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Sunday 12 September 2010

Tesco Finest: Ham, Garlic Mushroom & Italian Marscapone Pizza

Billed as "a traditional hand stretched stonebaked base inspired from the Naples region of Italy topped with creamy white sauce, garnished with Parmesan & parsley." I would question the (lack of) punctuation in that description, but cannot argue with a full-size pizza that takes only 6-8 minutes to cook (10-12 from frozen), and tastes as good as this.

Frankly, when it comes to pizza, I'm not that imaginitive. Pepperoni is generally what I look for, followed by a decent amount of mozzarella and a fair - but not excessive - amount of tomato purée.

The presentation of this pizza is not great - with only four or five large (6-7cm square) slabs of ham, you're going to get quite a few mouthfuls that are entirely without ham unless you take the time to chop it up and redistribute prior to cooking. Strangely, though, the similarly sparse distribution of the white sauce harms the pizza very little - it melts very quickly, and just runs everywhere. Better still, it congeals very slowly - I'd more or less finished the pizza, and it was only 'thickening' rather than 'set'.

The interplay between the flavours of the main ingredients is quite well-judged: the creaminess of the Marscapone and the white sauce are not in conflict, the ham doesn't taste excessively watered-down, and the mushroom (again, large slabs of) is smooth, yet distinct. The base didn't seem particularly special to me, despite the essay on the back about its preparation, but it's certainly a cut above the likes of Pizza Hut, or the run-of-the-mill supermarket pizza.

Definitely one I'll have again. It would be advantageous to have a hotplate for something like this, to stave off the congealing of the cheese, and I probably need larger plates in general, but this is a very nice pizza.

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