Papa John's turns to antiquity to meet latest pizza trend
Sorghum, teff, amaranth and quinoa are all grains used in antiquity. But the food service industry is embracing them as among the trendiest edibles going — one reason that Papa John's is using those four grains in its new gluten-free pizza crust now testing in five large U.S. markets.
The Louisville-based brand said in a news release that it's currently pilot testing the dough at its locations in Los Angeles, Phoenix, St. Louis, Houston and Nashville.
"This is something we've heard from our customers for some time, but we were never satisfied with the flavor profile of the gluten-free crusts options we tasted — that is, until now," Papa John's Chief Ingredient Officer Sean Muldoon, said in a news release. "At Papa John's, we listen to our customers, and not only do they want to know where their food comes from but they are also concerned about what goes into their food. Or in this case, what is not included in their food: gluten."
Not only are the four grains being used in the test all free of gluten, they also are higher in protein and fiber than other grains.
Some individuals have severe reactions to gluten, including those with Celiac Disease. Gluten-free crusts are often hard to incorporate into restaurant service because anything labeled, "gluten-free" must not only be produced in a gluten-free facility but must never contact gluten-containing ingredients at any step along the path to the customer's table.
Papa John's said it is solving this problem by producing its crust in a separate, gluten-free facility, but a news release said that since the new dough could possibly be exposed to gluten after leaving that production facility and during creation of individual pizzas, the brand does not recommend this crust for customers withCeliac Disease or other particularly medically serious gluten intolerances.