Today, at Reply 93 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=29776.msg301657#msg301657
, I asked Nate where he got the information on the heart shaped Giordano's pizza that gave birth to that thread. The reason I asked was because I wanted to know if the pizza was a frozen mail order pizza. Nate's answer was that it was a frozen mail order pizza. On that score, all I can tell you is what Giordano's told me, as I reported on the matter of how the frozen pizzas are made, including the ingredients, at Reply 16 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=29776.msg299582#msg299582
, to wit:Please Note: All of Giordano’s Pizzas (including our “Ship a Pizza”) are made using the same ingredients.
The above comment was in response to a question that I had posed to Giordano's on whether the mail order stuffed pizzas were made in the same way and used the same ingredients as the stuffed pizzas made in Giordano's stores.
As for the way that ingredients are usually listed in ingredients lists, there are two ways that seem to be the most common. The first is to list all ingredients in order by weight, going from the heaviest ingredients to the lightest. In this method, all major components, like dough, sauce and cheese, can be intermixed on the basis of their weights. The second method is to keep the major component separate, without regard for weight, but list the subsidiary ingredients for each major component. In looking at the ingredients list at Reply 3 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=29776.msg297991#msg297991
, I concluded that Giordano's used the second approach. The reason I say this is because the Dough Additive appears in the ingredients list ahead of the Sauce. I think it is safe to say that the Sugar, Salt and Yeast do not collectively weigh more than the sauce. But if the margarine is used only to grease the pans, its weight would be more than the weight of the Dough Additive. It's crazy, I know.
With respect to the trade secret issue, I do not see much of a risk in listing the ingredients in the packaging materials for the Giordano's mail order pizzas. I would agree with you that the risks would be greater if Nutrition Facts were also provided. In this vein, I have more than once asked our members to share with me any nutrition information that accompanied their frozen Giordano's stuffed pizzas. I got nothing. I finally came to the conclusion that maybe Giordano's was exempted under FDA rules and regulations from providing such nutrition information. Such exemptions are listed toward the end of the document at http://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-idx?c=ecfr&sid=563f0b6235da3f4c7912a64cbceec305&rgn=div8&view=text&node=21:18.104.22.168.22.214.171.124&idno=21
. So, if Giordano's sales of mail order pizzas are below the stated threshold in the foregoing CFR, or if the Giordano's unit that handles such sales is small potatoes from an employee standpoint, then they do not have to provide Nutrition Facts. Further to this matter, I personally will not attempt to reverse engineer and clone a given pizza on an ingredients list alone. It is simply not enough information. And even with nutrition information, reverse engineering and cloning a given pizza is problematic, often because there are ways for people to game the FDA rules and regulations, and the people who do so know that the FDA does not have the resources to go after them.
Keep in mind also that many pizza doughs comprise flour, water, soybean oil, yeast, salt and sugar. For example, Papa John's dough has those same ingredients yet their final product is unlike a Giordano's stuffed pizza crust.
As for what the language "The margarine used in all ingredients as well as to coat our pizza pans" means, when I first saw that language, I, too, wondered what it meant. So, I decided to look at the Giordano's menu to see if there were other places besides greasing the pans for the stuffed pizzas where the margarine might be used. I looked at the menu at the Giordano's website at http://giordanos.com/the-menu/
. It wasn't until I reached the sandwiches part of the menu where I saw several references to "toasted garlic ciabatta bread" and "toasted garlic Italian roll". I am no expert on garlic bread, so I did a Google search for recipes for garlic bread. For all the recipes I found, the garlic spread involved using butter or margarine. That led me to re-read the menu. This time, I looked for the word "butter", or something equivalent to it. I found neither. So, if a garlic spread is used at Giordano's and a fat is used, it most likely is margarine. And it may as well be a Koshered margarine.