Oven pizzas. They start off with so much promise but inevitably end up either soggy or burnt. Sometimes even both at the same time. A decent oven pizza is a rare thing, like an Andy Carroll goal.

The oven pizza that I ate last night had so much going for it. It was purchased in Waitrose, no less. It was no plebeian pizza. The young lady at the checkout was most accommodating – she even said ‘good evening’, although she went on to acknowledge with some embarrassment that it was actually only the afternoon. She seemed overly apologetic with regard to this error. With her winning smile, however, she needn’t have been. You wouldn’t get that kind of smile at the likes of Aldi.

Now I’ve heard it said that one can ensure a decent quality of oven pizza by purchasing some kind of circular tray, with all holes at the bottom and stuff. I don’t have one of those. My roasted vegetable pizza was thus a risky choice I’ll admit – the peppers and aubergines adding to those elements of the pizza at risk of sogginess – but even so the final product was startlingly underwhelming. The middle was doughy almost to the point of being a swamp, whilst the edges were burnt to a crisp. It was almost as though some deal of effort was expended by Waitrose in ensuring such a bizarre concomitance of scenarios. If it was indeed the result of such effort then surely some acknowledgement is in order, but even so – it tasted pretty rank.

A dismally below-par gustatory experience.


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