Domino's new gluten-free pizza is actually worth ordering

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Domino's Pizza is not known for having the best pizza crust in the big-box pizza chain sphere of influence. Hell -- it isn't known for having the best pizza, either. So I was actually surprised when Domino's became the first major pizza-delivery chain to offer gluten-free crust (doing what smaller shops and local pie shacks have already been doing for years). I figured Pizza Hut would lead off, Domino's would follow suit, Little Caesar's would ignore the trend for another decade or so and keep focusing on its $5 ready-made pies, and Blackjack Pizza would continue to ignore every trend and simply remain the Arby's of pizzerias.

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J. Wohletz
According to Domino's, the gluten-free crust is made from water, rice starch, rice flour, potato starch and olive oil, and is as gluten-free as it can be while still being processed in the same kitchen as the regular wheat-flour crusts. A great big disclaimer window pops up on the computer screen if you try to order one online, basically covering the company's pineapples if someone with Celiac's gets a smidge of wheat and wants to sue the pepperoni out of Domino's.

Eat at your own risk, in other words.

Since Domino's foisted its crap-spackle "artisan" pizzas off on the public, I've been very suspicious of its efforts, but since I know plenty of folks who can't do gluten -- and they have it rough -- I decided to take one for the team and try a gluten-free pie.

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J. Wohletz
When I attempted to order two gluten-free pizzas on the Domino's website, though, I discovered they are only available in the ten-inch small size. I'm thinking that Domino's is experimenting to ascertain customer demand, and may offer larger sizes later if enough people buy the smalls. I did the fun build-a-pixel-pizza thing and was ready to pay...when the site told me that I had to call for pricing. This is a lot like ordering the lobster on a restaurant menu and having to inquire about the current market price, which is expected to be high depending on availability.

So I called the store at 4030 Colorado Boulevard and ordered two pies, one with hamburger, bacon and jalapenos, and the other with anchovies, pineapple, jalapenos and tomato -- my personal favorite. They didn't have anchovies, so I got ham instead. Ham is a poor substitute for those beloved little salty, furry fishes, but that's the trade-off you often have to make when you're ordering from a big-box chain rather than a local pizzeria.

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J. Wohletz
The pizzas were not cheap: Two small pies cost me $31.87, and with tip the bill was $35. (Please note: People who don't tip pizza delivery drivers who do their jobs well will go to Hades when they die.)

The pizzas arrived ahead of schedule, piping hot. And while I was miffed that the tomatoes were canned instead of fresh, this was Domino's, so I'd managed expectations. The thin crusts didn't look any different than the chain's regular thin crusts -- maybe a wee bit darker in color -- but I did notice that there was an unusual amount of char on the outside perimeter.

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J. Wohletz
The crust had a chewy texture and was notably sweeter than the gluten crust, but it wasn't bad. I ate half of each pizza and finished the rest off later; the crust does get crunchy when it's cold, but no more so than regular thin crust.

My pizzas may have seen too much oven time, but since this is a new product, it may take employees a little while to get a handle on how long to cook this crust. In the meantime, though, I'd still recommend the gluten-free pizza for people who have gluten allergies. It's an unfortunate reality that they'll have to pay a higher price for the ingredients, processing and handling -- but if the alternative for Celiacs is to watch all their friends eat pizza while they're stuck with a salad, the few extra bucks are worth it.

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10 comments
Mlibrach
Mlibrach

 

I run a company called CeliAct and we make nutritionalsupplements specifically for people with celiac disease(http://www.CeliAct.com). We took Domino’s gluten-free pizzas from threedifferent cities and tested them in our lab for gluten. The results speak forthemselves. Check it out on our blog: http://www.celiact.com/blog/20...

gluten12
gluten12

I wantedto say thanks for writing and posting the article.  I found it to be well written and thought

 

gluten free shopping

 

.  Thanks again and I willcontinue to follow your articles to see what else you write in the future. 

Elizabeth DeSalvo
Elizabeth DeSalvo

I just wanted to clarify a very important point brought up by a poster. "Guest" stated "While I agree that for people with serious gluten issues these pizzas may be worthless, for people with marginal intolerance just significantly reducing gluten with options like this may very well make all the difference."

