When I saw the founder of Papa John’s and Peyton Manning on my television screen advertising the chain’s new Fritos Chili Pizza I laughed at the absolute absurdity of such a creation. However, even though I thought the pizza idea was ridiculous I still really wanted to try it. Last night I satisfied my desire.
For only $12 I picked up the Fritos Chili Pizza at my local Myrtle Beach Papa John’s. I then brought it over to Sidney’s house and placed it on her dining room table. As opposed to opening up the box when I got to my car, I had let the anticipation build for the whole 20 minute car ride to her place. Eagerly I opened up the top of the box to reveal a pizza covered in Fritos.
Besides the namesake ingredient it also had tomatoes, onions, and meat on it. The sauce was a chili sauce, giving legitimacy to the other namesake ingredient. With the signature Papa John’s crust plus the garlic dip and pepper added in the box, I was ready to dig in. I reached for a slice and pulled it apart from the pizza itself, causing Fritos to fall off the slice I was about to eat. I then brought up the slice to my mouth with even more chips falling off and took a bite.
I can describe the taste of the Fritos Chili Pizza in one word: mild. While you will taste the chili flavor, the pizza definitely lacks any bold flavors or kick. I think I was expecting some zest, a shot of spice maybe. I thought the chili might have a distinctive flavor or the Fritos might bring something out that I have never really tasted before on a pizza. Not so. The pie definitely carried with it a very ho-hum taste. Not that this is a terrible thing. Many people don’t like wild flavors assaulting their taste buds. I mean I still thought it tasted good, it just lacked the flavor I thought it would have.
The Fritos definitely bring a unique element. The chips are fresh and the crunch is nice. However, they do fall off very easily before reaching your mouth. And, like I said in the above paragraph, the Fritos do really nothing to enhance the flavor. They are there simply to add a pleasant crunch. You have to also understand that this will not be a pizza you will want to have the next day. Can you imagine putting a pizza with Fritos on it in the refrigerator over night and then having it the next day? Well, I can, because I had a slice of it this morning. The Fritos were soggy and the texture that made the pizza decent the night before was gone.
How would I improve this pizza? Here is my idea: I would create a Sriracha pizza sauce for the base. I would then put on the cheese, onions, and tomatoes. I would next add a layer of chili and I am talking an actual layer of hot meat chili. Then I would top it with the Fritos. This would give the pizza some bite, flavor, and personality.
To reiterate my main point, don’t get this pizza because you want to taste something crazy. You will be disappointed. Get it if you want an interesting crunch and are not a big fan of traditional pizza sauce. I can’t wait until the Cheetos pizza comes out. Don’t Blink.