This is a sponsored review by BlogHer and Newman's Own.
A few years ago my dad read Shameless Exploitation in Pursuit of the Common Good by Paul Newman and A.E. Hotchner, and he recommended it to me, and I read it and I liked it a lot. I wish I could remember more about it so I could show off a little, but what I got out of the book is that Paul Newman stuff is a really good idea to buy: all the profits go to charity, and Paul Newman is a cool cat.
Plus, he's kind of a rascally scamp, and it's fun to see how his business succeeded despite him being all, "Nope, I'm not doing it that way, I'm doing it my own way." And there are funny made-up stories on the food packages.
After I read the book I was all fired up and felt like "WE MUST BUY NEWMAN'S OWN AT ANY COST!! BECAUSE HE IS SO AWESOME!!"---but that wouldn't have held up long if everything were priced too high or didn't taste good. What surprises me is that they've given over three! hundred! MILLION! dollars! to charity while charging the same as everyone else for a jar of sauce or dressing. We've had the cookies, the pasta sauces, the coffee, the salad dressings, and they're all really good. Plus, he's big on natural and no-artificial and good-quality and minimal processing and no-nitrates and no-trans-fats and no-modified-starch and etc., so if you're ALSO big on those things you will find fewer things to scowl at on the labels.
Anyway, this is not a book review or a business review, it's a pizza review. I had two coupons for free Newman's Own pizza so that I could try it. I bought one Roasted Garlic & Chicken pizza and one Italian Sausage pizza.
I tried the chicken and garlic one first. You cook it directly on the oven rack (slip a cookie sheet under it to take it out of the oven---I hope I am not the only one who stood there slack-jawed, wondering how would I get the pizza OUT), and it took about 10 minutes in my oven. The crust is PERFECT: thin and crispy without being crunchy or crackery.
There was just the right amount of chicken. The garlic isn't just a garlic flavor: you can SEE the garlic. (Recommended: sharing the pizza with anyone you share a room with. The flavor is DELICIOUS, but also STRONG and LINGERING and they were right to list it first.) The sauce is a cheese sauce and has a nice sharp/savory cheese flavor.
A serving size is 1/3rd of the pizza, so I cut it into sixths and put two pieces on a dinner plate so you could see how much that is:
That amount has 270 calories, which seems low to me, especially with a cheese sauce. I ate FOUR pieces and still was at just over 500 calories. If you're on a 1800-calorie-a-day diet, that's still well under a meal's worth of calories. If you ate a salad, too, two people could share the pizza and still have spare calories for ice cream.
The next night, I tried the Italian Sausage, and....meh. I should have tried it first, because after the interesting and complicated and intense flavors of the Roasted Garlic & Chicken pizza, the Italian Sausage seemed one-note and disappointing---more like a standard frozen pizza, though a YUMMY standard frozen pizza. And although there was a generous amount of Italian sausage, the cheese and sauce were BOTH skimpy. The crust was still perfect, and the sausage was yummy, but I don't think I'd buy this variety again because I'd always reach for the garlicky-chickeny-cheesy one first.
I was given two coupons for free pizzas, but the measure of how much I like the Roasted Garlic & Chicken one is that not only WOULD I spend my own money on it, I already HAVE: I went to the store to look again for the pepperoni one I wanted to try, and I came home with a Supreme and another Chicken & Garlic. Because the coupons had said something like "value up to $8," I'd thought the pizzas would be $8, but my store had them for $4.99 and that wasn't even a sale price or anything.
The giveaway for this post is a Newman's Own gift basket valued at $75. To enter, leave a comment by October 31st saying which variety you'd be most likely to try of the eight: Four Cheese, Supreme, Uncured Pepperoni, Roasted Garlic & Chicken, Margherita, White, Roasted Vegetable, or Italian Sausage. (For more information about the pizza and the varieties, see the Newman's Own pizza site.)
Entrants need to be at least 18 years old and residents of the United States. One entry per person. To get an additional entry, blog or tweet the contest and then leave a comment saying you did so. For more information, see BlogHer.com Newman’s Own official rules.
"All profits to charity. Newman’s Own Foundation continues Paul Newman’s commitment to donate all profits to charity. Over $300 million has been given to thousands of charities since 1982."