Of the cheddars reviewed here, this one is the best cheddar yet at Trader Joe’s, if you like an American-style cheddar. Aged “over” 18 months, the cheese is just starting to get crumbly. Over that time the flavor has matured into a nice tasting cheddar. Compared to a Kraft sharp cheddar, this one is a bit tastier and definitely not as creamy. Both those things are good if you’re looking for an aged cheese. While tastier, the flavor is not overwhelming as the name might imply. Calories – 110 per oz (28g). Price $5.99 per pound.
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This is a domestic (US) extra sharp cheddar from Wisconsin. While it’s a nice cheese, especially considering the only $4.99 per pound price, it’s not what I’d call an extra sharp cheddar. So just as a reality check, I went out and purchased an extra sharp cheddar from Kraft. The Kraft cheese is “sharper” but not as sharp as I remember it. Still however, the Kraft has more of the cheddar flavor I was expecting. As would be expected, both have more flavor when allowed to warm to room temperature. As a comparison, the Kraft came in at around $7 per pound slightly on sale at a regular super market. The texture was similar for both cheeses, solid but soft. For those wanting more flavor in their American-style cheeses, the TJ extra sharp cheddar will give you that at a reasonable price. For those wanting a still more flavorful cheese, look elsewhere.
Calories – 120 per ounce. Price $4.99 per pound. Coming up next week is a TJ X-tra X-tra Sharp New York Cheddar. We’ll see. As an aside, I nicely paired both of the cheeses above with some Amancay Malbec.
This Cab hails from Yecla, Spain. Briefly it’s an earthy, strong Cab that’s not very smooth bordering on rough. Along with the earthy mouth feel is a little heat on the tongue and back of the throat. Although I haven’t had any recently, this reminds me of a good two buck Chuck. In the glass the wine is a watery medium-dark red. This wine can easily overpower some foods. Other than the style, which some people may not like, there aren’t really any overpowering negatives. This is drinkable and not bad for a $5 wine as long as you like your wine and women (or men) strong and rough. One final thing, the wine is labeled as Kosher. Price $4.99.
The star here is the corn masa. The dough (masa) retains a nice taste and texture, neither too dry and certainly not wet, in its trip from freezer to microwave. Although there’s not much of it, the cheese is chewy and stringy. Green chilies are randomly placed throughout the cheese, but otherwise not very noticeable. The heat level is mild unless you get a big piece of chile, then it’s a medium heat. By far the cheese filling is a minor player. The tamales come wrapped in nicely trimmed corn husks.
Price ??? (lost receipt) – 2 tamales in package
click images to enlarge
This is another staple at home here. It may not be the creamiest peanut butter, but like many everyday items at ALDI it’s reasonably priced, good quality and similar in nutritional value to many major brands. It also tastes good and goes well with jelly. Calories 180/2 Tbsp (32g) Price $2.99 per 40 ounce plastic jar
My expectations weren’t high and they were met. These are crabby and mushy. That description is not uncommon when it comes to crab cakes. A really good crab cake consists of chunks of crab meat with a little bit of mayonnaise based filler to bind everything together and maybe a thin layer of breading to give it some crunch when it’s pan fried. Outside of one or two restaurants I’ve been to a long time ago, it’s hard to find anything like that. Most crab cakes in stores, and even restaurants, tend to be like this, with indistinguishable pieces of crab mixed with breading to form a crab mush which is then fried, or in this case baked at home. There was a good bit of crab flavor which was satisfying for those looking for a crab fix. But overall, like Diogenes, I’ll continue to look for the honest crab cake. Calories 170 per crab cake Price $5.49 – package of 4 cakes, plus cocktail sauce
That’s exactly what this is, a simple nut bar. It’s almost nuttin’ but nuts held together with just enough gooey stuff to make a bar. There’s a little bit of sea salt added in, but not enough to be very salty. There’s no chocolate coating or drizzle. Some dark chocolate would’ve been nice in my opinion. But it’s still good without.
The nuts are large and identifiable by species, just in case you’re into matching up the ingredients to the label. Oooh, there’s a cashew!
Now I’m not the world’s most prolific falafel eater. But I have had them in restaurants. And for no other reason then to attempt to pronounce the name, you should give them a try sometime when you’re around Mediterranean food. If you do want to give them a try, DON’T (do not) try these.
A falafel is one of those foods that’s a blank canvas to which the chef has to add the splashes of color (metaphorically). These have few splashes of color.
We buy this all the time. We use it mostly on salads and “Italian” dishes. Most recently it was used on some homemade pizza. This is a low-moisture part-skim milk (assumed cow’s milk?) shredded mozzarella cheese that’s pretty much indistinguishable from similarly priced mozzarella cheeses elsewhere. It has a mild taste.
Although the price seems to vary with the market, it’s generally priced competitively with sale prices of similar cheeses at other stores. The only negative about this is, my ALDI store keeps moving it around, so it’s hard to find.
Price $2.99 (16 ounce bag) Calories 80 per 1/4 cup (28g)
Andy Warhol would be proud!
Here we have another two mundane food items up for review. It’s a chicken noodle soup-off between ALDI’s Chef”s Cupboard Chicken Noodle Soup and America’s sweetheart Campbell’s Chicken Noodle Soup. And while the ties are still in the dry cleaner for spot removal, the winner is Andy Warhol’s poster child, Campbell’s Chicken Noodle Soup, with the one exception of price. Campbell’s costs significantly more. But I’m guessing you knew that already. So click the “read more” button below to further unravel the noodles.