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Is Domino's New Pizza Really Any Better?

Last month, chain Domino's Pizza launched a ballsy new ad campaign that completely fessed up to serving near-inedible crap product. In addition to publicly taking it on the rear, Domino's also asserted it had a new, better formula with which to win back the hearts of you, the consumer. The consumer it has, up until now, been laughing at from behind a pile of cash as you scarf down their horrid excuse for pizza.

Or something like that.

Anyhow, we took interest when Stephen Colbert lambasted Domino's on his Comedy Central program for having the guts chutzpa to tell its customers it has been serving them a product practically unfit for canine consumption, then asking them to come back for more. Domino's pizza, so claims the advert, is now  all new, with better crust, more herbs in the sauce, and "real cheese." (Makes you wonder what it was made of before.) We asserted then that we didn't have an interest in sampling the new pizza; that it would likely be only a loose interpretation of the word and most likely the same thing as the old pizza, anyway.

Well, we lied. After Domino's announced this week that it would be looking to sell upwards of nine million slices of pizza during Super Bowl weekend in South Florida alone, we decided we would forget our principles (wouldn't be the first time) and just eat a damn slice. After all, how bad could it be?

You're about to find out.

Let's go back to the campaign for a moment: Domino's claims to

have reinvented it's pizza "from the crust up," developing a new dough,

new sauce, and new cheese that are leagues better than the old schlock

(descriptors for which include "cardboard with ketchup on it" and

"plastic cheese"). But are any of these elements actually improved in

the new pizza?

We'll break it down for you, ingredient by ingredient, to find out.

The Box
Here's the first thing you see when you order a Domino's pizza, which three of us did the other night via Domino's handy online ordering system.


the crust, the pizza box is, in fact, still cardboard. It's also

festooned with ridiculous slogans and ad copy like "It's taken us 50

years to create pizza of this perfectitude (sic)." The box's goal, it

seems, is to convince you that this is not the same pizza it was


It's all very clever. Some lines read: "Now you may be wondering, is this really different? Will it be

as good as they say? Is 'perfectitude' actually a word?" It's as if

Domino's is just trying to cut all your doubts off at the pass. Are

these copy writers trying the Jedi Mind Trick on us?

"What are you talking about!" they're saying. "These are not the same old pizzas you've not been looking for!"


my favorite part was written on the side: "Our expert pizzamakers are

trained to sprinkle cheese from eye level to ensure even distribution.

Technical? You bet!" Every part of that phrase makes me want to punch


The Crust
OK, now here comes the good stuff.

Chain pizza crust (read: Domino's) has for years been likened to thick,

bland, inedible pieces of cardboard. It's chewy and gummy, and gnawing

on a piece of it is like popping one of those stress relieving balls in

your mouth (literally and figuratively).

The new crust, I'm

happy to report, is not at all like cardboard. It's way more like wet



crust is soggy as hell, and the garlic seasoning on it can't save it. There's almost no consistency to it at all --

it just kind of dissolves into a mealy goo in your mouth. If you picked

up your pizza from a Domino's store it's easy to see why: The pizza is

not baked in an oven. Instead, it's put on a conveyor belt and fed

through a long salamander (a restaurant broiler, essentially), which

"cooks" the pizza on the top and bottom. Once it's pooped out the far

end of the machine, the pizza is done. There couldn't be more

appropriate imagery.

"It's definitely a new crust," sampler Chris noted. "But it's not any better than the old one either."

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John Linn

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