Sunday, January 31, 2016

Mama Cozzi's 16" Extra Large Mexican Style Thin Crust Take and Bake Pizza (Aldi)

Muy delicioso.
Back in March, I reviewed Mama Cozzi’s taco pizza, which is hands-down one of my favorite frozen pizzas ever.  Then, in a recent Aldi ad, I saw Mama Cozzi’s was offering a take and bake version of a Mexican pizza, and I immediately got excited; how would the take and bake version compare to the frozen version? All I knew was, I had to give it a shot.

One thing I didn’t notice, at least until I pulled it out of the packaging, is that this is a thin-crust pizza.  I know, I know, it says it right on the front of the box, but I clearly didn’t pay it that much attention.  That’s neither a gripe, nor a positive; just a stray observation, as I know there are many pizza lovers, each with their own preferred style of crust.  Though I feel like you don’t quite get as much pizza with thin crusts, I do love that they tend to cook up crispier than the traditional crusts, and this one was certainly no exception.

This pizza pretty much has the same ingredients from the frozen version, so it’s no surprise that it tastes very similar.  The biggest noticeable difference, at least to me, was that the peppers seemed to taste fresher here, which makes sense, given the fact refrigerated vegetables tend to hold their flavor better than frozen, at least in my opinion.  So then, that puts us into a bit of a quandary…is this even worth it?

For starters, the frozen pizza weighs in at 15.65 oz., putting it just below the pound mark, and retails for $2.99.  Their Mexican take and bake weighs in at 31.3 oz., or, just under two pounds.  It retails for $6.49.  Technically, you could buy two of their frozen pizzas for $5.98, which also creepily equals 31.3 oz. exactly, and save $.52.  Personally, I’m not sure the savings are that big of a deal to sway me either way, but I know what it’s like to have to watch every penny, and two-quarter savings could matter to some people, hence the very slight deduction in the overall score.

In the end, I guess it would come down to personal preference:  If you’re entertaining, Mama Cozzi’s extra-large take and bake would be the way to go, while for single eaters, the frozen version would be fine.  Likewise, the frozen pizza has a thicker crust, while the take and bake, as we have already established, is cracker-thin.  Moral of the story:  No matter which one you get, chances are you’re going to like it, and that’s an all-around win-win.

Overall: 9.5/10.  Tastes very similar to Mama Cozzi’s Mexican Style Taco Seasoned Pizza, which is one of my favorite frozen pizzas of all time.  The cheese is delicious, the thin crust cooks up nice and crispy, and the peppers are flavorful.  So why not a perfect score?  It all comes down to cost, as one of these costs $6.49, while the frozen pizzas retail for $2.99 (and creepily, two of the frozen pizzas are the exact same weight as one of the take and bakes).  For some, comparing a frozen pizza to a take and bake might be like comparing apples to oranges, but when the taste is so close, it’s apples to apples for me.  Either way, this is a delicious pizza, and one that I wouldn’t hesitate to get again.  Since it’s an extra large (16”), there’s plenty to go around, though if there are any leftovers, it tastes almost just as good the next day.  Highly, highly recommended.

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