‘We Try It’ is a regular series where we try the latest off-beat food and beverage offerings.
Italian and Chinese edibles are two of the most exported cuisines in the world, with people from Tokyo to Toronto enjoying fresh pizza and dumplings from time to time. In fact, an economist at the University of Minnesota found Italy and China ‘exported’ nearly USD300 billion of their cuisine to the rest of the world, making them global gastronomic powerhouses.
And when you have two great things, why not combine them? That’s how ‘baozza’ was born. The fusion food concept, which combines the shape and texture of your classic Chinese baozi and the fragrant, tasty ingredients of ’za, has been winning over hearts in Beijing and Shanghai since 2016.
Image by Ryan Gandolfo/That’s
While folks in these two cities can pop in for a fresh and gooey baozza anytime, the rest of China was deprived of the cheesy pizza snack with Chinese characteristics. However, in October, Baozza announced that their Western-style baozi were available for nationwide shipping, much to our delight.
We seized the opportunity to give them a try, keeping in mind that it’s difficult to replicate that freshness when shipping the beloved snack 2,000 kilometers away.
Baozza flavors available online include pepperoni, margherita, roast duck and spinach cheese. As opposed to store-bought baozza, these pizza bao arrive in two- and four-packs, frozen and covered in a separate wrapper.
Image by Ryan Gandolfo/That’s
On the box, you’ll see five main ways to cook baozza – steam, bake, pan fry, deep fry and, of course, microwave. We opted to nuke ’em for simplicity (and speed).
Image via Ryan Gandolfo/That’s
Read below to see what our office thought of the margherita and pepperoni baozza:
“It’s actually really good, there’s plenty of cheese but it could use more sauce. The outer dough is sprinkled with oregano and other spices, tasting like focaccia bread.”
“It’s just pizza, not really an authentic baozi, tastes like pizza and smells like pizza.”
“The taste of this pepperoni pizza-baozi is passable, but it would’ve been great if there was more inside the bao; it’s just too much bread. But, when compared with KFC’s Chizza, the baozza can be described as a treat.”
“Mantou has never really jived with me, it’s too doughy and bland. That said, when the traditional Chinese buns are stuffed with marinara sauce, cheese and pepperoni, they become oh-so-delicious. Think of baozza as a hot pocket with Chinese characteristics, a truly epic fusion.”
“Baozza strikes me as that clutch afternoon slash evening snack for when you’re craving a cheesy treat, but still want to signal to your pengyou that you play ‘bao.’”
The final verdict: 3.8/5
Who’s eating them: baozi bosses, pizza players
Price: RMB44 for two boxes (four bao) (shipping not included).
To purchase, search ‘Baozza’ on Taobao.
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[Cover image by Ryan Gandolfo/That’s]