You Might Want to Avoid ALDI’s Star-Shaped Pizzas This Holiday Season

This pizza has a lot of structural failures that mar the good name of Mama Cozzi.

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Image for article titled You Might Want to Avoid ALDI’s Star-Shaped Pizzas This Holiday Season
Photo: Josh Wussow

I’ve been writing a lot about pizza lately. But just as I was ready to take a break, a certain winter-themed pie caught my attention in the freezer section at ALDI: The Mama Cozzi’s Holiday Star Pizza. This festive five-point offering comes “topped with cheddar cheese, red & green bell peppers & mozzarella pearls.” And with a price of just $5.49, I figured, “What the hell, a little holiday cheer never hurt anyone.”

Mama Cozzi’s pizza has a solid track record

Image for article titled You Might Want to Avoid ALDI’s Star-Shaped Pizzas This Holiday Season
Photo: Josh Wussow
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I adore a good frozen pizza. And though the gourmet versions have their place, my heart belongs to the under-$10 tier. I’ve written about the wonders of Portesi frozen pizza in the past, and hinted at my love/hate relationship with Tombstone. But ALDI’s Mama Cozzi line has always been a solid, middle-of-the-pack brand.

On paper (or cardboard, really), the Holiday Star pizza sounds right up my alley. I enjoy a good veggie pizza, and there’s nothing wrong with a basic set of ingredients. So I plunked down my cash, cranked up the oven, and waited like a child for Santa.

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Image for article titled You Might Want to Avoid ALDI’s Star-Shaped Pizzas This Holiday Season
Photo: Josh Wussow

Looks pretty decent, right? After a cutting process that involved slightly more geometry than I liked, I sprinkled some hot sauce over the top and dug in.

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Mama Cozzi’s Holiday Star pizza does not shine bright

I’m sorry to say, folks, but this holiday season, Mama Cozzi let me down. The mozzarella pearls added no texture or flavor of note, and the peppers were all but indistinguishable in the molten core of the star. The pizza was also very lightly sauced, so the taste here was basic and unsatisfying: middling cheese with the vague funk of mushy veggies.

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Image for article titled You Might Want to Avoid ALDI’s Star-Shaped Pizzas This Holiday Season
Photo: Josh Wussow

And the crust... so very, very much crust. This is the biggest argument against picking up a festive holiday star pizza this year, from ALDI or anywhere else. Just look at those undressed edges, as jagged as the hull of a pine cone. This is the kind of frozen pizza that digs into the roof of your mouth as if the dough were made of Captain Crunch. But in the interest of science, I made my way through the entire thing. My soft palate was still tender the next day.

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So overall, would I recommend this holiday offering? No, absolutely not. Yet it’s a rare miss from ALDI and Mama Cozzi, so don’t count this as an overall indictment of the company’s frozen pizza lineup. The rest of the offerings are perfectly serviceable. Just stay away from the star—and its cousin, the Holiday Tree—unless you’re a fan of a sharp-edged meal.