Saturday, November 14, 2015

Season's Choice BBQ Flavored Onion Rings (Aldi)

A bag after being eagerly dug into.
These were offered as a special buy at the same time as the cracked black pepper onion rings.  I picked them both up, as I have honestly never seen onion rings offered in different flavors (I’m sure it’s a common occurrence, but no restaurant I’ve ever been to has done it, and all the frozen ones I’ve seen have just been standard) and was eager to see what they had to offer.  We’ve seen what I thought of the black pepper, so now let’s turn our attention to exhibit B…the barbecue.

As I was expecting after trying the previous rings, the barbecue onion rings also cook up nice and crispy after about 15 minutes in the oven.  I’m still impressed with the crispiness; these have to be some of the most perfectly textured frozen onion rings I’ve ever had, so this gets some good marks on that front.  I wasn’t really sure how the barbecue would be presented--would the onion rings be glazed in a barbecue sauce?--but as it turns out, it’s just a seasoning that no one would have any idea was supposed to resemble BBQ unless they saw the packaging.  Instead, it’s just a highly salty flavor that does have some spice to it, leading to a slight burn on the tongue, but it goes away rather quickly on its own, or can be contained even quicker with a shot of milk.

I mentioned earlier that I was kind of shocked that no one else is doing flavored onion rings, but now I see why:  There are only so many things you can do with them, and none of them are really interesting.  I suppose you could glaze them in a sauce, but aside from barbecue, I can’t imagine too many other sauces that these would be good with, and I’m not sure how glazed onion rings would keep their flavor after being frozen.  So that pretty much leaves Aldi‘s method of just using different seasonings on them, which can only yield so much.  In this case, it’s a spicy, salty onion ring that, except for the stellar texture and batter on the outside, is basically just an onion ring with extra spices.

Overall: 6/10. They’re not bad, but there’s only about one thing you can do to dress up a frozen onion ring, and that’s to simply cover it in spices.  Which doesn’t lead to many possible flavor combinations, assuming you still want the onion and batter to be the focal points.  So what we have here is an onion ring that tastes pretty much like an onion ring, only with a little bit of heat. I will say the outside texture is perfect, and it cooks up real nice and crisp, but between the black pepper and barbecue onion rings, pick one (I prefer the black pepper) and I’m pretty sure you’ve just experienced the limits of frozen onion ring technology; no need to waste money on both.

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