In March 2016, Zizzi was the first UK Italian restaurant to launch it’s own cheesy Vegan pizza. A year later, Ask Italian followed in Zizzi’s footsteps and launched their own too. Here I compare and review both Vegan pizzas, analysing the base, toppings and of course the Vegan mozzarella!
Zizzi Vegan Rustica Margherita With 3 Toppings
Cheese rating: 8/10 | Base rating: 9/10 | Topping rating: 8/10
Overall rating: 8/10
The base is topped with Mozzarisella, an 100% Vegan-friendly cheese alternative made from germinated Italian rice. The ‘cheese’ is soya, gluten and preservative free and made from 100% organic ingredients. The Mozzarisella itself is quite watery in consistency and indeed possesses a subtle flavour, replicating that of traditional mozzarella. Despite the viscosity, the creamy cheese substitute compliments the toppings perfectly and offers an authentic Italian experience.
Zizzi offers a wide range of 11 vegan-friendly toppings to choose from when building your pizza. They are;
Artichokes – Butternut squash – Caramelised balsamic onions – Roasted garlic – Fire roasted peppers – Field mushrooms – Black olives – Green chillies – Balsamic tomatoes – Roasted red onions – Spinach
I have sampled most of the toppings, my favourites being the caramelised balsamic onions; a gooey, sweet and tangy compliment to the cheese, the fire roasted peppers; sweet and juicy as well as the black olives; traditional and tangy! Having the option of adding 3 toppings with a wide range of ingredients to choose from makes the experience even more enjoyable and beats ordering a ‘cheese-less margherita’.
A rustica base is created by stretching the pizza dough further to create a larger and crispier base, making room for more toppings. Zizzi’s pizza dough offers the perfect crunchy base with softer crusts to add diversity. It is not too crispy nor too soft, adding the perfect balance. The tomato base is subtle and compliments the toppings added.
Zizzi Pros & Cons
Pros: Large range of toppings | Authentic mozzarella alternative | balanced base
Cons: High in price | watery consistency of the cheese
Ask Italian Vegan Prima Pizza With 3 Toppings
Cheese rating: 7/10 | Base rating: 7/10 | Topping rating: 7/10
Overall rating: 7/10
Ask use a Vegan Mozzarella alternative which the ingredients are currently unknown as they are not stated on the website. The consistency of the cheese differs from that of Zizzi’s pizza. The mozzarella is less watery and has a more artificial cheese flavour, similiar to the likes of Violife or a cheddar substitute. As far as appearance goes, it looks more like a cheese you would find on a takeaway pizza which embodies the toppings unlike Zizzi’s alternative.
Ask have also created a prima pizza with the addition of 3 toppings at a lower price of £9.95. They are;
Marinated Artichokes – Sautéed mushrooms – Grilled aubergines – Caramelised onions – Roasted peppers – Olives
The choice of toppings are significantly lower than that of Zizzi’s yet offer grilled aubergine as a change. The olives were tangy and authentic along with the roasted peppers that were sweet and flavoursome. However, the caramelised onions were disappointing. Not only were they white onions rather than red, they lacked in the caramelised sauce and powerful flavour that they usually embody.
Ask Italian’s pizza bases are crunchier and lighter than those offered by Zizzi. The tomato base is more like a tomato puree, concentrated and powerful with a herby punch. The crust is crisped to perfection however the base can be perceived as slightly overcooked and not suit all tastebuds.
Ask Italian Pros & Cons
Pros: Affordable price | Cheese looks authentic | Delicious crust
Cons: Base is too crispy | Lack of topping choices | Artificial cheese taste | unknown ingredients in the cheese
Although pricier, the Zizzi Vegan Pizza wins my vote and is well worth the extra investment. The large range of toppings will create variety with every visit and the cheese uses 100% organic ingredients that are healthier for the body.
Which pizza do you prefer?