Big news in pizzaland: Domino's announced that it had a new core pizza recipe. The crust now has a garlic-herb seasoning; the sauce is supposed to be sweeter and bolder; and the cheese, well, the company is promising "shredded cheese made with 100% real mozzarella and flavored with just a hint of provolone," which makes you wonder what they were using before. They released a video on the making of the new Domino's pizza and even Stephen Colbert was impressed they finally changed the old gross recipe.
How does the new Domino's pizza taste? Is it better? Is it good? Slice tried it (hoping it would at least be a step up from their oven baked Philly cheesesteak sandwich.)
Answer: The New Domino's Pizza Recipe Is Better
The thing that gave me pause the most when I read the Domino's press release was the bit about the sauce: "Sweeter, bolder tomato sauce with a medley of herbs and a red pepper kick."
To my taste, the old Domino's sauce was already too sweet. Making it any sweeter would push it into the realm of Papa John's, which I think has the sweetest sauce of the major chains. This was a big mistake on Domino's part, I thought.
But somehow, the "bolder" part and the "medley of herbs" and "red pepper kick" seem to balance out any additional sweetness. If anything, the sauce seems less sweet than before-maybe it's just more balanced now.
The "red pepper kick" is pleasant and probably just where it needs to be to appeal to a mainstream audience. It's not too spicy but still provides a gentle heat that lingers a bit after you've finished a slice.
Good job on the sauce, Domino's.
When I read the press release on the crust ("garlic seasoned crust with parsley baked to a golden brown"), I mistakenly assumed the garlic and seasonings would be baked into it.
When the pies I ordered yesterday afternoon arrived, I thought I had the old recipe in my hands. Despite assurances from my local Domino's on the phone and from the delivery guy, I didn't see herbs in the crust. And the bread base looked much the same as the Domino's I remembered.
But there it was, a slight garlicky flavor. Was I imagining things, experiencing a placebo effect of flavor? I was confused. Instead of rushing out a post on Slice, I contacted Domino's representatives and double-checked whether my nearby Domino's was indeed serving the new-recipe pizza.
And then, I ordered it again today just to be sure. This time getting a half-and-half pizza: hand-tossed crust with one half sauce and cheese and the other just sauce. You know, to better taste the red stuff.
On inspection this morning, I realized that the garlic-herb seasoning is visually subtle. It could be mistaken for an overspray of Parmesan, which I'm used to from the mom-and-pop pizzerias I usually frequent. But if you look, there it is. Instead of impregnating the crust, the garlic-herb seasoning blend is applied to the rim of the pizza.
It's almost like the end crust, or cornicione, has now become a sort of complimentary built-in order of lightly seasoned breadsticks. If you were previously inclined to leave the end crusts as "pizza bones," maybe you should now order an extra cup of marinara sauce (50¢) and dunk 'em.
As far as "baked to a golden brown," so what? It was baked to a golden brown before. In my opinion, there's no noticeable difference in crust texture or doneness.
In fact, the only thing different with the crust seems to be the addition of the seasoning. I'd imagine that those of you who don't like it could ask that they not apply it.
As for the cheese, I have no idea how it's different. Domino's can talk about the "hint of provolone," but it's difficult to discern as the dough and sauce overpower any subtlety you'd hope to pick up in the cheese.
- The sauce is better
- The garlic seasoning makes the end crust taste a little like breadsticks
- It's an improvement, but obviously nothing you'd order if you've already found a better local pizza option
Read more about the new Domino's recipe here >>
By Adam Kuban / Photograph: Adam Kuban