New England-Based Papa Gino’s Offers Gluten-Free Pizza

Newpapa gino's logo England-based pizza chain Papa Gino’s announced today that they have partnered with Udi’s in order to offer a gluten-free pizza option.

Though the partnership was formally announced today, the company reportedly began serving the pizzas last Monday, February 16th in all Papa Gino’s locations. Like Pizza Hut, Papa Gino’s will use Udi’s Gluten-Free Pizza Crusts, which will be stored in a separate, designated location. The pizzas start at $9.99.

Though Papa Gino’s does not have a designated gluten-free preparation area, the pizzas are built on parchment paper with a protective “pizza screen” to guard against cross-contamination. Employees are trained to put on a new pair of gloves before building a gluten-free pizza.

Though every pizza will be topped with the standard Papa Gino’s tomato sauce, the gluten-free pies will only be topped with sauce from a designated gluten-free container. Each pizza station will also have a color-coded ladle and pizza cutter.

Papa Gino's gluten-free pizzaThough the company says most toppings are naturally gluten free, three ingredients on the toppings menu do contain gluten: chicken tenders, meatballs, and mac and cheese.

“We take the needs of the gluten free community seriously and are passionate about providing a high quality gluten free pizza,” said Philip Smith, Director of Culinary for Papa Gino’s, in a press release.

For more information, see the official press release here.

Pizza in a Box

A few months ago, our local pizza place started offering a gluten-free pizza. I must have received at least a dozen “did you know” texts or phone calls about the gluten-free pizza, which is very sweet and I appreciated every single one.

They are the individual pizzas and toppings are encouraged. The problem is that I need two of them because my celiac and I can each polish off an individual pizza. Our every Friday night tradition of pizza and salad is getting expensive…it’s getting up to $50 for what used to be our cheap and always popular stand by dinner.

Last Friday, I had made stuffed Portobello mushrooms. I was looking forward to them because they had sweet Italian sausage, bread crumbs, parmesan cheese, good marinara sauce and a sprinkling of mozzarella on top. But, kids were coming in and going out and “yuck” was the universal answer to my suggested dinner plan.

I basically just pleaded with my husband to order pizza to feed the heathens and then we could open a bottle of wine and have our own dinner in peace.

My husband started dialing but said he was only ordering a regular pizza because there was a gluten-free pizza crust in the freezer plus all the ingredients in the fridge.

We both saw the reaction of our celiac, crestfallen is a total understatement. “But we don’t have pepperoni,” he said. It was just one of those moments where once again, he was different and couldn’t have something because he has celiac disease.

I looked at my husband and caved, “Just order him a pizza with pepperoni.”

“It’s going to be close to $15 just for his and the one we make here is actually better,” he says.

“But, it doesn’t come in a box and you just wouldn’t understand. As a celiac, you never get a pizza in a box…just order the pizza,” I said.

He did and the kids happily scarfed up their pizza and wandered out hither and thither to all of their activities and my husband and I had a great dinner just the two of us.

Pizza in a box, I think we all know that it makes a difference.