I’m saying this at the risk of sounding like a kindergartner, but pizza is and will probably always be my favorite food. We eat it at least twice a week in my household and it’s not because we’re lazy — it’s almost an addiction. When nothing else sounds good for dinner, pizza will ALWAYS be there and I will ALWAYS be in the mood.
And you can’t have a pizza without its trusty sidekick: the bread!
Papa John’s knows how important this pizza companion is, and they’re taking it one step further with their newest menu item: Stuffed Cheesesticks. It features fresh dough folded and stuffed with cheese.
The new side comes in two varieties: Bacon Cheddar Stuffed Cheesesticks (filled with melted cheddar and mozzarella, and topped with garlic sauce, hickory-smoked bacon and Parmesan Romano cheese) and Wisconsin Cheese Stuffed Cheesesticks (filled with melted cheddar, Asiago, Fontina, Provolone and mozzarella, and topped with garlic sauce and Parmesan Romano cheese).
It was hard to pass on the bacon, but for this review I went with the Wisconsin Cheese flavor because of the variety of cheeses.
Review: Papa John’s Wisconsin Cheese Stuffed Cheesesticks
Appearance: In a nut shell, this is a medium pizza dough covered in cheese and folded in half. It is then topped with more cheese and baked until crispy. The bread is cut into six slices and served with your choice of dipping sauce (barbeque, blu cheese, buffalo, cheese, pizza, ranch or special garlic). As you can imagine, the sticks in the middle were packed full of cheese, while the end pieces hardly had any cheese stuffing at all. I opened one of the sticks to get a better look at the melted goodness and was happy to see an even amount of both yellow and white cheese (most places scrimp on the cheddar cheese, so it was nice to see it well represented here).
Aroma: Most times I get bread from a pizza place and the only thing it smells like is the garlic butter. While you can tell this bread has some garlic, you can actually smell other scents as well. The first thing I noticed was the smell of the dough — and if you’re a Papa John’s fan you know the smell I’m talking about. No other dough smells this way. Then I smelled the cheese, followed by the garlic.
Taste: Finally a bread that tastes like something other than mozzarella and garlic! The best thing about this bread is the cheddar cheese; its such a nice departure from the traditional Italian cheeses. I couldn’t really make much of a distinction among the other cheeses, but it definitely had a more complex flavor than straight mozzarella. The dough itself was crisp and not at all soggy — a hazard of loading bread with ingredients that tend to be greasy. And I loved the baked cheese on top; it gave the bread a delightful little crunch to balance out the gooey-ness of the melted cheese.
Pros: Deliciously cheesy without being overwhelmingly cheesy. The best thing about this bread is the addition of cheddar cheese to the mix. It gives it a flavor profile unmatched by competitor products.
Cons: End pieces didn’t have any cheese stuffing, and the pieces that were stuffed with cheese were huge — in some cases longer than the slice of pizza. I wish there was a better way to cut this bread so that everyone could get a like amount of cheese in their piece.
Rating: 7 out of 10