Sunday, March 27, 2016

Season's Choice Seasoned French Fries (Aldi)



Fast-food quality, if not better, and pretty dirt-cheap to boot!
There are times when a simple fried potato just won’t do: when the crinkle-cuts and shoestrings of the world just sound too darn bland.  When I want something with a little more edginess and flavor.  Those, dear friends, are the times I reach for Season’s Choice Seasoned Fries, available all the time from Aldi stores.

That paragraph might sound like a commercial, but these really are some of my favorite fries, and probably the one I purchase most often from Aldi’s constantly-available inventory.  They may not look like they’re loaded with flavor just by looking at them, with their pale brown hue not really suggesting much actual seasoning, but once they’re baked in the oven they taste just like a good fast-food fry.  There’s a slight burn after eating a few, either from the spices, or from the level of sodium in them, or both, but if you’re eating fries, you’re generally not too concerned with the health impact.

The flavor kind-of-sort-of reminds me of Rally’s fries, if I have to make a comparison, although they don’t get nearly as crispy.  I would actually argue that these fries might be slightly better--whereas fast-food fries tend to be overwhelmingly salty, I actually notice the garlic powder and spices more than straight-up salt.  This is pretty impressive for a frozen fry, especially around this price point ($1.79 per package).

As I hinted at earlier, I don’t like how these things never seem to fully brown.  I guess with their light brown-ish hue, it’s a lot tougher to tell when they’re fully cooked, at least in comparison to the more standard forms of the fried potato.  They seem to take longer than the recommended time in the oven--this last batch, I barely had any fries left, I pulled them out after about 15 minutes, and about half of them were well-cooked, while the other half were slightly mushy.  I guess unsurprisingly, it’s the larger ones that seem to take longer, but I’m usually hungry and just settle for eating them soft.  I don’t seem to have this problem with other fries, so I don’t think it’s user error.  But the taste goes a long way to rectifying that situation...and dipping them in a good barbecue sauce (or your preferred condiment of choice) makes them even better. 

Overall: 8/10.  One of the better fries Aldi carries, Season’s Choice Seasoned Fries pack a lot of flavor into a very inexpensive package of fries.  The garlic powder and assorted spices stand out here, rather than just the salt, which tends to be a concern with a lot of frozen fries.  The biggest downside is that these things never seem to fully crisp up.  I’ve put them in for slightly longer than the packaging suggests, and that only got the small-to-medium fries crispy, while the longer ones were still soft, and if there’s one thing I don’t like, it’s soft French fries.  But the flavor and the price (a mere $1.79 per bag, or about what you would pay for a medium fry at most fast food places) certainly goes a long way toward compensating for that.  Well worth the price, in my humble opinion.

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