ALDI Supermarket offers a selection of big 16" Mama Cozzi's refrigerated pizzas for baking at home. We reviewed one of those - the "Italian Meat Pizza" HERE and found it to be above average.
|Mama Cozzi's Caprese Pizza|
Recently, my local ALDI (Exton, PA) began offering some new varieties of frozen pizzas. Most of these are considerably smaller than the refrigerated pies, and a bit cheaper.
Most of ALDI's store-brand products are good or better quality, and I've found that the items imported from Germany (ALDI's home) are often the best.
I was intrigued to see the rotating selection of frozen pies include a few new ones, including a Greek style pizza and the Caprese, topped with cherry tomatoes.
We paid just $3.99 for the Caprese. This small pizza contains a whopping 1200 calories, but that is on the low end for frozen pizza. Beyond the cherry tomatoes, it also has "marinated semi-dried" tomatoes. I take them to be akin to sun-dried, but probably dried in a commercial oven.
I also bought a bag of Mama Cozzi's pepperoni, and added some before the bake. I followed the package directions and baked it directly on the middle rack of my oven at 400 degrees.
|The baked Mama Cozzi's Caprese pizza|
At the conclusion of the recommended baking time, it looked pale and undercooked, so I gave it 2 minutes under the broiler to finish. (That's a good tip for reheating pizza, too).
It came out of the oven with an appealing look. It was quite small - less than ten inches in diameter. The toppings held fast to the crust when I cut it into six modest slices. With the pie I had some $1.49 ALDI-sourced sparkling Italian mineral water (akin to San Pellegrino).
One flaw was that the cherry tomatoes gave up a lot of water that was pooling in the center of the pie; I wicked it up with a paper towel. That is the reason I never use fresh tomatoes on home-made pizza; they are too wet.
On the first bite, I was struck by the flavor of the toppings. There is buffala mozzarella as well as "Italian style cheese," and I think those semi-dried tomatoes added a lot of punch. The crust was firm, rigid, with a good crunch and yet still a soft chewy center. It was a little bit cracker-like, in the way that a good bar pie might be.
This was a highly enjoyable pizza, easily one of the best frozen pizzas I've tried. It compares very well with the frozen pizzas, imported from Italy, available at Trader Joe's bearing the Trader Giotto tag line. (See our review of Trader Giotto Pizza Margherita HERE). Both are modest in cost and calories, imported from Europe, and sport a remarkably good crust.
|Crust with nice color, flavor, texture|
|No sag to this crisp crust|
Compared to any pizza -- fresh, refrigerated, or frozen -- this pie earns a huge 7. Compared to just frozen pizzas, this one (along with Trader Giotto) is a 9. Cheap, tasty, and highly recommended.