it before, but the cheesy memories didn’t stay with me, so I figured it was worth another try.
Right out of the package, the pizza didn’t impress me. In fact, I muttered, “Yeeeah, I’m not going to like this,” and started thinking about the alternate meal I might prepare should this one taste of suckage. These pizzas are wood-fired, so are pre-cooked, and frozen, previously-melted cheese just isn’t particularly attractive. Below, the left photo is before cooking, and the right is after 10 minutes in a 425° oven. There’s barely a difference, except for some browning. I’ll give Archer Farms big kudos though, because the finished product DOES look pretty much like the picture on the box.
The description on the box reads “… features a hand-stretched dough that is covered with a basil-infused tomato sauce and layered with four mouthwatering cheeses including creamy mozzarella and zesty Italian cheeses.” Hmm. I’ll give them the benefit of doubt on the dough, but I didn’t detect much basil in the sauce at all. Of course, there isn’t much sauce to speak of. And wait a second. Do they really essentially say, “cheeses including mozzarella and cheeses?” Target’s website lists the ingredients to include Pecorino Romano and Parmigiano-Reggiano. So what’s the fourth cheese? Why be vague in the first place, Archer Farms?
I’ll have to follow up on the cheese mystery later, because I soon as I took a bite, I exclaimed “Yummm, cheeeese!” Whatever combo of cheeses is there, it’s a tasty one. The crust, like most “wood-fired, hand-stretched” doughs I seem to come across, was fairly flavorless and cracker-like. I didn’t care much, though, because I just considered it a cheese delivery device. The outer edge of the crust, though kind of floury, was crunchy. And I like crunchy. As I mentioned, the minimal sauce seemed bland — fresh tomato flavor, but with little spice. So clearly, the cheese is the star of the show here, and that was more than fine by me.
Despite my best efforts to hate this thing, and even though it has it’s shortcomings, I actually liked this pizza. I even ate it all (In two sittings. It reheats nicely, too!), which doesn’t often happen in my frozen pizza trials. If I don’t like a pizza, I’ll often shove the leftovers, still sitting on the box, into the fridge, and wait the requisite few days before it gets gross and I or my husband tosses it in the trash. Somehow this makes me feel better about wasting food, rather than just throwing it out at the get-go. Or… maybe I do this just so it leaves the option open to eat the leftovers, should I be hungry and desperate at 1:00 a.m.? *shrug* And, this brings up a whole other topic. Why doesn’t Tupperware or Rubbermaid make a plastic thing that can hold an entire pizza? I’ve been on the lookout for a Leftover Pizza Containment Device for years. If you find something like this, for the love of crust please contact me.
Would I Buy It Again? Yeah, I think I would! I was pleasantly surprised by this pizza. I don’t think it would crack my top five frozen pizzas, but as a different option once in a while, I see myself buying it again. By the way, at the same time I purchased the Four Cheese, I also picked up an Archer Farms Pepperoni pizza, so look for that review soon (Sans Pepperonis. Heck yeah, you know I take those suckers off!).