Is the Tombstone Frozen Pizza Dead and Buried?
Even buttery crust and a healthy dose of nostalgia couldn't keep this pizza standing in an increasingly competitive frozen pizza market.
Tombstone pizza is another frozen pizza that holds a special place in our hearts. I remember when Eric and I first moved in together, I was working three to four jobs to help put him through grad school at Bowling Green State University. We didn't have a lot of money to spend on going out so typically we would get our pizza fix by buying frozen pizzas. One of our favorite traditions was to get a Tombstone pizza and watch a movie every Friday while we enjoyed it.
What used to be one of my favorite frozen pizzas has now been eclipsed by other fancier pizzas you can find in the frozen section. I think my taste has also evolved as we've gotten to go to more gourmet Indiana pizza places.
Let's start with a crust which to me is my favorite part of this pizza. I think the directions say to bake it directly on the oven rack, but that always worries me. Most recently Eric cooked a veggie pizza in the oven, straight on the rack and a piece of cheese fell down onto the heating element. For the next 2 weeks, when we cooked a pizza in the oven, our entire house smelled like burnt cheese. I tend to cook my pizzas in a pizza pan on a piece of foil. I find that this crisps the crust nicely. For this pizza I got exactly those results. A Tombstone crust has a nice buttery finish to it and the crispy edges that have no toppings on the outside are my absolute favorite. While it crisps perfectly on the bottom and the edges, the toppings are nestled on top of a softer airy crust.
The sauce on this pizza…. now how do I describe it? I have to tell you guys this one leaves me a little baffled because I can't tell if there's an overpowering taste from the sauce or if there is an overpowering taste from the pepperoni and the other ingredients. I can't really tell if there is a “pizza sauce” flavor. If there is a flavor to the sauce, I find that it's very bland and blends in with everything else. One of the great things about this pizza is that it has cubed pepperoni in the sauce. So I'm not sure if the cubed pepperoni is turning the pizza sauce into a fatty grease rather than a tomato flavored sauce? I don't know, it just doesn't remind me of the pizza sauces I've tasted on other frozen pizzas. I can’t tell you a specific flavor profile I get when I eat it. It’s not oregano, it’s not basil, it’s just unknown.
The cheese on this pizza is kind of a letdown too. I personally think it has no flavor to it. Going back 11 years, when we used to get this all the time, I remember putting salt on this pizza before I upgraded to garlic salt. This could have been to add some flavor to the bland cheese, but I also CRAVE salt too. Sometimes when you get to the crust edge and there's just some melted bubbly cheese on it , you'll get a nice taste of mozzarella, but it reminds me of a very low grade mozzarella like the kind you'd find on your school lunch pizzas that were cut into rectangle shapes.
The pepperoni on its own has a great flavor to it. I also mentioned that you can find cubed pepperonis mixed in with the sauce below the layer of cheese. But I really wish the pepperoni would kind of stand out on its own. It just blends in with everything else and I think that's my overall problem with this pizza. You can taste the buttery crust, but everything else kind of fuses into this one taste that you can't really put your finger on. Is it the sauce? Is it the cheese? Is it the pepperoni? You're just not sure which one it is or if it's any of those. I've said it before and I'll say it again, if I'm going to get a frozen pepperoni pizza, I'm going to head for the Outsiders Detroit style crust pepperoni pizza.