Sunday, November 1, 2015

Appetitos Fire-Roasted Poblano Bites (Aldi)

A solid, occasional alternative to jalapeno poppers.
I had never heard of a “poblano pepper bite” prior to seeing them at Aldi, but that didn’t stop me from wanting to try them.  While products in the Appetitos line vary from terrible, to really good, their cream cheese jalapenos are some of the best that you can get anywhere, and for a very small price, too.  So that’s what really intrigued me about these…it looked similar to a jalapeno popper, only substitute jalapenos with roasted poblano peppers (of course), corn, and other assorted spices.  At the very least, it would be something a little different.

Cooking is actually ridiculously simple: As with most other frozen appetizers, you can toss them in the oven (our preferred method, as we do not have a deep fryer), but these require less than ten minutes, and you have yourself some fully cooked, and semi-crispy roasted poblano bites.  The breading they use here seems to be the same breading used in their poppers and, by extension, probably their Reuben bites, mozzarella sticks, and every other breaded product in their line.  I’m not complaining, though, because it cooks up nicely in the oven.

The taste is similar enough to jalapeno poppers to appeal to that crowd, but with the peppers and corn, there’s a more “southwestern” kind of taste.  Similar to the jalapeno version, however, this has a surprisingly strong little bite; unless you’re very sensitive to heat, it won’t be enough to require you to keep milk or cold water nearby, but it’s unmistakably there.  The cream cheese helps to offset it with a little bit of coolness on its own--with some dried garlic and onion, it really gives it a pretty tasty flavor that’s different from the standard “popper” filling, and that pairs up well with the peppers and corn contained inside.

For $2.29 (thirty cents more than most of the items in the Appetitos line), you get twelve good-sized pepper bites, making the value pretty solid.  They were a little smaller than the cream cheese jalapenos, but you also get three more of them, so it all evens out.  They’re not incredible, but for something that’s slightly off the beaten path, they’re certainly worth a try.

Overall: 7/10.  There’s nothing that really stands out here, but overall, these are a pretty good change of pace from Appetitos excellent cream cheese jalapenos.  It’s the same idea as those, but with roasted pablano peppers and corn instead.  There’s a good bit of heat, though catered toward mainstream tastes so it’s nothing that most people won’t be able to handle, and the cream cheese helps to cool things down a little bit on its own.  The taste can best be described as a “southwestern popper”, with the corn and pepper blend really giving it that kind of flavor.  For $2.29, we got twelve good-sized poppers, so value is there, as well.  Good stuff, especially for the price.



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