Way back in January [gosh has it been that long?] we all discovered that Dominos Pizza made gluten free bases in Australia and New Zealand. The UK coeliacs, and the US coeliacs felt a little upset that we weren’t able to enjoy the delights of Dominos Pizza like our Aussie and Kiwi friends over seas!
We started pestering, tweeting and retweeting Dominos UK, begging them to start offering gluten free bases in the UK! So to show we cared so much we signed a petition to show them how much we missed it, plus Martin Saunders offered to assist them in finding a suitable supplier – but it was no easy task! But, we have to give it to Dominos UK, they were trying their hardest and really wanted to do this.
Then in May we discovered that Dominos Pizza were launching gluten free bases in the US which came with a huge, bad ass disclaimer - their gluten free bases weren’t suitable for coeliacs or those with gluten sensitivities….
[I've explained it more in this post]
Many of us wondered whether this would happen in the UK, that we’d finally get our gluten free bases but wouldn’t be able to eat it! But…Dominos UK surprised us.
David Johnstone [DavidJ_GF] attended the Coeliac UK AGM Food Fair where Dominos UK had a selection of their new gluten free pizzas which unlike the Dominos US – ARE SUITABLE for people with coeliac disease! Why? Because Dominos US uses a wheat/corn flour mix to ‘pound’ and ‘knead’ their dough whereas Dominos UK uses corn flour! So if you’re wanting to know what went down, what they tasted like, David was kind enough to write me a guest blog post!
“I noticed that Dominos was attending the Coeliac UK AGM Food Fair a month or so ago when reading through the exhibitor list. Intrigued me instantly, especially after all the recent fuss from the USA… Dominos none Coeliac safe Gluten Free Pizzas!
“I’m massively intrigued as to what you guys are doing here today?” I said. Also noticing a big sign on the desk… Saying that the next batch of Pizzas was due to arrive in 30mins.
The Dominos lady explained how that it was all about a taste test and fact-finding mission on their behalf. Today they were trailing a New Gluten Free Pizza base and wanted to gauge Coeliacs reaction to it, get feedback forms completed from everyone who tastes tests it and to get registered interest / location of all the people interested. So if today was positive and a success, Dominos could then decide if and where to demo run the range in selected stores!
I couldn’t wait to try then! All the usual questions a Coeliac should ask just slipped my mind as I was slightly over excited by this point. But to contradict myself, I honestly wasn’t expecting much from the experience. I’ve had decent gluten free pizza bases that I’ve used and topped myself before. As nice as it was, they never really compared to having a [and I use the words loosely] professional made pizza from any chain. I’ve also been lucky enough to get Gluten Free McDonalds while travelling in Spain and Sweden. But again, as fantastic it was to have the naughty Maccy D’s taste, it just wasn’t quite there, the bun couldn’t match it!
So I went away and came back to the stand later, just as teams of delivery staff was running though with the familiar Dominos bags. Boxes piled up and flung open. People crammed around the table excitably, like a scene from a New York Toys R Us at Christmas when the new Buzz Lightyear is delivered.
What They Tasted Like!
The Gluten Free Pizzas on offer then were: Original Cheese and Tomato, Texas BBQ, Vegetarian Supreme and Pepperoni Passion!
I graded a slice of the Veggie Supreme, stood back from the crowd and took a bite – WOW – it was everything that a Dominos Pizza should be!
The base was light and crispy on the outside, light and fluffy on the inside, not too think and not too deep! Great crust, everything that I remembered, just perfect! I’ve eaten a lot of Dominos over the years while having to work late in my old career; this was absolutely as it was pre Coeliac days! OMG WOW!
I managed to salvage another slice as the first wave of Coeliacs attacks died down. This time I tasted the Pepperoni Passion and once again it was everything that it should be! Stunned, I went away and completed the feedback form. 10/10 – everything EXCELLENT!
How They Are Prepared!
At a quite point I returned to the Dominos stand to ask more questions about UK manufacturing risks and the issues surrounding Dominos gluten free pizzas in the USA. The Dominos ladies were fully clued up on the situation. They explained the main problem in the US stores was that they used a Wheat/Corn base flour mix when dusting or “pounding” the dough. Where as in UK, Dominos use only Corn Flour, so this dramatically reduces the Cross Contamination risk to begin with.
Secondly, if this project was to go ahead, the staff would be given specific education and training regarding Gluten Free food preparation and manufacture! I was thoroughly reassured by them that this would not be sold with a waiver and would be a safe product for Coeliacs to eat.
As the day went on the Pizzas came in thick and fast. Stock was piling high and people were either full or had gone home. The Dominos staff handing out boxes to all the other stand owners. In fact I ended up eating 10 slices in total and the lovely ladies were trying to give me more to take home. Amazing!
Everyone I spoke to was over the moon by it. Filling out as many feedback forms as they could to guarantee this comes to trial. Every slice, every flavour and every batch was brilliant and completely consistent. If there is a Gluten Free God out there, please let him shine down on this and bless it with all his love. I’m so very thankful and humble I got to enjoy this, hope you all can soon!