Flatbread has become restaurant-industry code for low-carb pizza-like or sandwichy things that frequently flaunt a pseudo-upscale or even ethnic twist.

Flatbread has become restaurant-industry code for low-carb pizza-like or sandwichy things that frequently flaunt a pseudo-upscale or even ethnic twist.

The ostensibly "healthy" and flavor-forward appeal of these suddenly ubiquitous flatbreads (look at Arby's, Subway, Dunkin' Donuts ...) is obvious, and I'm must admit I'm sometimes prone to try them.

Recently trolling the frozen-food hotbed of my local big corporate grocer, I noticed that the flatbread trend had landed in that ever-growing mega-cryo-aisle with predictable force.

But still I was pretty stunned when I eyeballed two companies with nearly identical products and nearly identical packaging sitting like copycat rivals right next to each other. The similarities had to be beyond coincidental.

Anyhow, this got me wondering whose frozen cuisine would reign supreme between these two tundra chefs. -G.A. Benton

What I tried: California Pizza Kitchen Carne Asada Flatbread Melts ($3.50) and DiGiorno Steak and Fire Roasted Vegetables Flatbread Melts ($3.50)

Separated at birth: Well, the similarities were beyond coincidental. Because though I wouldn't at first associate CPK with DiGiorno, when I took these home and read the fine print on the back of their boxes, I noticed both were made by Kraft Foods and both came from a factory in Northfield, Illinois.

So much for CPK's claim on its box that "nothing about pizza has been the same" since they came along.

Turn to stone: After following the identical microwave-only cooking specifications, I bit into the turnover-like sandwiches. Both had the exact same sweet, bready wrapper and it toasted up nicely along the edges (using the provided silver trays).

Unfortunately, the bread's puffy texture very rapidly grew hard. Within minutes, in fact, the words root canal burned into my head as I wrestled to chew through the quickly stiffening things.

Inside game:

CPK: The main flavor was salt, with salt coming in a close second. Coming in third, I'd say, was salt.

After that there were chewy industrial pellets with a vague beef aspect to them, watery flavor-free red pepper bits, and a fatty sauce that left a Crisco-like residue on the roof of my mouth and bore faint cilantro notes.

DiGiorno: Same chewy ersatz beefish pellets. As for the "fire roasted" veggies, someone must've put their flame out with a powerful fire hose, because all I bit into were more watery bits.

Overall, the predominant flavor was of industrial, garlicky tomato sauce with a troubling and lingering chemical aftertaste.

And the winner is: Kraft, I guess. But if a gun were pointed to my head, I'd say that DiGiorno's off-putting chemical aftertaste was worse than CPK's fatty residue.

Would I eat them again?: Not even with a gun pointed to my head.