I'm always interested to learn of new gluten-free pizzas on the market, as the Italian specialty is our older son's favorite food. I recently read about a line of gluten-free frozen pizzas from Bella Monica FlatBread Company. I emailed the company's owner, Trevor Chambers, to ask where the pizzas were available in the area, since I hadn't seen them on any store shelves. Through a distributor, Trevor was able to have all three varieties of his flatbreads delivered to Natural Health in Clementon, New Jersey, where I purchased the Margherita style. (Also available are Mushroom & Herbs and Spinach & Tomato.)
The Spinach & Tomato rice-flour pizza is topped with a mix of mozzarella and feta cheeses, while the others have a blend of asiago and mozzarella. The Margherita variety we tried is more cheesy than saucy. The flatbread can be heated in the oven for its entire cooking cycle (10-12 minutes after defrosting), but at Trevor's suggestion, I threw it on the grill for a few minutes after baking, which imparted a smoky flavor. The thin-style crust was crisp but not flaky. Although I like a bit more tomato sauce on my pie than what I tasted here, my son and I both enjoyed it. The Margherita is a first-rate effort worthy of adding to the pizza rotation in our house.
Bella Monica's pizzas are not made in a dedicated gluten-free manufacturing facility, but - as stated on the packaging - the products are tested for the presence of gluten to 10 parts per million, which is below the 20-ppm definition of "gluten free" being recommended by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
The cost is on the high side - the list price for each pizza at Natural Health was $13.49 each, although the store was selling them at an initial promotional price of $8.99 each. Keep in mind, though, that the pizza is about twice the size of the Pizza By George pizzas that we usually buy at between $4.99 and $6.49 each.
At the moment, Bella Monica's flatbreads are available at the following local stores (call ahead to confirm availability):
- Big Bear Natural Foods - Yardley, PA; Lambertville, NJ; Pennington, NJ
- Black Forest - Hamilton, NJ
- Bonterra Market - Egg Harbor Township, NJ
- Bunn's Natural Foods - Southampton, PA
- Frey's Better Foods - Hellertown, PA
- Grapevine Natural Grocery - Newtown, PA
- Kimberton Whole Foods - Douglasville, PA; Downingtown, PA; Kimberton, PA; Ottsville, PA
- Martindale's Natural Market - Springfield, PA
- Natural Health - Clementon, NJ
- Newark Natural Foods Co-op - Newark, DE
- Water To Go - Pennsauken, NJ
- Whole Earth Center - Princeton, NJ