The National Pizza Chain That Just Jumped On The Gluten-Friendly Bandwagon

National pizza chains have never been shy about jumping on trends. There's the polarizing "Hawaiian" pizza, which started a widespread and pineapple-filled craze after a Canadian restauranteur invented it in 1962 (via Atlas Obscura). And who could forget the rise of stuffed crusts in the late 1980s, or the 30-minute delivery guarantee that Ranker says Dominos popularized in 1979? Now, it seems the newest pizza fad could be catering to diners who are looking to avoid gluten.

There are several ways to make a pizza without gluten. Examples like MOD Pizza's cauliflower crust show us that pizza crust doesn't necessarily even need to be made with flour at all! But a cauliflower crust isn't the only way to slice that pie. Dominos' offering lists rice flour among its crust's primary ingredients. Dominos does note, however, that its pizza is merely gluten-friendly, not absolutely gluten-free.

What's the difference? As Epicuren explains, gluten-free foods come from kitchens that are completely devoid of any glutenous ingredients. That way, there's zero chance of contamination. Gluten-friendly products, on the other hand, are prepared in the same kitchens as gluten-containing foods, so the people making the products cannot guarantee the foods won't have trace amounts of gluten.

For people who seriously need to avoid all gluten, like those with Celiac disease, gluten-free is a must. But if you're one of those people who can tolerate gluten-friendly choices, you now have a new pizza option that could be right in your neighborhood.

Marco's adds friendly option for gluten avoiders

Marco's Pizza is the latest pizza chain to diversify its menu by offering a crust free of glutenous ingredients. According to a July 13 press release from Marco's, the new crust option is only available in a small size, and opting for this gluten-friendly crust will add an additional two dollars to the cost of your pizza. The crust isn't a Marco's creation, however.

Rather, the press release states, the brand Caulipower provides its crusts to participating Marco's locations. Caulipower says its crusts are gluten-free and produced in a dedicated facility. However, Marco's won't be preparing its gluten-free pizzas in a kitchen separate from pizzas with traditional crusts, so it can't technically call these new pizzas completely gluten-free.

While reviews of Marco's pizzas with the Caulipower crusts aren't plentiful yet, as the new crust option has just become available, No Dash of Gluten gave the Caulipower crusts five out of five stars, noting that "it passes the flavor test, the cook test, the easy test, and the crisp test." Gluten Free Pizza Pies calls Caulipower "by far the closest you'll get to the real thing," although it does say the crust recipe makes it higher in both calories and carbs.

Through this partnership with Caulipower, Marco's has joined a growing contingent of pizza chains offering a safer alternative for those bootin' the gluten from their diets.