Thursday, March 31, 2011

Friendly Farms Ranch Dip (Aldi)

We'll get it all started off with a review of ranch dip.

Friendly Farms Ranch Dip, $1.09 for 16 oz. at Aldi
Here we have Friendly Farms Ranch Dip.  Like most chip/veggie dips, it is packaged in a 16 oz. plastic container.  When opening it for the first time, it has a rather unpleasant appearance...almost like there's a small sheet of film on top of the dip, or that it is severely dried out...however, this goes away (unlike the Kroger brand ranch dip, which looked dehydrated every time I opened it, and didn't taste very ranch-y to begin with).  Future openings will instead reward you with a small puddle of liquid sloshing about, which is typical of dairy products in general. All it takes is a chip or carrot, and a few seconds worth of stirring, and it goes back to looking delicious.

Opening qualms aside, this is some solid ranch dip, made even moreso by its $1.09 price tag.  It has a delicious ranch smell that is just like the taste:  strong, but not overpowering.  The flavor does remind me of dip made out of those dip mix packets, but maybe that's just me.  And I happen to love dip mixes, anyway.  It goes equally great with chips or veggies.  Hell, it goes great with cheese-garlic croutons and garlic focaccia sticks and pizza crusts--in other words, I'll dip just about anything in this stuff.

Note that, in true Aldi fashion, the flavor has changed within the last few months, so if you haven't tried it in a while, it will more than likely have a different taste.  Despite being fairly knowledgeable on the grocery chain, I'm not exactly sure of its inner workings.  More specifically, their use of private labels can be semi-confusing:  Just when you get used to a certain product "line", they will do one of three things:  Change the company name, change the ingredients (and thus, the flavor), or both.  Sometimes, this can work to their favor, as a few of their products could use a little tweaking.

Other times, the effects are little more than baffling:  Such is the case with their ranch dip, which used to have a stronger (albeit different) ranch flavor, and a much more appetizing appearance, consisting of red and green specks that I will just assume were bits of vegetables.  Whatever they were, it just looked delicious--now, it's nothing but a white plane of sour cream base with smaller, less frequent green flecks.  While the "new" dip is very good (with a much different ranch flavor than before), I don't see why they needed to change the product in the first place, especially so radically.  This isn't just a "tweaking" of their original formula...it's an entirely different dip.

Overall: 8/10.  A very good dip with a strong ranch smell, and an equally appetizing flavor that goes good with just about anything.

1 comment:

  1. I use to purchase this, but it is very obvious you changed your supplier or the recipe.
    You ruined it---will be going back to my old brand.

    ReplyDelete