Sunday, November 8, 2015

Cheese Club Carribean Jerk Macaroni and Cheese (Aldi)

"Caribbean Sucks" is more like it.
Can I be up front with everyone for a moment?  I have no idea what the hell “Carribean jerk” even is (besides a person who's an asshole of Caribbean descent).  Sure, I’ve seen jerk chicken advertised in chain restaurants (?), but have never ordered it, and never even been curious enough to ask what it is.  So maybe it’s kind of bizarre that, between Caribbean Jerk or Sriracha macaroni and cheese, both of which are available as special buys in Aldi stores, I went with the former.

My reasoning, beyond simply wanting to try something new, is that sriracha products have completely been overblown as of late.  They’re like the equivalent of zombie movies in Hollywood; everywhere you look it’s sriracha this, or sriracha that.  The whole sriracha craze has exploded, and while I admit to liking the stuff straight out of the bottle, the thought of its flavor being added to something already is a complete turnoff to me.  Nowhere is that more evident than at Aldi this week, where it’s apparently “hot week”:  They are offering a variety of spicy products, and just about all of them have sriracha as an option, from sriracha lime popcorn (?), to sriracha flavored potato chips, to the aforementioned sriracha mac and cheese…so I said “Enough already!”, and went with the road less traveled.

The only problem is, having no idea of what jerk is, or what it should taste like, I have no reference point.  That being said, Cheese Club’s Caribbean Jerk macaroni and cheese is pretty bad.  The problem isn’t with the heat:  Surprisingly, this stuff is pretty spicy.  Granted, I’m not huge into spicy foods, so those that eat it frequently will probably find it to be less hot than I did, but a few bites in and my mouth was burning.  The problem is the taste, which tastes like nothing I’ve ever had, so I can’t compare it to anything, but it’s not a taste I enjoy.  It doesn’t come of as very “cheesy” to me, like I would think macaroni and cheese should be…it’s just kind of salty, maybe vaguely cheesy, and then it’s followed up by a bunch of heat.  Definitely not something I would ever get again, and it honestly makes sriracha mac and cheese sound even worse than it already did.

Overall: 3.5/10.  I’ll admit, I have no idea what “jerk” should taste like, but if this mac and cheese is authentic, then I’m glad I’ve avoided it for all 31 years of my life.  It tastes like severe salt overload, with a little taste of something that vaguely resembles cheese, followed up by a pretty strong blast of heat.  So if you’re in the minority and prefer heat over flavor, then you might like this.  But if you like an equal balance of both, then I wouldn’t even give this a shot.  Its only saving grace is value, with each box retailing for under $.75.  Even then, unless you can find it on clearance for half off (or more), I don’t think it’s worth it at all.

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