Product Review: Flat Out Flatbreads
When you’re a snack fiend who also happens to have an all-you-cat eat college meal-plan, you come to learn a few things. One of those things is that whatever budding culinary mindset you had going for you is effectively killed, and the other is that dining hall pizza is notoriously bad. Sure, the cheese is substandard and the toppings are dodgy, but the real travesty of dining hall pizza (and all school pizza for that matter) is the crust. It’s thick. It’s tasteless. And it sucks.
How to fix said problem? Make your own damn pizza!
I’ve been experimenting with different bases for pizzas for much of the past two months, and because of the relative simplicity of design, had more or less conceded that the versatile pita was the way to go. My father had long ago taught me a trick to making crispy crusts, with the secret coming in when you transfer the pizza from the baking sheet to either the pizza stone or the oven rack. Recently, I read that a company called Flat Out makes excellent wraps that also double as supreme thin-crust flatbread pizzas, and having seen them at my local Super Walmart, decided to pull the trigger.
Walmart’s selection was limited to three flavors of the Light variety, which was not ideal. Light might work in the world of yogurt, but any kind of bread product that chooses to go light seems doomed to tastelessness and lack of size or bulk. Still, figuring I wasn’t actually going to make a sandwich, I chose the most Italian sounding of the three, snagging a 6-wrap package of the “Italian Herb” flavor for $2.50.
In terms of their application as a base for a flatbread, I have to say I was impressed.I started by toasting the wrap on a baking sheet, and after it became moderately crispy spooned some Prego on and began layering my toppings. Bell peppers, onions, and cheese (Parmesan and American) formed the pizza. American cheese is of course NOT ideal, but dag nabbit, someone stole my shredded mozzarella from the community fridge (Be warned cheese stealer: your days are numbered). At 450 degrees this cooked up in no time at all, with the crust holding up well (although getting slightly burnt) to the heat.
The crust was crispy and, texturally, as good as I could hope for.The toppings did not overload it nor make the bottom soggy, while the top and bottom retained a great crunch but still a tiny bit of “wiggle” to distinguish it from a glorified cracker. Taste-wise, there was a slight “herby” presence, but honestly I think that came from the sauce. All in all, I recommend this product as a pizza base, although the price tag might be a little much compared to comparable products, such as pitas.
Later in the week I tried making a wrap of it and grilling it panini-style:
As you can see, EPIC FAIL.
I didn’t feel like I got my money’s worth with these as true wraps, but then again “Italian Herb” is a pretty dull flavor and it’s asking quite a bit of a “light” bread product to, you know, actually have flavor. Their website lists several intriguing regular flavors and recipes, so if all goes well, I may try to check out some of these in the future. Anyone ever had any of Flat Out’s other products? If so, I’m always open to culinary suggestions.
Pros: Makes a great pizza crust. Many flavors available. Healthy. Does have somewhat of an herby flavor which compliments vegetables nicely.
Cons: It's a"light" product...Boring when just eaten as a wrap. Expensive. Does not like my Panini Press.
Price: $2.50 (on sale)
Overall GrubGrade: 7.50/10
More Info: Flatoutbread.com