California Pizza Kitchen has updated their gluten-free menu to include pizza, but this time they worked with the Gluten Intolerance Group (GIG) to ensure their offerings are prepared safely. Back in 2011, the restaurant launched a gluten-free crust, but the pizza wasn't prepared using safe handling procedures, so it was pulled and they went back to the drawing board. It only makes sense to bring in a national organization to develop proper handling procedures and to review the ingredients for their four new gluten-free pizzas. This move works to instill a sense of confidence that was severely lacking previously.
Now, on to the pizzas! Four personal-size gluten-free pizzas can be purchased nationwide: Original Barbecue Chicken, Pepperoni, Mushroom Pepperoni Sausage, and Margherita. The gluten-free crusts are certified by GFCO (still trying to get ingredients) and the other ingredients used to prepare the pizzas have been verified as gluten free by their suppliers. More details on the new gluten-free pizzas follow:
- Original Barbecue Chicken - Smoked Gouda, red onions, cilantro, barbecue sauce (1240 calories, $15.25); Nueske's applewood smoked bacon can be added (133 calories, an extra $1.50)
- Pepperoni - Mozzarella and wild oregano (1290 calories, $14); with white truffle oil (1330 calories, an extra $1.50)
- Mushroom Pepperoni Sausage - Cremini mushrooms, pepperoni, spicy Italian sausage, torn basil, mozzarella, and wild oregano (1370 calories, $15.50)
- Margherita - Italian tomatoes, mozzarella, basil, and Parmesan (1510 calories, $14.75)
The gluten-free pizzas are made in a dedicated area of the store with separate ingredients, they are cooked on separate trays, and they are cut with a dedicated cutter. The gluten-free menu states, "Any of our pizzas may be made on a gluten-free crust for an additional $2.00, but due to our current kitchen space, only the (four) pizzas on the gluten-free menu can be prepared using GIG's certified procedures. Please note that normal kitchen operations involve shared cooking and preparation areas and guests should consider individual dietary needs when ordering."
I was one of the people who tried their first round of gluten-free pizzas and I was made ill by the experience. I don't know if I will try the new gluten-free pizza just yet. Will you?