Food Fight: Mini Pizzas!

This is the first of what will likely be many side-by-side(-by-side) comparisons of various junk foods. I got the idea when I happened to see kosher Maca Babies in my local grocery store, and I thought to myself “Self, those look pretty disgusting, let’s try them!” And, since I’m unemployed and have little better to do than subject my body to various disgusting processed foods, here we go.

Maca Babies, produced by Macabee, are essentially the kosher knockoff of Bagel Bites. They’re microwavable mini bagel pizzas and come on a sheet of 9. Pretty much the exact same concept. But, I don’t really get what’s not kosher about bagel bites. I know you’re not supposed to have meat and cheese without sight of each other, but what’s wrong with cheese bagel bites? Cheese is okay, right? I know bagels are, and I can’t think of pizza sauce of particularly offensive. Maybe pizza sauces secretly contain anchovies (like Worcestershire and sweet and sour sauces do)? Who knows.

I also saw some Smart Ones had created their own version, “Cheese Pizza Minis,” but these were on something similar to a very thin English muffin, but more of a shell than just a lump of dough with toppings. I figured what the hell and added them to my shopping cart.

Before getting to the real taste test portion, let’s start with analyzing the nutrition information of these three products. All three contained “two servings,” but the Bagel Bites and Maca Babies consolidated the two onto one microwavable tray. Since that’s generally how they’re eaten, as one serving of 9 mini pizzas, the nutrition info below is for the whole box. The Smart Ones were a little more complicated. The two servings were each of 4 mini pizzas, divided onto two trays. One serving of Smart Ones weighed 124g, while Maca Babies and Bagel Bites came in at 170g and 176g (for the entire box). So, all the data for Smart ones will be increased 40% to give a more even comparison. You don’t get points for smaller servings. No way.

Round One: Bad Nutrition

Calories

Bagel Bites: 400

Maca Babies: 400

Smart Ones: 378

Fat

Bagel Bites: 12g

Maca Babies: 16g

Smart Ones: 9.8g

Sodium

Bagel Bites: 700mg

Maca Babies: 840mg

Smart Ones: 672mg

Carbs

Bagel Bites: 58g

Maca Babies: 50g

Smart Ones: 53g

Winner: No surprise here, Smart Ones edged out the competition. But, not by as much as you would think. What gives Smart Ones a real advantage in this category though is that the two servings are individually packaged. Remember that the Smart Ones numbers were increased by 40% to adjust for weight. If you’re looking for a small snack, one tray of Smart Ones is the clear winner, since you know you won’t just microwave 4 Bagel Bites and save the rest.

As for the other two, I think Bagel Bites clearly take second place. Sure they have more carbs, but Maca Babies lose this round with their higher fat and sodium.

Round Two: Good Nutrition

Protein

Bagel Bites: 16g

Maca Babies: 20g

Smart Ones: 18g

Vitamin A

Bagel Bites: 8%

Maca Babies: 8g

Smart Ones: 3%

Calcium

Bagel Bites: 20%

Maca Babies: 40g

Smart Ones: 35%

Vitamin C

Bagel Bites: 0%

Maca Babies: 16%

Smart Ones: 0%

Iron

Bagel Bites: 12%

Maca Babies: 16%

Smart Ones: 10%

Potassium

Bagel Bites: 8%

Maca Babies: 0%

Smart Ones: 0%

Winner: This is a little hard to judge, since Maca Babies gives Vitamin A and Calcium in terms of grams, while the others give percentages, and I don’t care to figure out a conversion. I’m going to call this one a wash, but with an asterisk:

*If you’re hungover, go for the Bagel Bites. Potassium can really help out in your recovery.

Round Three: Cost

Bagel Bites: $2.39

Maca Babies: $4.39

Smart Ones: $1.77

Winner: Smart Ones. This was a little tricky to calculate, since the Smart Ones I got where on sale and the receipt was a bit unclear about the original price (there were a few items marked at 5 for $10, but the discounts listed weren’t evenly distributed; I had a total of $1.58 in discounts for 3 items purchased as 5 for $10, so I assumed a discount of $0.53 each, and added that to the price, divided it over the two servings, and then multiplied by 1.4 to adjust for size).

It’s odd for a diet food to come in so cheap, but there you have it. The Maca Babies are a clear loser here, almost twice as expensive as the Bagel Bites, and nearly three times as much as Smart Ones. I’m sure there’s some inappropriate Jewish stereotype to reference here, but I’m not sure whether to go with the higher price reflecting all the money Jews have, or if Macabee is trying to Jew its customers out of a few more bucks. Since I can’t decide what joke to go with, I’ll just settle for neither.

Round Four: Convenience

Bagel Bites: 2:30 cook time

Maca Babies: 3:00 total cook time, divided into two 1:30 sessions (then rotate), cooked at power level 5

Smart Ones: 1:45 cook time

Winner: Again, Smart Ones carry the day. The shorter cook time doesn’t really make much of a difference, since all three were so low. But, since Smart Ones individual package their two servings, you have the option of just cooking half if you want a smaller snack. That makes Smart Ones the clear winner for convenience.

Round Five: The Main Event – How Was It?

Bagel Bites: Pretty basic flavor, not exciting but not particularly disgusting either. The bagels are a bit chewy though, giving the whole thing an amorphous, globby texture. B-

Maca Babies: Completely flavorless, not far from eating cardboard. The only redeeming qualities were that the bagels had a decent texture and they weren’t offensive in flavor. The appearance was a complete failure though. Not even recognizable as mini pizzas, they were just a weird smattering of unappetizing off-yellow color. D-

Smart Ones: Huge surprise here, they were actually pretty good. Smart Ones opted for a more complex flavor by adding in some herbs and a sauce that seems like someone actually tasted it before sending it off for mass production. Plus, the shell shape makes them less messy and they look more appetizing. Only thing really holding it back is the medium of microwave mini pizza. B+

Final Verdict: Smart Ones Cheese Pizza Minis

This comparison wasn’t even close. Smart Ones win in nutrition, cost, convenience, and most importantly, actually tasting good. I was expecting a battle between Bagel Bites superior flavor and Smart Ones better nutrition, but Smart Ones simply dominated the contest.

And Maca Babies…I guess the only thing redeeming here is that you won’t go to Jewish hell for eating them. Better to just stick to something Jews are good at making though, like guilt.

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