Does Pizza Hut's New Cheez-It 'Pizza' Go Too Far? We Tried It and Found Out.
Pizza Hut and Cheez-It have joined junk food forces to give us something we never knew we needed: a Cheez-It "pizza." Of course, calling it a pizza is an interesting choice, as the fluorescent orange squares reminiscent of enlarged Cheez-Its are more akin to calzones or savory hand pies, but I digress.
The inventive Cheez-It pizza comes in either pepperoni or cheese flavor in a box of four squares per order, with marinara sauce included for dipping. I don't know if Mark Iacono will consider this newest "pizza" invention an actual pizza, but I do know that I wanted to eat it and see if it brought back memories of cramming myself full of Cheez-Its in college. I dove right in.
So, did it stir up memories? What did the Cheez-It pizza taste like?Honestly, it's startling how Cheez-It-like this stuffed "pizza" tasted. The crust has that pure, absurdly salty, hooking flavor that Cheez-Its have -- the kind of flavor that makes you shovel Cheez-Its into your mouth hand over fist before realizing you've knocked out a Costco-sized box in a matter of hours. It's a little bit perplexing to bite into, as the crust is soft and chewy, rather than crispy like the snack-sized squares. It's essentially Cheez-It pie crust enveloping gooey cheese filling; a stoner cheese lovers paradise.
Should I try the pepperoni or cheese version?Personally, I thought the pepperoni was a little bit too salty for my liking. The flavor was reminiscent of a Hot Pocket, though the pepperoni inside wasn't really identifiable as pepperoni. Instead of thin slices of cured pork you'd expect from the classic pizza topping, the pepperonis were little cubes of meat that didn't have a discerning texture amid the pool of melted cheese. It's weird to be eating something and seeing flecks of meat scattered throughout but not really... tasting them? It wasn't meaty, just salty.
The plain cheese version, however, was dreamy. It was gooey and melty and every other positive adjective you could use to describe cheese. It doesn't have that insane cheese-pull you'd hope from a baked pocket full of cheese, yet it still felt like the perfect snack food -- the type of treat I'd want to devour after playing a game of soccer if I actually did that with my spare time.
Both versions of the "pizzas" are served with Pizza Hut's marinara sauce, which I find to be cloyingly sweet (though my colleagues both enthusiastically dunked their giant Cheez-Its into it and purred with satisfaction). If anything, the sugary marinara bodes well for the pepperoni version, as it tempers some of that saltiness. The cheese version, I feel, is perfect in its simplicity, but hey, I'm the type of person who prefers my mozzarella sticks plain, too.