Sunday, March 28, 2021

Happy Farms Preferred/Emporium Selection Garlic and Herb Spreadable Cheese (Aldi)

Despite not being cream cheese, this still tastes rather good on bagels...


I saw the word “cheese” on the packaging, saw the container, was hungry, and somehow erroneously assumed this was a cream cheese spread. It wasn't until I brought it home that I realized it's just cheese, rather than “cream cheese”, and so it probably wouldn't work very well with the bagels that I purchased to pair this up with; crackers clearly would have been an even better option, a little tidbit my wife unnecessarily confirmed. Oops! (If only I'd have seen the other varieties available, I probably wouldn't have made that same mistake, as the others are all clearly cheeses.)

It seems to be a little thinner than cream cheese, but I’m not complaining too hard about that, because that makes it even easier to spread.  Just going by mere looks, it resembles onion and chive cream cheese, with little flecks of green spread throughout (which, in this case, obviously represents the “herb”). It's an inviting appearance, and even though I'd be putting it on a vessel that it probably wasn't made for, at least eased my mind knowing that it would still probably taste pretty good.

Its similarities to cream cheese are not just visual: It tastes pretty similar to that kind, too.  It’s been a little while since I’ve had the chive cream cheese, so I can’t say with utter certainty how exact it is, but it’s definitely within the same flavor profile.  The herb flavor might be a little more muted here--I tried a small bite right out of the container and didn’t get the flavor explosion I was hoping for--but after spreading just a thin layer on a bagel, the taste really shone through; as you probably would expect, it has a nice savory taste that actually paired surprisingly well with the bagel, but it’s soft enough that it could really work with anything, from crackers, to crisped breads, or anything else you like to dip. 

A 7 oz. container retails for $1.99, which is a little more than their standard cream cheese varieties, but still a reasonable cost, given that it's not cream cheese. I'd get it again, though I would be sure to pair them up with a cracker, or something else that it's probably better suited for. I'd also be interested in trying some of the other flavor combinations (horseradish and cheddar, peppercorn parmesan, and sharp cheddar) which, if I would have noticed, would have given me a much larger clue that these were not suited for bagels.

Oh well, you live and learn.

Overall: 7/10.  This is a pretty tasty cheese spread that tastes very similar to the popular “chive” kinds.  It reminds me a lot of cream cheese (which I somehow confused this for), but it's a little thinner, hence its description as a “spread”; that makes it much easier to put on crackers, breads, or anything else that you may want to lather this savory stuff over.  The flavor is a little weaker than cream cheese, but not by much; I still got a good kick in the taste buds just from spreading a thin layer of this on a bagel.  And at $1.99 for a 7 oz. tub, you really can’t knock the price. I would get this again, but would probably try a different variety, and would be sure to pair them up with crackers instead.

NOTE: These used to be sold under the "Happy Farms Preferred" brand, but are now being offered under "Emporium Selection". It's the same product, and even the same packaging, otherwise.

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