Holy hell has it been a long time since I’ve had pizza rolls. Knowing my wife would be working a lot of closing shifts in the coming months, I made sure to stock up on these, as a no-nonsense, quick snack/meal for myself when she wouldn’t be able to baby me with a fully-cooked dinner. The idea came to me right as we were getting ready to head for the checkout, and I saw another customer with them in her shopping cart–it wasn’t until I actually grabbed them that I realized just how long it had been…we’re talking at least five years. Prior to that, it was probably another five years, way back into my single years, when I regularly ate them out of convenience.
Spreading them out on my flimsy foam plate quickly revealed that not much has changed in pizza roll technology over the years–they’re the same dough-covered pouches that they’ve always been. Mama Cozzi’s pizza rolls are pretty decently sized…at least as large as the national brand. They look depressing when frozen on the plate, and don’t look much less depressing after they are cooked. I kind of expected them to change color to a more inviting golden brown, but there they were, as pale and colorless as they were when I loaded their frozen doppelgangers on the plate just 90 seconds earlier.
These combination pizza rolls taste a lot like the pepperoni pizza rolls I used to remember…there’s a lot of sauce taste in there, and maybe a little bit of pepperoni, but I’m not really sure I could detect any sausage at all. Like I said, it’s been years since I’ve had these, but just tasting them for the first time made me feel like I was being reunited with a long lost friend…these taste pretty similar to every other pizza roll I’ve ever had. I guess that’s kind of a good thing, although I was a little disappointed at just how unfilling twelve pizza rolls were…and that’s double the recommended serving. After I was done, I felt just as hungry as I was before I came up with the bright idea to microwave some of these.
While saying they cook up “crispy” would be a massive stretch, the edges did get slightly crunchy after 90 seconds in the microwave, which was actually more than I was expecting. The texture is also on par with the pizza rolls of yore…that is to say, they’re soft and relatively chewy. Quite simply put, if you like the national brand of pizza rolls, you will love these carbon copies, but they won’t win over any new followers.
Overall: 7/10. A throwback to my depressing years as a bachelor, Mama Cozzi’s Combination Pizza Rolls look and taste exactly as I remember them, which certainly functions as praise in that they are close to the national brand. But being reunited with pizza rolls, something I haven’t eaten in several years, wasn’t nearly as gratifying as I thought it would be. Even though these are a half-ounce each (according to the packaging), even eating twelve (double the recommended serving) wasn’t nearly enough to satisfy my apparently abnormal craving for food, and so I was back at the drawing board a few minutes later, with only an extra dose of sodium and fat to show for it. Still, if these are your thing, they’re good for what they are, and at around $2.49 for a pack (that contains about 40 pizza rolls), the price is about as good as you are going to find for these.