Pizza: What’s top of your toppings?

According to Homer (we’re talking Simpsons here, not he of Iliad fame), Chicago’s deep pie has the edge over New York’s thin and crispy.

The pizza aficionado nailed his colours to the mast in this contentious battle for US pizza supremacy when he responded to a viewer’s question during the first ever ‘real time’ episode of the Simpsons shown in May. East and West coast, Homer’s take on this dough fight sent the media spinning. I’m more of a thin and crispy fan myself.

People are rightly passionate about their pizza.

And we’re very passionate about our Co-op pizzas.

And being passionate about our pizzas means being passionate about the ingredients that we use and the recipes we dream up to combine them. Our pizza range has been transformed in recent years as we’ve sought to do the basics brilliantly and create a host of delectable gourmet pizzas at the top end.

So what’s next on the menu? Well, we’ve got a few ideas, but we’d like you to help us get the ball rolling. I’m really interested in hearing what you think about toppings – what are your favourites, is there anything that you never want to see on your pizza, what flavours rock your tomato sauce?

I’d also like to know, are you Team Homer with deep dish or Team Sara with thin and crispy?

Sara Gunn, Chilled Food Buyer

Join the conversation! 177 Comments

  1. You had me worried when you quoted the Simpsons. Why does the UK have to get its European foods and drinks via the US? Let’s have Italian pizza not some bastardised US version.

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  2. Making the base dough is the trickiest part so how about you sell part cooked thin (italian-style) bases and recommend passata, herbs, cheese and other suitable toppings from your existing range?

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  3. Some brilliant ideas in the comments, when we make pizza we tend to use a sourdough base which gives it a wonderful chewy yet crispy base,crust.
    Pizza kits might be an idea , great fun for busey parents and fun for kids , I aggree that many shop bought pizzas tend to lack cheese and can be very stingy on the toppings.
    I adore peppadew peppers on my pizza mild or not I’m not fussy ( can eat them like sweets ) with fried crispy smoked bacon, onions Monterey jack mozzarella mix and fresh basil mmmmm.

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  4. NO GARLIC in my pizza please!!! 🙂

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  5. I’ve always thought store bought pizzas can be a bit bland and uninspiring, though I’ve been very impressed with the CoOp’s range of pizzas, finding them to be particularly creative and flavoursome.

    One thing I’d love to see, which is probably a logistical nightmare, is to buy a basic base (cheese/tom, pepperoni or ham for example) then buy a bag of frozen toppings to add to it depending on your preference. The frozen toppings would keep much longer cutting down on waste and customers would get more of a choice with their pizza design. I do this myself with bits from the fridge, as I find most stores skate around the tricky toppings like jalepenos, onions, olives, mushrooms and peppers because of consumer tastes and rarely add them by default.

    It sounds like a lot of messing about, but whenever i get a pizza from a store, it’s usually particularly badly assembled anyway, so I find myself re-arranging toppings more evenly, why not let me add them myself the way I like instead? 🙂

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    • I agree with Daniel a decent basic pizza with bags of toppings seperately. I agree with the topping rearranging too, the pepperoni always goes to one side and has to be redistributed.

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    • A DIY Pizza, that sounds very interesting, thanks for the idea! ^Jordan

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      • Yep, you could have a “pizza station” where there are frozen basic bases (base plus sauce, whether it be tomato or BBQ etc), next to a section of bags of frozen topping items. Sale offer could be 1 base plus up to 4 toppings for £4.99, extra topping bags 50p/£1 each depending on if veg or meat. So you could have different toppings, or double up, or even treble up, on your fave toppings. Get home, stick oven on, put your toppings on as you like, heat it up, et voila! Your perfect pizza 🙂

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  6. More choices for vegans please
    More unusual ingredients like spinach different types of mushrooms and peppers for example

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  7. With regard to sauces, I like to have a choice. My absolute favourite is the tomato and garlic option that Dominos offer. But some pizzas suit BBQ best, and I have had one or two white sauce pizzas that were a nice combo – it really depends on the topping combination overall

    With toppings, I usually wish that pizzas which were primarily pepperoni or the like also included more veg. For me, onion, pepper and mushroom at the very least are a minimum and if I buy a supermarket pizza that lacks veggies I will add these at home, sometimes also sliced tomato.

    I strongly dislike chicken and fish based pizzas as chicken is usually too dry and the taste of fish on pizza just doesn’t work for me. I also really don’t like sweet things on pizza, so no pineapple.

    My favourite non veg toppings are pepperoni, chorizo or ham of any kind.

    I actually don’t really like,deep pan or deep dish crusts. I like the stone baked medium style ones best. I don’t mind thin crusts but you have to be careful with those as it’s too easy to over cook them at home. The square Coop fancy pizzas are spot on with crust for me!

