So what does a gyoza dumpling-flavored pizza sandwich taste like? Time to find out.
Who doesn’t love a good pizza? You can find extraordinary pizzas all over Japan and the country has even engineered its own novel ways to chow down on the time-honored combo of dough, tomato sauce, and cheese. One such manner is the Pizza Sand (piza sando, with sando being the loan word for sandwich.) Family Mart’s bread roll filled with pizza toppings seems to be a cleaner and more convenient way to get your pizza fix than eating a slice of the real thing.
▼ Flavors vary from typical cheese and tomato to grilled chicken and basil mayonnaise (pictured), or even pizza potato chips flavor.
— 美濃山幸水苅安賀 (@oobunoumi) February 21, 2020
So when we heard that February 16 heralded a brand new flavor of Pizza Sand, a gyoza dumpling version created with the help of dumpling kings Gyoza no Ohsho, we were fascinated. Why a gyoza dumpling? What commonality do these fried dumplings even have with pizza?!
▼ So we went out to Family Mart and bought one.
The Pizza Sand Gyoza Flavor Supervised by Ohsho retails for 270 yen (US$2.55). According to the ingredients list on the back, the snack doesn’t use any garlic at all, opting instead to use Chinese chives — but once we opened the package, the rich, mouthwatering aroma of dumplings filled the room even so.
We wondered if eschewing the garlic would affect the authentic flavor, and so we got a box of Ohsho gyoza to compare.
The gyoza certainly had more of an impact, probably due to the heady garlic, but the taste was a clear and appropriate homage. What’s more, there was so much filling inside the Pizza Sand! It was filled, much as you would expect other pizza breads in the line to be, and each bite was filled with rich dumpling flavor.
It made sense to dial back the garlic for a bread like this, which focuses more on ensuring each bite comes with a satisfying portion of meaty filling and is also much larger than your average fried dumpling. But the longer we nibbled through our Pizza Sand Gyoza Flavor Supervised by Ohsho, the more we came to realize…
This is just a huge dumpling, isn’t it?!
This product is marketed as a pizza sandwich with a dumpling-like filling inside pizza-like dough — bread, in other words. But if you wrap dumpling filling in bread, doesn’t that just make it a dumpling? The flavor text for the bread itself described how they tried to capture the taste of Ohsho’s gyoza using pork, cabbage, and Chinese chives. They also mentioned trying to recreate a typical gyoza dumpling’s texture.
We concluded that calling this a flavor variation on a pizza sandwich is a fool’s errand. If it smells like a dumpling, tastes like a dumpling, and is filled with sizzling pork goodness like a dumpling, then it may as well be a dumpling. What bread can call itself a pizza sandwich when it contains no cheese, no tomatoes? Does the grilled chicken and basil mayonnaise variant we mentioned earlier count as a pizza sandwich?
Well, whatever the true identity of this Ohsho-devised bread snack, it tastes good enough that you ought to treat yourself to one if you’re able. Any gyoza aficionado will want to try out the latest and greatest in dumpling products, and this is no exception!