Sunday, May 8, 2016

Mama Cozzi's 12" Morning Take and Bake Breakfast Pizza (Aldi)

MAMA COZZI'S 12" MORNING TAKE AND BAKE BREAKFAST PIZZA
If you're a huge fan of breakfast pizza, then prepare yourself for the biggest disappointment of your entire life.
In Illinois, where my mother is from and grandmother currently resides, there is a chain of convenience stores known as Casey’s General Store.  They seem to be like any other convenience store: small and overpriced, except that they are curiously known for their pizzas.  They have a variety of them, from Taco Pizzas, to more standard toppings, but the one that immediately caught my attention was the most underrated, under-offered pizza of them all: breakfast pizzas.

How do more places not carry these?  More to the point, how do no pizza chains carry these?  I get that the logistics of keeping eggs fresh would probably get a little pricey, but that would be offset by the sheer monopoly that place would have on the industry.  And it’s not like breakfast pizzas are the kind of product that would only appeal to a small niche of people: it has everything that people who love breakfast love, and since everyone loves pizza, that’s a demographic so large I’m honestly surprised that no one has the guts to jump on it.

Needless to say, Casey’s breakfast pizzas became the go-to breakfast for us during our stay in Illinois.  I also happen to love Aldi’s frozen breakfast pizzas (released under the “Breakfast Best” moniker), so imagine my excitement when I saw that the discount grocer would be offering a take and bake breakfast pizza, complete with sausage AND bacon, cheese, egg, and a cheese sauce.  How could this not be good?  A fresher, deli-style version of a frozen classic?  I was ready to immediately praise this as a triumph before I even took my first bite.

This pizza is one of the biggest letdowns I’ve ever encountered from an Aldi store.  The sausage is the closest thing to “delicious” on the whole thing, but it’s so overloaded with sodium that the salt overpowers the actual sausage flavor.  My wife made the claim that the bacon tastes like “dog food”, which I found to be a little extreme…but not by much.  It’s kind of bacon-y, to the point that you can tell that’s what it is, but it is by no means a “good” bacon taste.  It’s just like little clumps of jerky, with a smokier flavor.  There weren’t a whole lot of bacon pieces on our pizza, so you shouldn’t notice them too much (seriously, my wife was at least two, maybe even three, pieces in before she even realized bacon was on it).

I was really hoping the cheese sauce would bring everything together and win me over, but even that sucks.  There’s no tang to it, nor anything interesting…it’s just a bland cheese sauce that doesn’t taste a whole lot like cheese.  Just for the sake of saying something nice, I will say that texture is perfect, as it’s not so thin that it runs all over the place, but it’s The only thing that I didn’t pretty much completely hate is the crust, which according to the box is a “croissant style crust”.  I don’t think “croissant” would have crossed my mind if I hadn’t read the packaging in advance, but it is light and kind of buttery.  There’s not much flavor at all, but when the rest of the flavors are so bad, something tasteless is better just by default.

This 12“ pizza retails for $5.  Normally, I would be ranting and raving about how that’s expensive for a frozen pizza, except I realize that breakfast pizzas seem to naturally be more expensive anywhere you go (and there are disturbingly very few companies that offer them; why no major chains have jumped on board is a complete mystery, except for probably the logistics of keeping eggs and the other ingredients fresh), so it’s about on par with what you can expect to pay elsewhere.  Only, there can be no value for something that’s bad; this is by far the worst breakfast pizza I’ve ever had.  In fact, it’s the only one that I’ve ever tried, and haven’t liked.  That probably says it all.

Overall: 2.5/10.  Hands down the worst breakfast pizza that I’ve ever had, which is a complete shocker to me, considering Aldi’s frozen breakfast pizzas are pretty excellent.  The cheese sauce has a great texture, but a taste that’s just “off”, while the sausage is made up of 90% salt.  My wife mentioned she thought the bacon pieces tasted like “dog food”; while I think that’s a little bit of a stretch, I will admit the look and the flavor have more in common with jerky than actual bacon.  I didn’t mind the crust…it’s light and lightly buttery, and that’s enough for me to call it the best thing on the entire pizza.  Breakfast pizzas are one of my favorite things in the world, and I was super-excited to give this a shot; to call this even a “massive letdown” feels too understated.  Unless they improve it or change it up completely, we will never be buying this ever again.

7 comments:

  1. Ahh, Casey's... that name brings back memories of family road trips to the midwest as a kid. I don't know why breakfast pizzas aren't widely available. I actually make my own once every couple months (they take time to prepare which I rarely have) which my daughter loves, probably the only time she eats eggs that aren't in French toast LOL I'll have to give these frozen ones from Aldi a shot sometime, though I'm a bit wary since the microwavable options I've had have been downright nasty

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    1. Definitely give them a shot! The frozen ones are well worth it, at least in my opinion. And I don't know how in the hell I never thought of making a breakfast pizza (or helping my wife make one to be more honest, lol). That would be good. What do you use for the sauce? And what all do you put on it? That would be something definitely worth trying.

      I also saw your movie challenge! Good luck with that...you're more of a man than I'll ever be. I don't think I could watch 4,000 movies in my whole lifetime!

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    2. Definitely give them a shot! The frozen ones are well worth it, at least in my opinion. And I don't know how in the hell I never thought of making a breakfast pizza (or helping my wife make one to be more honest, lol). That would be good. What do you use for the sauce? And what all do you put on it? That would be something definitely worth trying.

      I also saw your movie challenge! Good luck with that...you're more of a man than I'll ever be. I don't think I could watch 4,000 movies in my whole lifetime!

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    3. Man, if you're ever in NY, I'll personally fix one for you. My daughter is an extremely picky eater and loves it when I make one. Prep and clean up can be a bit of a PITA so I only tend to make em once a month or so.

      I use a sausage gravy [flour-to-thicken, Worcestershire sauce, breakfast sausage, salt & pepper to taste] as the sauce, then top with Cheddar cheese, scrambled eggs and bacon. Bake 400 degrees for ~20 min.

      I also add maple syrup to my pizza dough recipe which IMO really makes it stand out :)

      For a vegetarian option, I would suggest salsa for the sauce although I cannot imagine a breakfast pizza without eggs and bacon.

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  2. My husband and I actually really loved the Aldi breakfast pizza and look forward to seeing it in the stores again someday.

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    1. Which one, the take and bake? Man, I was so disappointed with that, because breakfast pizza is one of my favorite foods, and that was the only one I've ever disliked in my life.

      You should try the frozen one the next time they offer it. Obviously, I hated the take and bake so I think it's much better, but would be interested to hear your take on it.

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