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  8. Cut out some of the sugar from the base and the sauces please. I’ve never heard anyone say that their pizza isn’t sweet enough! You can get sweetness from the toppings if you want it and coop pizzas seem to be much sweeter than waitrose or tesco.

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    • and I echo the gluten free options please. My daughter’s really miss cheesy stuffed crust pizza. We can put our own toppings on but it would be lovely to share a cheesy stuffed crust GF pizza with them. Make it feel more like a family mealtime again.

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  9. Why do all pizzas have to have cheese on? I’m lactose intolerant so make my own pizza- tomato sauce, grilled veg and sometimes a bit of pepperoni. They taste yum and fine without cheese but yet every shop made pizza has cheese on.

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  10. I love making homemade pizzas. I make the dough in bread machine and to it add some freshly chopped herbs like oregano, basil, thyme, sage etc. Sometimes add,a little chilli and garlic too.

    Shop bought pizzas don’t tend to vary much on bases and toppings limited. I enjoy sweet peppers especially pepperdew and mushrooms. Not too much tomato sauce but a good helping of melting cheese.

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  11. Gluten free plain bases would be a nice idea, I struggle to find them and when I do they are like cardboard. Also with plain pizza bases maybe some recipe ideas or cards in that area so people can buy everything they need along with the pizza base.

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    • One solution is to make your own bases using a gluten free bread mix; make more than one meal’s worth and freeze the extra. It’s easy in a food processor or bread maker, and not hard to do by hand, just messier!

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  12. I agree with some that have said that it would be great if there was a chilled dough base available to purchase, then we could buy pizza sauce and toppings to make homemade pizza more often with the kids. I simply don’t have time to make the dough, but that experience of making a pizza together – choosing indivudual toppings and all, is really special.

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  13. Gluten and lactose free would be a great addition, please. Just not the same for my daughter when she watches us tucking into one of your gourmet pizzas and she has a pale imitation.

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  14. Good quality thin crust please! Also definitely need to improve the ham and pineapple pizza. The ham is pretty but the pineapple always looks like it could do with being twice the size and much fresher and juicier!

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  15. Deep pan is definitely a must! Spicy toppings like tandoori chicken or something curry based would be nice to see. You can never have enough cheese too! Maybe an extra cheese/sauce option would be nice to see eventually

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  16. I prefer a thin crust, but there is never enough cheese on shop bought pizza! I do like a stuffed crust with garlic cheese all gooey inside or even hot dog sausage – yummy!

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  17. Deep pan, pepperoni with a decent amount of tomato sauce and cheese – all the way to the edge. It’s the pizza base that’s really the problem. We can all buy tomato sauce and mozzerella and all the different toppings, but if a base is bad you never buy again. Also for the lactose intolerent and vegan why isn’t there a cow free option. Decent bases that’s what we need.

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  18. Would much prefer a home made style deep base with sliced tomato, spiced meats, mushroom, plenty of different types of cheese (this is normally really stingy) but less sugar. I would then normally add different toppings such as peppers and herbs at home. Making a base from scratch takes time and I am normally disappointed with the bases I buy so something different would be nice – just not thin and crispy please!

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  19. I enjoy making my own pizza. I’m a thin crust fan and my husband loves deep pan. Having a ready to roll dough would be great, then I can make the base of my chosen thickness in a size that fits my oven and baking sheets.
    Most pizza sauces are tomato and I love a BBQ base for a bit of added sweetness. I’d like to see more options in this department too.
    On the whole I like pizzas to be quite simple with 2, maybe 3 toppings. Meaty choices are always good!
    I like scattering fresh salad like rocket on my pizza when it’s cooked for extra fresh textures and flavours. Salad goes really well with pizza, could you make a pizza and salad offer for your pizzas?

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  20. I agree that better bases should be available especially for those with specific dietry requirements. Even though I’m not gluten intolerant I would like to see more available on the shelves for bases only and ready made.

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  21. Another shout-out for non-dairy options for vegan/lactose intolerant folks!

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  22. It would be excellent to be able to pick up a vegan pizza in store – loads of great options!

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  23. Would be amazing to do a lactose free cheese on a pizza! I can never get frozen, and I love pizza!

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  24. I’m vegetarian but fed up with the bland choices left to me. A vegan pizza would make the developers think more about the variety of vegetables, lentils, beans etc available

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  25. I love the Co-Op’s best pizzas. The cheese, tomato and pesto one is absolutely delist bit I would love I always take it home and add some spice – Jalapeño’s! And perhaps a bit of chorizo and some veggies – I’d love it if there was a spicy spicy pizza in this range – I’d definitely buy!

