Chef Boyardee: The Sine Qua Non of Homemade Pizza

Henrietta Lowell

Botany and ecology professor at a small university in the Great Plains,. Frustrated pianist. Interested in too many non-academic things.

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8 Responses

  1. Jaybird says:

    We were a “pepperoni” household. The last time I ate one of these was… 1982? 1981?

    Am I remembering correctly that the pepperoni was cubes rather than discs?

    The quintessential “this isn’t *GOOD* pizza, but it’s still pizza and there are enough leftovers for dinner *AND* breakfast.”

    A pity that it changed. You’d think that, if anything would stay the same, it’d be the Chef Himself.Report

  2. Henrietta Lowell says:

    Yes, as I remember, the pepperoni was little cubes rather than slices.

    I don’t know if Chef changed, or if I did. There are other things I ate as a child that when I tried them again as an adult, I was disappointed….Report

  3. LeeEsq says:

    Pizza outside the New York City area seems weird. In the burbs of New York. Real good pizza places were all over the place since my parents were kids. My parents were born in the late 1940s. It’s odd that it really did take that long for pizza to become really common.Report

  4. KenB says:

    I realized after being reminded of this pizza in that comment from last week that I have no actual memory of how the pizza tasted… I can picture it in my mind’s eye, and I remember liking it as a kid, but it’s not something I made for myself when I got older. I doubt I could tell the difference between whatever they provide now and what I used to eat.

    I do think this was the only kind of pizza we ever ate at home growing up — I don’t remember ever using delivery or even carryout. Though I’m finding that I’ve forgotten many details of my childhood by now — maybe I’ll ask my sibs…Report

  5. Marchmaine says:

    I’d be astounded if the formulation today was the formulation from the 1970s… I’m mildly curious about factory foods and their evolution, but not enough that I’ve researched our pals at Chef Boyardee.

    We never had the Chef Boyardee pizza – possibly the added step of the crust was more than my mom wanted to deal with – but we ate the shit out of canned Chef Boyardee Ravioli and Spagettios (which, I’m just learning now was not Chef Boyardee?? – stolen valor then). Open the can, heat, eat. Like we were astronauts.

    I remember having a can maybe a decade ago… all I remember is that it was way way too sweet… not sure if they changed or I changed, or maybe both.Report

    • Henrietta Lowell in reply to Marchmaine says:

      Oh yes, Mini Raviolis were another fixture of my childhood. (And Spaghetti-os were Franco-American brand).

      I tried Mini Raviolis again about 10 years ago, I found the sauce disgustingly sweet. Same with Spaghetti-Os. My guess is they were ALWAYS that sweet because I remember my mom really not-liking Spaghetti-Os. And I know my tolerance for “sweet” has gone down with age.Report

      • Marchmaine in reply to Henrietta Lowell says:

        Quite likely just as sweet and that my childhood palate was slightly skewed owing to the milky glucose sludge I’d save for the end of every bowl of Cheerio’s. Man, we should have banned all foods ending in -O … they were clearly a problem.Report

  6. Road Scholar says:

    This brings back memories. I grew up on a farm three miles from a town way too little for a pizza joint. And my dad wouldn’t eat melted cheese and my mom wouldn’t prepare something he wouldn’t eat, so we would have Chef Boyardee pizza on those rare occasions when he would be gone for the evening. It was definitely a special treat but I doubt if it was actually very good, objectively speaking.Report