Celeste (frozen pizza)

Celeste is a brand of frozen pizza owned by Pinnacle Foods. It is widely referred to by its former name Mama Celeste. The brand's slogan is Abbondanza, which means "Abundance" in Italian.

Background

The product was named after Celeste (née Luise) Lizio (1908-1988) who carried the nickname "Mama Celeste". She came to the United States from Italy with her husband Anthony in the 1920s. They settled on Chicago's West Side, where they opened their first restaurant in 1932. In 1962, the Lizios closed the restaurant and began selling pizzas to other restaurants. The Quaker Oats Company acquired the product in 1969. Celeste frozen pizza was one of the top selling brands in the 1970s (with Mrs. Lizio, "Mama Celeste," prominently featured in the brand's television advertising) but subsequently experienced declines. The Celeste brand was later acquired by Aurora Foods, and then Pinnacle Foods.

As of 2012, Pinnacle Foods marketed only frozen, microwavable "Pizza For One" varieties of Celeste pizzas. Distribution is now restricted to more regional markets.[1]

Film

Television

  • In The Golden Girls episode "The Triangle" (1985), Sophia tells Rose a story of having been childhood friends in Italy with the woman who would go on to become Mama Celeste. Later in the episode, she yells "Abbondanza" into the freezer and makes an obscene gesture.
  • In the Welcome Back Kotter episode "Sweatmobile" (1978; S4 E6), a nurse says to Vinnie's aunt, "You must be Mrs. Barbarino". The aunt replies, "What do you think? I'm Mama Celeste?"
  • In Family Guy episode "Passenger Fatty-Seven" (2017; S15 E10), during a conversation at the pub, Joe interjects about having Celeste Pizzas in a fridge in a garage to no one's acknowledgement.
  • In The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air episode "PSAT Pstory" (1991; S2 E4), Hilary—preparing a meal after butler Geoffrey's departure from the Banks' household—tells her family that "Mama Celeste and Uncle Ben do deserve some credit."
  • In The Simpsons episode The Blunder Years (2001; S13 E5), Marge fantasizes over the character Chad Sexington on a pack of "Burly Paper Towels" (a parody of the real Brawny Paper Towels), who comes to life in her imagination. A jealous Homer attempts to do the same with Mama Celeste on a packet of frozen pizza, but she rebukes him while wielding a pizza cutter, saying "You touch-a me, and I cut you!"

See also

  1. "Celeste®: Pizza For One - Home". Pinnacle Foods Group LLC. 2013.
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