What do you get when you fuse a popular food item from the East with one from the West? When China’s baozi, a steamed bun usually filled with meat, meets Italy’s pizza, you get Baozza.
Baozza is a steamed bun filled with cheese and pizza topping. Baozza is created by Alex Cree, a U.S. expat who quit his consulting job to develop his food startup.
The inspiration struck Cree while he was on a business trip to Guangdong. When he returned to the United States, he began experimenting with different recipes for the food creation. Cree later quit his job and moved to China in 2016.
The current recipe has a doughy casing made from traditional baozi dough with the addition of Italian herbs and cheese. The interior is a combination of cheese, tomato, and various pizza toppings. There are four flavors available—Margherita, Meat Lover, BBQ Chicken, and Hawaiian Jalapeno. You can get two buns for $2.90 (20 yuan).
Cree started an online delivery service in the basement of a Beijing shopping mall and began promoting his Baozza creations at publicity events in the city.
Owen Zheng sampled Baozza at an event, he said that the flavor is “a bit spicy while the saltiness is just right and the cheese is all chewy, anyway it’s the first time I’ve ever had a baozi like this and I think it’s not bad.”
Zhan Mimi, a typical baozi shop owner, doesn’t think Baozza will be very popular in China, “They might get it in KFC but I think there’ll be very few independent stores like ours selling these kinds”, she said.