I was not planning to buy this product and review it. But after I posted a picture to Insta of Baozza boxes in the local supermarket freezer case a friend chastised me for not reviewing them. So here we are.
Baozza are the mutant mash-up of Chinese steamed buns (Bao) and pizza toppings (zza) that we did not need. These frozen Bao were developed by two expats living in Beijing and were apparently really successful in China, to the point that Mark Cuban became a significant investor. They are now available in the U.S. at Sprouts Markets and by delivery through GoldBelly, and are being positioned to take over Hot Pocket’s market. Baozza come in Cheezy Spinach, Italian Sausage, Pepperoni, BBQ Chicken and Margherita varieties, all of which include mozzarella cheese filling. The boxes available at Sprouts contain two Baozza, each individually wrapped in a microwave-able plastic steamer pouch.
I tried the Cheezy Spinach Baozza which are classically Bao shaped, but the dough is dusted with Italian herbs, like a focaccia or garlic bread. Melted mozzarella cheese is always good, so Baozza have that going for them, and there was a lot of spinach in the mozz filling, so the bao had some semblance of nutrition. But I found them to be very salty and the bao bread was quite dense and chewy, the exact opposite of a steamed bun. You might ask, what do I expect from a frozen Bao?, but I have had plenty of lighter and fluffier frozen bao over the years. Per the instructions, I microwaved a Baozza in its plastic pouch for 1 minute and then pan-fried the Baozza to get a golden crust on the bottom. Unfortunately the bun ruptured a little during the microwaving and mozz leaked out during the pan-frying.
I have never tried a Hot Pocket, so I do not know how they compare, maybe Baozza will dethrone Hot Pockets. But this seems like a concept we didn’t need and I was unimpressed with the realization of this Bao-Pizza mash-up concept.