If we know anything here in the offices Takeaway meals, in the great Midwest, and deep in our hearts, is that dip is a special culinary category worthy of our attention and appetites. A good bath will accompany you for years, and not only at the level of the ribs; my fondest memories are a patchwork of overflowing floral baking dishes and robust tortilla chips. My cousin’s 2013 housewarming party featured a hot cream cheese jalapeÃ±o dip that we still talk about every time we’re together. My friend complimented my onion dip two weeks ago and the rush of it will take me through New Years. My mom learned a new trick to spice up her feta dip and we keep turning it into having dinner. What I’m saying is that the dip matters. So when Domino’s announced the addition of oven dips to the menu, I had every reason to be excited.
To review, here’s how a press release from Domino’s describes the new oven dips:
Cheese Marinara Dip– Layers of tasty marinara sauce baked in the oven with creamy and melted cheeses. Served with a choice of parmesan or garlic twists of bread.
Five cheese dip– A combination of cheddar, asiago, parmesan, American and pizza cheeses baked to perfection. Served with twists of Parmesan or garlic bread.
Baked Apple Dip – Sweet and tender apples in the oven with a hint of cinnamon. Served with Domino’s Handmade Cinnamon Bread Twists.
The dips arrived in circular aluminum molds with cardboard lids – a great reminder that they were not microwave. The dip was noticeably shallow inside each pan, however, with a depth of 1-1.5 “. Seems like that wouldn’t be enough to feed a crowd, until you realize how good it is. a belly full of salt and oil can be filled.
So, are Domino’s oven dips good?
I didn’t order any side pizza to go with these dips, and thank goodness for that. I can’t imagine pairing them with anything, let alone a pizza, which would be completely redundant. With the Cheese Marinara Dip, Domino’s took the toppings from a medium-sized cheese pizza and tossed them in a saucepan, with the bread twists replacing the crust as complementary carbs. Sounds like a good idea – a deconstructed pizza! – but the melted cheese and thin, dripping marinara didn’t stand up to a dipping device, sliding straight out of the twists in a frustrating way. The best method I found was to pour the dips over the twists, let them cool and set for a few minutes, then gently lift the bread up to take a bite.
The Five cheese dip, meanwhile, is basically a cheddar dip. Cheddar is by far the dominant flavor, drowning out Parmesan and Asago and bitterly clashing with American cheese and pizza. Cheddar is a nice substance, but it’s not really an overall instrument. And with nothing to dampen the pile of melted cheese in the dip, the garlic bread twist didn’t provide a nice cheesy pull – it only came out with a layer of oil. The word “dip” implies a mixture of items cooked to perfection. Rather, it is a separate fondue.
The Baked Apple Dipis quite downright sweet, nothing too special in terms of flavor. But this is by far the best baked dip for several reasons: First, the solid dough that the apple pieces hang in is well designed for real dips and dips. The cinnamon bread twists are generously coated with a brown sugar and cinnamon coating to complete the apple pie filling. And while the five-cheese and cheese marinara dips seem redundant on pizza, the baked apple dip is an add-on that makes sense on any order.
With their pricing structure, Oven-Baked Dips tell a bit about themselves. At my local Domino’s, an order of any twist bread costs $ 6.99. The plunge and twists together are $ 8.99. So the dip is priced at about the same price as a few extra cups of marinara sauce. It seems fair to me.
I’m not mad at these baked dips, they just feel like a wasted opportunity. Ultimately, I’m forced to conclude that this latest iteration is less of a menu innovation and more of a nifty way to get rid of leftover cheese, sauce, and dough on the assembly line. As a way to reduce food waste, I applaud it. But like anything else (like, say, a meal to put in my body), I’ll pass.
What if a fast food chain wants to try something a little more substantial, like Chili Cheese Dip, I am happy to work pro bono as an immersion consultant. I claim decades of experience in the Midwest.