I’m sure we can all remember those happy childhood days when Mom would go into the kitchen to wrestle a squid. The sound of tentacles swishing through the air and muffled curse words could mean only one thing: Squid Ink Pizza for dinner!

But now, having grown up into the cold world of adulthood, that simple joy of Mom’s homemade squid ink pizza has fallen by the wayside. Luckily, Nippon Ham has stepped in to help take us back to those days with their new Squid Ink Pizza.

Could a toaster oven pizza from the supermarket capture such a familiar taste of home? We bought one to find out!

This particular pizza is a part of the Ishigama Kobo line of pizzas found in grocers’ refrigerated aisle. Toaster oven pizzas can vary widely in quality in Japan and this is generally one of the better ones so my hopes were high.

The package also claimed to use “homemade squid ink sauce” knowing the expectations which they had to overcome. They also made several other grandiose claims such as having “authentic Naples taste.” I checked online for authentic squid ink pizza in Naples but I kept getting the websites of restaurants in Japan.

▼ “To the Edge of Luxury Squid Ink Pizza/ Extra Virgin Oil Used/ Homemade Squid Ink Sauce/ Authentic Naples Taste”

Taking the pizza out of the wrapper I was hit with the aroma of the pie. It had a mellow smell like basil. Nippon Ham already sells a basil sauce pizza which is quite good and it seemed like this would be along the same lines.

However, it was rather lacking in the cheese department. The variety of cheese was good with three different types but it was somewhat lacking in quantity. This wasn’t a surprise, as the amount of cheese on most brands of toaster oven pizzas has been noticeably down since last year’s sales tax hike. For this, I still have not forgiven the Abe government and doubt I ever will.

I popped it in the toaster oven and set the timer for five minutes. As it cooked, it bubbled a lot more than these kinds of pizzas usually do. It was then that I noticed significant setback of squid ink pizza: because of the sauce, I couldn’t tell if it was burning or not. It was black the whole time. Are you cooked? Are you burnt? I just don’t know!

When the timer went off it was time to eat. Despite the heavy color of the pizza it had a rather mild taste since there was no tomato. It simply tasted like basil with cheese. It was like a light Italian-style pizza in flavor but it had the texture of an American-style pizza with a fluffy, doughy crust.

The squid ink wasn’t only for show, however. There was also a distinct seafood aftertaste to the pizza as well. Seafood can sometimes be an overbearing flavor but in the case this squid ink pizza it was delightfully in the background as an enjoyable little bonus. There were also tiny bits of squid throughout on top of the pizza in just enough quantities to enhance it rather than get in the way.

Overall, Nippon Ham’s Ishigama Kobo Squid Ink Pizza is a solid addition to their line-up. More than a gimmick it has a well-crafted and unique taste that is absolutely worth the roughly 300 yen (US$2.50) price tag.

Photos: © RocketNews24

▼ It’s finished! Or ruined, I’m not sure which…

▼ Some people might find the taste to be too mild. In that case I recommend a sprinkling of oregano to liven things up.

▼ Finger lickin’ good!