To be clear, there is no such thing as "marginal intolerance." Gluten Intolerance describes the specific intolerance of the human body to break down gluten proteins and cause some adverse reaction. It's like my 96 Honda trying to use Premium gas. The engine has no idea what to do with it, as it lacks the means necessary to break it down. Even if I were to "only fill up my tank just a few times with Premium," it would be causing damage. As a result, serious damage occurs to the internals of the car. This is the SAME situation for people.

If someone has been told by a health professional, or notices on their own, that they cannot consume gluten, eating Domino's "Gluten Free" Crust is not at all safe. This goes for Celiacs as well as those with ANY "sensitivity." What these customers may not realize is that even in those who don't experience pain, rashes or other symptoms, serious internal damage is occurring to the villi and intestines. Additionally, risk for cancer is greatly increased.

What's the DIFFERENCE between Celiac Disease and "gluten sensitivity?" Celiac Disease is an autoimmune disorder in which the body attacks itself and causes serious internal damage to the villi and other internal organs. Sensitivity still means there's damage, but different damage.

"Gluten Intolerance" is not clearly defined. In those with physical damage due to the body lacking the enzymes necessary to break down Gluten Protein, not everyone shows symptoms the same way. Others might claim they have an "intolerance" because gluten alters neurological responses in those with "sensitivity." Some doctors are even going so far as to petition certain gluten intolerance, including Celiac Disease, to be listed as a primarily neurological disorder, rather than a gastrointestinal one. Not only can gluten cause many to become lethargic, but it can alter thinking patterns, moods and contribute to anxiety and depression. The Center for Celiac Research at Chicago has confirmed this and similar findings have occurred at other Celiac Research Institutes. So if you're the mother of an Autistic child, for example, who needs to be on a gluten free diet for behavior to be maintained, you likely won't appreciate your child being "thrown off" for up to a week with behavior affecting sleep and behavior patterns, as well as school work because your child consumed a "gluten free pizza" another person bought them as a good gesture, not knowing any better.

For more information on this (and other stories), please visit The Gluten Free Bartender at:  http://gfbartender.blogspot.co...

Guest
Guest

I am glad that you enjoyed your Domino's glut en-free (GF)pizza.  But please understand the the pop-up disclaimer you saw was not just the lawyers talking.  Domino's GF Pizza is in fact not GF.

They start with a GF crust.  That is great.  But they cook the pizza in the same pans without cleaning them, they use the same pizza cutters and in other ways they contaminate the GF pizza with crumbs from the standard gluten filled pizzas.  With the high level on contact with gluten, no one who needs to be gluten-free for health reasons shouls be eating this pizza.

Guest
Guest

I really REALLY hate blanket statements on either side of an argument.  While I agree that for people with serious gluten issues these pizzas may be worthless, for people with marginal intolerance just significantly reducing gluten with options like this may very well make all the difference.

Guest1
Guest1

 Doctors and other experts within the gluten-free world are all in agreement that the Domino's pizza is NOT a safe option for those with celiac disease OR gluten sensitivity. In other words, anyone who needs to eat gluten-free, should NOT eat this pizza.

Guest
Guest

So basically, nobody is going to eat Domino's gluten free pizza because:A. It's unsafe for those who have Cealic Disease.B. Trendy people who claim to have a "gluten intolerance" would never order anything from Domino's.

Norsk
Norsk

So, you are proud of your measly $3.13 tip while criticizing those who don't tip?  Cheapskate!

Jenn Loves Pizza
Jenn Loves Pizza

 @22536a777fecc268e492d29957628197:disqus : After you posted this comment I did some research, and I realized that a ten percent tip for pizza delivery drivers is no longer customary--it's now a fifteen percent tip. So with that, I will now tip my pizza guys/gals more, and although your comment was rather flame-y, it did the job.

See, I CAN change! Take that therapist!

Guest
Guest

Now that Domino's is selling gluten free pizza, will PRETENDING to have a "gluten intolerance" finally cease being cool with the Highlands and Cherry Creek yoga panted mommies? 

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