Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Mama Cozzi's Veggie Delight 16" Take and Bake Pizza (Aldi)

"Veggie Delight"? I think "Veggie Boredom" would be more appropriate...

If there's one thing you can't accuse Aldi of not carrying enough of, it's pizza: in a typical week, there seems to be at least a half-dozen new frozen varieties to try, and usually at least one or two take and bakes. And that's just via special buys; they also offer a growing selection of year 'round ones, both in frozen and refrigerated form. Hey, it's a versatile, “all-American” meal, so I guess it makes sense that it's probably the most available food product that discount chain offers.

This week, we have a “veggie delight” pizza, courtesy of Mama Cozzi. Based on its appearance, it literally looks like a “works” pizza, with all the meat picked out: whereas most of their pizzas are pretty well-covered with toppings, this one has huge gaps between small pockets of vegetables. It's like they picked off the meat, re-covered those areas with sauce and cheese, and then packaged it up and sent it out the factory door. Based on initial appearance, I have to say it looked rather disappointing, but we were hungry, and looking for something we hadn't tried before, so we gave it a shot. Besides, Aldi pizzas are usually pretty reliable, so we figured it would be better than it looked; maybe there was a different sauce, or surprise vegetable in there that would liven things up. 

Doesn't it just look boring?

Unfortunately, that isn't the case: this is one of the blandest take and bake pizzas that we've ever gotten from Aldi. I guess, in theory, that being “bland” is better than being “gross”, but...no, the more I think about it, it's not, because the end result is pretty much the same: we each only ate a couple of slices before throwing in the towel. At least if something is “gross”, it inspires some kind of passionate emotional response: it might be a seething, boiling hatred, and it might be completely negative, but in that way, it's “memorable”, so to speak. But when something is just...boring, it's not even bad enough to stir up any emotion; it's just...there. That's how this pizza made us feel: indifferent. There was no joy to be derived from eating any of it, no strong feelings of anything: we were just like robots going through the motions of obtaining nutrients—no matter how few—to sustain our body and keep us going until the next meal. 

At least there's one thing you can count on: value. Each 16” pizza (which equates to an “extra large” at most pizza chains) is just $6.49. That's definitely not a bad price at all for a pizza that could feed probably four people of average appetites, and well under what you would expect to pay from a chain.

I'm aware it could have been “livened up” with various other ingredients we might have had laying around—like pepperoni and some grated mozzarella cheese that probably could have given it some much-needed flavor—but right out of the box, this is a huge letdown. We definitely won't be grabbing this one ever again.

Overall: 4.5/10. This is a “works” pizza, just with the meat removed; while that might sound like an appetizing proposition for vegetarians, the execution is rather...boring. There are no added veggies, or boost of spices, or change in sauce to make up for the missing meat, which leaves just a very uninspiring shell of a pizza. It's like they lobotomized it, removing every ounce of its character, while replacing it with nothing. Of course, it can be livened up by adding your own ingredients—something you'll most likely need to do to get through it—but right out of the box, this is one of the blandest take and bake offerings we've ever had.

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