I have a mixed relationship with Veganz products. Meaning that when I see a Veganz product in the store; I pick it up, look at it, read the ingredients, think about what I can do with it, thank the Food Gods that I live in Berlin where these things are possible and put it back on the shelf. I have to say that I have never had a bad product from Veganz, and most of their products and product ranges are incredibly well thought out and done really well. While not all of their products are "clean" most of the products are. As is the case with the California Pizza. The sad part is the reason why I often leave the products on the shelf is that more often then not the product is mostly good but for the price point that you have to pay mostly good isn't good enough.
However, the other day I saw a California Pizza by Veganz and I thought, "Yeah, I like California and I really love Pizza, so let's do this."
My first response when I looked at the packaging was, "interesting". I simply don't think of corn and beans when I think of California foods, at least not what I would call native to California. Tomatoes for sure but corn and beans are more a flavor of the Tex-Mex than that of California. But as to not let this become a semantics issue I disregard the name and simple look at the product itself. Which I have to say looks really great.
I have to say that the Pizza looks really great; loaded with topping, a rich full layer of cheese, "meaty" and balanced. The crust as a rustic yet professional look about it, one that you know is going to have flavor, unlike many of the other frozen vegan pizza's that their crusts taste like cardboard.
If I set aside the name and just think about the flavor it is mostly actually really great. However, as I feared from the onset the beans simply didn't work for me. And this goes back to my initial problem that I have Veganz, the product is mostly really great but just one little switch would make this product go from being "mostly great" to just being great. Maybe if they switched the beans for caramelized onion or have the beans cooked with the soy to create a chili maybe that would work...maybe.
Overall this product is really good, the product itself has lots of flavor and other then the beans all the flavors and textures work really great together and compliment each excellently. The cheese while it didn't completely melt, tasted fantastic and the crust didn't disappoint either, in fact it is perhaps the best frozen pizza crust that I have had, flavorful without the need to dominate the pizza, crisp enough to hold the pizza and toppings with out been too hard.