Not too long ago, I wrote to the maker’s of Totino’s Pizza Rolls (which I soon discovered was Pillsbury/General Mills) to ask about microwave cooking times for quantities of more than the reccommended 6 at a time. The answer seemed to be pretty vague, as most corporate replies are. Of course, I was determined to ask further questions — goaded onward by many of you here and on other places around the ‘net. Here’s where I’d like to share my reply to them, and of course their latest response. Thanks to Dave again for the editing help here!
from ERiC AiXeLsyD email@example.com
to Corporate.Response@genmills.com; Pillsbury@emails.pillsbury.com
date Tue, Mar 2, 2010 at 2:39 PM
subject Re: Your Response From “Pillsbury” – 2010/02/12-0715 XTB
Hello Ms. Boyd,
Thank you for the quick and thorough response! (Apologies if the “Ms.” should be a “Mr.”, I know the name Tracy can go either way!) In reading your response, I have a few more questions, and perhaps a proposal for your consideration. I do enjoy the quickness/convenience of cooking in the microwave versus using a conventional oven. Perhaps I should learn to use the toaster oven as a compromise?
The first thought brought to mind was that perhaps I may be doing something wrong. The instructions say to arrange the rolls in a circle on a plate. Would this be “in a circle” like spokes of a wheel, or “in a circle” like covered wagons circling around weary travelers? I haven’t ever really put much thought into it until now, thinking I may perhaps be doing it wrong as there is no picture on the box to illustrate.
I’m somewhat confused as to the 8 pizza rolls for 45 seconds, as the recommended time for 6 rolls is (I believe) 55 seconds. Typically, I go for 1:05 so that the middle isn’t still cold. I’m also aware that all microwaves are different, and may vary, so I accept that my microwave is behind the curve, if you will. I will have to try 8 rolls at a time, and may even venture into as of yet uncharted 10 or 12 roll at a time territory. I know this may be a cavalier attitude, but it’s just how I roll. (Pun intended.) I will take into consideration that it has been “highly suggested” that I cook more than 8 in a conventional oven.
Along these same lines, I’m fascinated that no more than 8 rolls at a time have been put into the microwave at once in your test kitchens. Is this really the case, or have trials involving more than 8 rolls at a time manifested disastrous results? Is there some sort of moratorium on adventurous cooking? I know that if I had access to a bunch of pizza rolls, and a bunch of microwave ovens… I’d feel it was my duty to push past the ambit of acceptability into the realm of ridiculousness.
I have bounced my ideas off of a few like-minded individuals, and we are prepared to do a public service by testing Totino’s pizza rolls in varying quantities, cooking times, and microwave ovens while making video and statistical documentation of the results. I have safety goggles, a food thermometer, hot pads, a video camera on loan, and, obviously, a microwave oven. The only thing that we require now would be copious amounts of pizza rolls.
While I’m guessing that you’re not officially able to get behind such a study, would you be able to provide coupons for the pizza rolls, or perhaps donate them altogether? Certainly the prospect of someone embarking upon new microwave cooking frontiers would be exciting not only to you, but to the scientists/chefs/technicians in your test kitchens. We would, of course, be more than happy to share all of our results, which you in turn would be able to use (or ignore) at your discretion.
I would like to thank you for your time and continued correspondence. I truly appreciate the fact that Pillsbury/General Mills takes the time to respond to its consumers’ web inquiries with real emails from real people.
I thought that was a pretty straight-forward email with some easily answered questions & an interesting proposal. Apparently I crossed the ridiculousness line for Ms./Mr./Mrs. Boyd, though. I don’t know why, but I read the following response with the “not amused” tone.
date Tue, Mar 2, 2010 at 6:47 PM
subject Your Response From “Pillsbury” – 2010/03/02-5183 XTB
Hello Mr. Aixelsyd:
Thank you for contacting Pillsbury with your inquiry.
In regards to your question, we have not tested for more than 8 pizza rolls at a time.
If you wish to try this, it would be at your discretion. Please note that when adding more products into a microwave to cook ( ie 16 pizza rolls instead of 8 ) and trying to adjust the cooking temperature will not harm the safety of the product, but may change the quality, such as hardening of the crust or uneven cooking, etc.
As a one time good will gesture, we will send some cents off certificates in which you should receive within 20 business days.
We hope you find this information helpful. Please let us know if we can help you again.
Customer Care Specialist
Coupons! Nice. This will be a long 20 business days. I can’t believe that they’re actually sending coupons. I wonder what the amount will be? I have to do the testing now. I have officially gone past the point of no return. I must complete this absurd task… and I must do it right the first time. I’m assuming that “one time good will gesture” means that they’ve had enough of my shenanigans.
So, they definitely have not tested more than 8 at a time in the microwave. Why? I know I would. You know you would. Hopefully, with the help of my esteemed colleagues, we will remedy this situation. The world will know the limits of pizza rolls in the microwave.
Interestingly, my question about pizza roll circle placement went wholly ignored, as did the more personal inquisition as to Tracy’s gender. Not that the second one matters, but perhaps it iw what pushed the button. The circle question was quite important, though. I’m surprised that there’s no drawing on the box/bag. There are certainly illustrations out there for much more obvious sets of directions.
I can only imagine what went through his/her head as she read the “wagon wheels” line. Ha ha ha.
So, this leaves us wondering…
- How did they know that safety would not be an issue but the quality would degrade if they didn’t do any testing past the magic 8?
- Seriously, now… Does “in a circle” mean like spokes of a wheel, or like circling covered wagons?
- Is Tracy a man or a woman?
Luckily, Tracy said “Please let us know if we can help you again.” I believe that we do again need some help. Is another reply in order here, or do we just save it for inclusion with our test results?
Perhaps I’ll ave to include this too…
I can’t wait to hear your thoughts.
Entirely unrelated, just for fun…