I'm Italian and one of my favorite memories growing up on Staten Island was coming home from school on Fridays because that was the day my mother made homemade bread and fresh pizza. As child, I don't think I loved anything more than my mother's pizza.
What made it so good was that my mother used only the simplest and freshest ingredients, which consisted of flour and water to make her dough, tomato sauce made from tomatoes she grew in her garden, olive oil and fresh mozzarella.
Sugar was never added.
Most Americans consider pizza something you get from Pizza Hut, Domino's or Papa John's.
For years, Papa John's boasted "Better pizza. Better ingredients." Printed on every Papa John's pizza box is a little story: "When I founded Papa John's in 1984, my mission was to build a better pizza," says "Papa" John Schnatter. "I went the extra mile to ensure we used the highest quality ingredients available - like fresh, never frozen original dough, all-natural sauce, veggies sliced fresh daily and 100 percent real beef and pork. We think you'll taste the difference."
Reading that you would think that Papa John was following a model similar to that of my mother's, but you would be wrong. Unlike packaged products you buy at a grocery store, restaurant food isn't required to list ingredients. Many fast food chains do voluntarily provide them. Not Papa John's.
Even though Papa John's doesn't list its ingredients online I was able to find a list via FOODBABE.COM. For example, their “100% Beef” topping is a lot more than just beef. It contains corn syrup, maltodextrin, natural flavor, natural smoke grill flavor, beef flavor and seasonings.
Corn syrup in their beef?
What I find so upsetting is that Papa John's pizza is sold in school cafeterias to children, and for them, the temptation to eat pizza every day is great, particularly when they are bombarded by Papa John's commercials every night on television, which include a celebrity endorsement by Bronco's quarterback, Peyton Manning.
Take a look at some of their "better" ingredients.
Why would Denver Bronco's quarterback Peyton Manning endorse a pizza with ingredients like corn syrup?
Answer: Manning became a Papa John's pizza franchisee owner in 2012 when he signed a deal to own 25 stores in the Denver area.