Sunday, May 29, 2016

Fusia General Tso's Zesty Chicken Meal (Aldi)

Note that the watermark will not appear on the actual product...
I know they’re bad for you, but you know what?  Sometimes I like enjoying a frozen meal or two.  There’s just something about the enticing, scientifically-created mixture of chemicals, MSG, and sugar that makes them addicting…

On my latest trip to Aldi, I decided to pick up a Special Buy: Fusia’s General Tso’s Chicken Meal.  For the relatively decent price of $5, you get one-and-a-half pounds of white meat chicken, complete with rice, vegetables, and a General Tso’s sauce.  All you do is pull the microwavable tray out of the box, and toss her in the microwave for a few minutes.  In other words, pretty much everything you need to enjoy some microwavable Chinese at home!

I’ve been a fan of most of the other Fusia meals I’ve had, and while this one kind of skirts the line, I'd say their reputation still comes out intact.  As is par for the course with frozen Chinese meals in general, the white meat chicken is rather questionable, as it seems to fall apart way too easily.  But the box says it’s white meat chicken, and it more or less looks like white meat chicken, so I’m just going to go ahead and assume that’s what it is.  The taste of the chicken itself is rather bland, so it’s a good thing it comes with a generous helping of General Tso’s sauce to douse everything in!

Which brings me to a problem with most store-bought Chinese…the sauces always taste the same.  No matter what you get, it pretty much always tastes like sweet and sour sauce, with some slight variations based on what dish it‘s supposed to be.  Case-in-point:  This very entrĂ©e.  The sauce tastes like sweet and sour sauce.  But since it’s supposed to be General Tso’s, they just had a slight, spicy kick.  Now it’s more an observation than a complete knock for me, since I like sweet and sour sauce.  But I still wouldn’t really say this technically qualifies as General Tso‘s, so if you‘re expecting something different, or something with a good bit of heat to it, you're going to be deeply saddened.

The value is pretty decent, as this can easily be stretched into two servings (especially if you have a side dish, such as egg rolls).  I’m also pretty surprised that each serving of this has just 3% cholesterol, so even polishing off the whole tray at once (should you have any desire to do so) will only be 9% of your daily cholesterol intake, which I didn‘t think was bad for a processed, frozen meal.  Sodium content, though high, is still below-average for this much food.

In other words, it's pretty good, and it's worth the price, but just barely for both.

Overall: 5.5/10.  It tastes good, it’s quick to make, and you really do get a decent amount of food for $5.  So why the relatively low score?  It’s just that there’s really nothing here to write home about.  The sauce is just essentially sweet and sour with a slight spice kick added, and the white meat chicken is still pretty terrifying when you see it up close.  There’s really nothing special to constitute even having this occasionally as a Special Buy for Aldi, considering you can get very similar things to this year ‘round from the grocery chain.  Average in every sense of the word.

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