Monday, September 8, 2014

Tandoori Vegetable Pizza - Aldi: Cherry Hill, NJ

Tandoori Vegetable Pizza - Aldi: Cherry Hill, NJ
Apparently my last post, about the art for the returning monster cereal boxes, marked my 666th post on this site. (Spooky. It happened organically, but it totally works and I'm running with it.) I started Sometimes Foodie on Tumblr, which I still update daily, but still have less than 300 reviews that haven't been transferred over to blogger. Between both sites, I am quickly approaching 1000 reviews total! To celebrate, I'll be posting another give away contest later this week. It's been a while since I've ran one, so it's long over due and it should be a lot of fun. I'll keep you all posted.

In the meantime, check out this Tandoori pizza from Aldi!

I'm no stranger to Aldi's frozen pizzas, and I have actually reviewed a pizza from this Stone Baked line before. The Chicken Club version was one of the best frozen pizzas I'd ever had, and I was really impressed with it's overall quality. Mama Cozzi's is an Aldi exclusive, pseudo-no-frills (It's too pretty to be a true no-frills), brand, and for it to make a pizza that tasted that good for that cheap? How could I not want more?

When I saw this new flavor from the same line in the freezer aisle, tossing it into my cart was a no-brainer.

The box has a very similar design to the last flavor I reviewed, it has the same brick oven background and logo, but this time the information is typed in a font that's meant to represent the Indian influence behind this flavor. Looking at this from a designer's perspective, the typeface is pretty weak. I like the color choices, patterns, and the overall layout, but that font just seems like the Comic Sans of pseudo-Indian typefaces. Other than that, I do like the design for this box and, just as I said last time, it far exceeds my expectations for a store brand.

As far as cooking goes, the instructions were the same as any other frzoen pizza on the market. Preheat the oven, toss the pizza in, and you're good to go! It doesn't get much easier than that. I followed the baking instructions, but I fopund that my pizza didn't look finished in the recommended 12-14 minutes of baking time. I gave my pizza another few minutes (about 20-25 total) to get the crust to start to brown.

Once it was out of the oven, my kitchen started to smell like caramelized onions and Indian spices. The scent was really appealing, and although my pizza didn't look as loaded with veggies as the one on the box, there were still quite a lot of toppings.

I took a bite, and the flavor combination was really sweet. A lot sweeter than I had ever expected. It's been a long time since I've had tandoori anything (I've been ordering curry or masala based dishes the last few years), but this is a lot sweeter than I remember. The onions, bell peppers, and tomatoes are almost caramelized, while the cheese and spices add a bit of a savory bite. Sadly, the sweet veggies and sauce overwhelm the savory aspects of this pizza and I found the flavoring to be very sweet and tomato heavy.

Although it was far sweeter than I expected, the flavoring isn't half bad. The crust was thick and crispy enough that it was able to withstand the weight of all the veggies, the toppings added a fresh flavor and texture, and the Indian spices were present, but the sauce just isn't right. When combined with those already sweet vegetables, it really made this pizza go from something that could have been amazing, to something rather bland.

After eating a slice as-is, I decided to add some red pepper flake to the next one, to see if a little more heat would help, and it did. The red pepper flake wasn't a cure-all, but the addition of some spicy heat did make the other spices more pronounced.

This Tandoori pizza wasn't as delicious or rich as the Chicken Club version, but it was an interesting idea. As is, I wouldn't buy it again, but it did inspire me to try making my own Indian-food inspired pizzas in the future. I wouldn't recommend trying this pizza, unless you like it super sweet, but it is a nice little change from the average (frozen) cheese pizza.
© Maria Smith
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1 comment:

  1. This is wonderful. I wish Aldi would carry it all the time.