Responding to the trend to incorporate cauliflower into more menu items, including pizza crusts, California Pizza Kitchen announced their full line of cauliflower crust pizzas on Tuesday. CPK has always been an innovator, especially when it comes to pizza. Some of you may remember they introduced the first BBQ Chicken Pizza back in 1985. (Now you’ll find it on pizza menus virtually everywhere!)
Made from a blend of cauliflower, mozzarella cheese, rice flour, herbs, and spices, the cauliflower crusts were developed by CPK’s Culinary Innovations Team to meet a demand for lower carb, higher fiber, and nutritionally-dense pizza crusts. While California Pizza Kitchen already has a line of certified gluten free pizza crusts, these cauliflower crust pizzas give diners another gluten free alternative, depending on their taste preferences.
Like their existing line of gluten free pizzas, there will be four varieties of the cauliflower crust pizza that are certified gluten free. California Pizza Kitchen employs protocol developed in conjunction with the Gluten Intolerance Group to keep gluten free diners safe. The Margherita (shown below), Pepperoni, Mushroom/Pepperoni/Sausage, and Original BBQ Chicken varieties of pizza – whether ordered on their traditional gluten free crust or the new cauliflower crust – are prepared in a separate area of the kitchen using separate sauce, cheese, and toppings. They are baked in tin pans to keep them from coming into contact with flour in the oven, and they are cut with a separate, clean pizza wheel. All of these procedures virtually eliminate any chance of cross contamination with sources of gluten.
Both the traditional gluten free crusts and gluten free cauliflower crusts can be used for other pizza combinations using a range of other gluten free toppings. However, these other toppings are not kept separately, and therefore a risk of cross contamination does exist in the prep area. It is advised that diners with Celiac Disease and gluten sensitivity stick to the four GIG-certified varieties of pizza. (BBQ Chicken variety shown below.)
Although I have not yet tasted the cauliflower crust pizza myself, early feedback from CPK’s testing at three locations in southern California for the past few months has been extremely positive. Surveys done by CPK also revealed a high demand for cauliflower crust pizzas with their customers all over the country, especially on the East Coast. The three-month testing period in southern California gave CPK the opportunity to tweak the cooking times for a crust of perfect consistency.
One important note: The cauliflower crust pizzas won’t be added to the regular menus at California Pizza Kitchen until the next menu printing in April. But they are available at all locations. The pizzas will be promoted via the servers and tabletop signage.
Now is an especially good time to try the new cauliflower crust pizzas, as there is no upcharge for these crusts from now through February 9, 2018. After that, cauliflower crust pizzas will have an upcharge of $2.50 per pizza, the same as the current upcharge for their gluten free crusts.
Find California Pizza Kitchen and other "gluten free friendly" restaurant chains showcased within the Restaurant Chains section of our website, GlutenFreeTravelSite.com.