Sunday, December 6, 2015

Mama Cozzi's Mediterranean Style Flatbread Pizza (Aldi)

Not as good as one would've hoped.
I’ve probably mentioned this a thousand times, but my wife went vegetarian a few months back, after temping the notion for the last several years.  I still forget this fact from time-to-time, because we’ve been together almost a decade, and for about 9-½ of those years, she was an occasional meat-eater.  So I still fall into the trap of suggesting meat-filled foods and pizzas that we always used to eat together.

When I came across Mama Cozzi’s Mediterranean-style Flatbread Pizza, with its list of a hundred different ingredients on the front of its packaging, I just knew at least one of them had to be a meat product--having something this flavorful as a vegetarian option just was too good to be true.  But sure enough, after reading the massive list a half-dozen times to ensure us both that there was truly no meat on it, a feat that took at least half an hour (slight exaggeration), we grabbed it and took it home.

I mean, come on, just this ingredient list makes you wonder how so many things can come together and not taste like complete junk.  We have tomato, spinach, red pepper, red onion, artichoke, and black olives on top of the sauce, while the cheese topping is actually a ridiculous blend of six: mozzarrella, provolone, feta, parmesan, romano, and asiago.

Considering this, it’s not surprising that right out of the box, it smells strongly of cheese, since that’s what it’s mostly made up of.  The sauce is a Greek-ish sour-cream based paste that has a tart cheesy taste despite having no cheese in it whatsoever.  The plus to having so many flavors going on is that no one ingredient stands out, so the fact that I can’t stand black olives, for example, isn’t really a big deal--I left the olives on, and couldn’t even detect them amidst all of the other ingredients.

But that’s also the downside: the flavor is just too busy.  I mean, maybe if they scaled back the number of cheeses to two or even three, I could understand throwing on all the vegetables, but between the paste and the overwhelming number of cheeses, there’s already too much going on.  This isn’t to say that the flavor is bad, or offensive in any way, because it’s not; it’s just an indecipherable blob of pointlessness.  Even that aside, though, there is something that’s just…interesting about it, and I’ll admit I had no problems eating half, and could have even eaten more (though I hadn’t eaten all day).

At the rate of $3.99, which is pretty standard for Aldi’s frozen pizzas released under the Mama Cozzi’s label, there’s not really a whole lot of value.  Sure, on paper it might look like there is, with the consumer getting over a dozen ingredients for such a small price, but given the way it tastes, it‘s not worth it. I also feel like the pizza was smaller than most of their other frozen offerings, and since it’s all on a flatbread, it’s certainly thinner and less filling.

I can pretty much say that I certainly won’t pick this up again, at least until I inevitably stumble upon it again in a couple years, completely forget what it tastes like, and then decide to give it another try.  But as long as I can remember, there is no reason for me to pick this up again, especially given the number of different styles of frozen pizza they offer during any given month.  I’m not recommending this one, and in a rare case of agreement, my wife concurs.

Overall: 5/10. There are certainly a lot of ingredients on here, but that ends up being the problem: The sour cream-based paste that serves as the sauce is good, as is the blend of six cheeses that tops it all, but when you have that much flavor already, anything else you throw on it, like the six additional vegetables, just ends up being overkill.  The flavor isn’t bad in any way, it’s just a giant, indistinguishable mass, where only the sauce and cheeses ever stand out.  If they took out all the veggies, leaving just the “sauce” and veggies, this would be a lot more palatable.  And for what it’s worth, my vegetarian wife concurs with these statements.

2 comments:

  1. lol... I bought one and loved it and will go back to get some more to stash in my freezer. Thankfully not everyone likes the same things. You not caring for it will leave more for me. I hope you and your wife find something to better suit your taste buds. Cheers.

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    1. Yep, there's a reason stores are full of thousands of different products! For the record, we do love the Cuban style flatbread pizza, which are usually available around the same special buy times as this one. Glad you liked this one though!

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