Clancy's Cheese Pizza Flavored Baked Pita Puffs (Aldi)

An open bag of Clancy's Cheese Pizza Flavored Baked Pita Puffs, from Aldi
Cheese pizza in a bag! (Sarcasm)

Here’s a little something I’m just wondering out loud: Why are chips and other snack foods always named after something they’re supposed to taste like, but very rarely do? They have buffalo wing chips, and chips made to taste like hamburgers…are we Americans so obsessed with junk foods that we even have to imagine we’re eating a different junk food than the one we’re currently eating? It just doesn’t make much sense to me.

And yet here we have another such example of that trend: introducing Clancy's cheese pizza flavored pita puffs, which are available as a limited-time special buy from Aldi stores. It should come as no surprise that these don’t really taste much like pizza, although if you think about it, would we honestly even want them to? Why would anyone want a chip flavored like cheese pizza when cheese pizza itself exists? No one's like “Oh I'm hungry for pizza, but I know a great bag of chips instead.” It's one of those annoying things that have taken hold for no apparent reason.

At any rate, these do have a strong tomato flavor that's actually reminiscent of the sauce on a typical pizza; it’s deep and strong and unmistakably tomato. But that's about where the flavor similarities end. Along with the tomatoes, there is also some cheese powder attached to each puff, which is clearly the “cheese” part of the title. However, in a bit of curious trivia, the tomato taste somehow manages to steal the show, which can be a positive or negative depending on your fondness for the vegetable who wants to be identified as a fruit. I love tomatoes, but even I have to put these down after a few because it gets to be a little grating to my tastebuds. (My wife mentioned they taste like pizza Combos, and I think for the most part that's a fair assessment; while not exact, it certainly gives you an idea of what to expect.)

Texturally, these are absolutely fantastic. For some reason I equate pita chips as being very crunchy. Like, almost too crunchy. These, though, look like pillows and crunch with the slightest bit of pressure from the teeth. They're "softer" than chips, even, and biting down on them is probably more of a pleasurable experience than the taste itself.

Lastly, there's the issue of cost, and these provide a fairly good value, with each bag retailing for $1.99. The smaller bag (compared to potato chips and the like) might help make that seem like a poor value, but there are a lot of puffs contained inside for the price.

What's wrong with calling these Tomato-Cheese Pita Puffs, or Tomato-Cheddar Pita Puffs...the possibilities are plentiful without even having to turn to any existing food item. I'm sorry, I can't let this go...I might start a petition on change.org to forbid companies from naming snacks after unrelated comfort/junk foods. 

JUST THINKING OUT LOUD AGAIN: This would actually be good in tomato soup, I think, although it could also lead to a tomato overload, depending on the strength of the soup. This has been another episode of “Just Thinking Out Loud”, thanks for listening.

Overall: 6/10. There's a lot of tomato in the taste, which does actually somewhat resemble pizza sauce (or maybe I'm just straining my brain too hard to try to find a link), but nothing else at all is even remotely akin to a cheese pizza. I like tomatoes a lot, but even I have to throw in the towel after just a few...the vegetable-posing-as-a-fruit just isn't really a taste you can binge on for too long. The experience is heightened by an excellent, "soft" texture: They break apart in your mouth with the slightest amount of pressure. There's just something about that that makes these even more inviting than the taste. Worth a shot, but unless you're obsessed with tomato, don't go in expecting a whole lot. 

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