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  26. Also like the idea of a pizza kit so you can add what you like, maybe doing half with the toppings you like and half with what someone else likes. Like the idea of more unique toppings – like the prawn idea in the pic. But also other things like beef brisket. And NO PINEAPPLE !

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  27. Pizza is an art form! I agree, let’s take inspiration from the Italians. Would also love to see gluten free options in your range – either in a kit or ready-made. Pizza Express and Zizzi both now make very good gluten free bases with delicious, creative, vegetarian toppings – yum!

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  28. How about a low-carbon pizza? The reason I shop at the Co-op is because of your ethical and environmental policies, such as on reducing your greenhouse gas emissions, so it would be great if you could translate that into a climate-friendly product range. I’m guessing a low-carbon pizza would be meat- and dairy-free because of the high carbon footprint of livestock farming.

    +1 to the DIY and vegan pizza suggestions too! 🙂

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    • What do you think would be the ideal low-carbon pizza toppings? ^Sophie

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      • That would need a bit of research into your supply chains, but I’m guessing seasonal root vegetables such as butternut squash, onions & garlic would be a safe bet, and maybe spinach, sweetcorn and mushrooms. And how about some dairy-free cheese to top it off? 🙂

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  29. Love anchovies on top of a pizza to give it a really rich, salty flavour.

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  30. Save some of the money spent on over packaging the current chilled pizza range and spend it on extra cheese.
    Please
    Pretty please

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  31. Hello 🙂 Another vote for vegan options & indeed gluten free too as 3 out of 4 in my immediate family are vegan (the other is vegetarian), 1 has coeliac disease & 2 are gluten intolerant. Buying pizza is almost nightmarishly difficult & we do really love it. The Pizza Express vegan model is very good – they even add vegan ‘cheese’ if you take it in.

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  32. Total +1 for the idea of diy pizza stuff maybe some bundle options for multi buying bases sauce cheese and toppings?

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  33. Vegan pizzas please! Lots of them 🙂

    Thanks so much x

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  34. You could do a selection of Pizza from around Europe, I have had some great ones in Croatia with a fried egg in the middle, Greece with Feta and Oregano and Spain with Chirzo to name just three.

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  35. I really liked the limited edition Indian pizza you brought out last year. You included yoghurt to drizzle over and it was fantastic but disappeared. I often buy a basic fresh pizza and add my own toppings so the kit idea sounds fantastic 🙂

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  36. Vegetarian alternatives for example vegetarian hawian with veg ham.

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  37. Got to be thin and crispy, not too meaty but a balanced set of ingredients including some herbs such as oregano, Not overloaded but could include pepperoni, mushrooms, red peppers, feta, ham, chorizo, chilli, and salami. Endless combinations!

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  38. Definitely thin and crispy. Authentic Italian pizza is light and airy with not too heavy a topping. However it’s got to have good flavour. A spicy rich tomato sauce slow cooked and reduced to a thick tasty sauce (no maize or corn starch please!) spread liberally over the whole base, no bare crust 2 inches on the edge! A little chilli and garlic helps it along with some good spicy pepperoni, sweet bell peppers and earthy mushrooms, onions and olives. Proper mozarella too please. No rubbery substitute.
    I definitely don’t want the stodgy American deep base and piles of stodgy fatty toppings. Please Coop look towards Italy for inspiration and not the USA!

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  39. Would love to see, when buying a pre-made-up pizza (let’s call it a Hawaiian for example) that it has generous helpings of all the toppings. It can be a pain to have a teeny smattering of cheese, for example, and you end up grating a bit more at home to stick on. So many pre-made pizzas have pathetic amounts of toppings on them. Stick on loads of what’s meant to be on there!

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  40. Homer Simpson is fat & lazy but he does love his kids.

    Why not show real love for your kids and buy pizza dough mix, tomato sauce, cheese & toppings and make pizza’s together.

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  41. What happened to the good pizzas from Co-op like the tandoori chicken one? You took them away and replaced them with odd toppings like beetroot and goats cheese!

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  42. I think the pizza needs simply tomato sauce with oregano on it with real mozzarella. That’s the basic ingredients of pizza and a crust of durum wheat flour.
    I am half Italian and raised here for some time and that’s the way they make it there. It’s so delicious. Of course, shop bought isn’t as good but the oregano and real mozzarella is the secret. In my opinion.
    DIY is a good Idea as everyone has their own tastes.
    Thank you so much for listening to us and caring enough.

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  43. The Curry Chicken pizza was lovely . Always the shelf was empty for this one unfortunately. Co op stopped making this favourite. Madness from the co op pizza team !!!.

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  44. Disappointed that I can’t find Co ops sourdough based pizzas anymore? They were delicious and sourdough is apparently easier to digest for gluten intolerants.

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