This week, I reached out for a box of Stuffed Cheez-It Pizza, new from the world's No. 1 pie thrower, Pizza Hut, with 18,431 restaurants, like, everywhere. This time, the gang in Research & Development may have out-kicked their coverage. You see the sign outside the building? It says Pizza Hut. Well, I'm telling you, this Stuffed Cheez-It Pizza ain't no pizza.
Here's the Stuffed Cheez-It Pizza breakdown: four stuffed squares of Cheez-It flavored crust, top and bottom, crammed with pizza fixin's like cheese and tomato sauce. Stuffed Cheez-It Pizza comes in two styles: plain cheese and pepperoni.
Total calories: 240 (per square of plain cheese). Fat grams: 15. Sodium: 430 mg. Carbs: 16 g. Dietary fiber: less than 1 g. Protein: 9 g. Manufacturer's suggested retail price: $6.49 for the four squares.
Borrowing a page from Taco Bell's wild success partnering with Doritos, Pizza Hut is bringing Cheez-It crackers into the fold. It's not much of a gamble, everybody loves Cheez-Its, from mom tossing a few on baby's high chair to dad polishing off a Costco-sized family box. I used to see how many I could jam into my mouth and still talk. It wasn't much different from my normal way of talking.
Here's my biggest gripe with Stuffed Cheez-It Pizza. It's not a pizza!
It's four large raviolis that look like giant Cheez-Its, right down to the small hole punched in the middle. It's closer to a Hot Pocket or those Tastykake pies your mother threw in your school lunch bag. Yes, the crust does taste like Cheez-Its, except Pizza Hut's version is soft and chewy, not crispy and crunchy like real Cheez-Its. Bottom line, the mathematical formula Pi R Squared is wrong. The correct formula is Pizza Pie R Round.
The insides of the Stuffed Cheez-It Pizza are very salty, almost unpleasantly so. However, each box contains a mini-tub of very sweet marinara dipping sauce. The system of flavor checks and balances works here. The pepperoni version doesn't have familiar thin round slices, but small bits and pieces of salty pepperoni.
Pizza Hut's new Stuffed Cheez-It Pizza is better suited as an afterschool snack for kids when their parents are working late. Best play is to buy a couple of boxes and freeze them for down the road. Since the crust is soft, nuking them won't ruin everything like what happens to a real pizza.
Ken Hoffman reviews a new fast food restaurant item every Wednesday. Have a suggestion or a drive-thru favorite? Let Ken know on Twitter.