Papa Murphy’s invites you to go spelunking in your freezer

A frozen pizza in plastic wrap on a black background
A frozen pizza
Photo: Westend61 (Getty Images)

Who among us has never bought a frozen pizza “just in case” and then shoved it to the back of the freezer in favor of more interesting food, where it may linger for months or even years until it’s unexpectedly recovered during some catastrophe (or a move)? Some of us may interpret this as epic carelessness. Others may see it as a gift from a past self. It’s all a matter of perspective.

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The marketing people at Papa Murphy’s, the take-and-bake pizza chain, have chosen to interpret this as a fitting end to inferior pizza. (Which is also fair: if you have a serious interest in your frozen pizza, you generally consume it immediately.) Or as Kim McBee, the company’s chief marketing officer and senior vice president of customer experience, put it in a press release: “Consumers consider frozen pizza a meal of last resort, and that’s why so many sit in freezers forever. Pizza lovers deserve better and, frankly, so does pizza.”

In that spirit, McBee and her team have invited their fellow Americans to dig around in their freezers to uncover the Oldest Frozen Pizza in America and then post a picture of it on Twitter by October 8, tagging Papa Murphy’s along with the hashtags #pizzaexchange and #sweepstakes. Three lucky winners will receive not just a year’s supply Papa Murphy’s pizza, but also a gift card and a new freezer.

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“The first step is the hardest: consumers must brave the darkest depths of their freezers to find that fossilized pie,” the company declared in the press release. (But also remembering both hashtags. Because how horrible would it be to go through all the trouble of excavating the Oldest Frozen Pizza in America only to lose out on a technicality?) Papa Murphy’s claims to have discovered via a survey last month that one in five people is reluctant to eat an old frozen pizza—although that means that most of us will. Because, hey, it’s frozen! So even if you don’t get the fresh pizza and the freezer, you’ll still get an unexpected pizza. It’s a win for everyone!

Aimee Levitt is associate editor of The Takeout.

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DISCUSSION

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Lord John Whorfin

The pandemic has almost entirely eliminated my Tombstone-in-the-garage-freezer-cuz-it’s-been-that-kind-of-day. If I think I might be wanting pizza, I can now make a very either a deep-dish or thin-crust tavern cut Chicago pies for myself. ideally, the dough sits overnight, but if I start it by 3:40-4pm, I can easily have dinner on the table by 7. Constantly being at home means I have all the time in the world for prep work, so why in the world would I ever get a frozen pizza now?

That said, I *do* have a frozen Gino’s East (they sell them all the way out here in CA!) sitting in the freezer, but I got it back in Jan (or possibly last Dec) when the world was still kinda normal. I was really pleased to find Ginos as its ingredient list tells me I’m not missing anything special when making my own pies. It’s one of the best restaurant-to-supermarket transitions I’ve seen. The product is identical to what you get when you order takeout, except for the lack of crispness you get on the crust at home (and you can fix that if you have a good pizza stone).

Buy a pizza peel and some unglazed clay tiles for your oven and get stretching. You may never need frozen again.