Saturday, June 30, 2018

Specially Selected Roasted Garlic with Tomato and Basil Cheese (Aldi)

Eh...tastes like cheddar to me.
It’s virtually impossible to be married to the same person for more than five years, and to not be completely changed, at least in one area. Before I married my wife, I was not at all a fan of cheese. Well, not REAL cheese (save for mozzarella)--sure, I could enjoy that fakey pasteurized cheese, or 7-11’s nacho cheese out of the machine, but when it came to actual cheeses, I didn’t like them. Hell, I never had a grilled cheese sandwich beyond 10 years old, simply because I hated the ones my mom made so much (using the aforementioned fake "singles" and sandwich bread) that I idiotically assumed all of them tasted like that. I guess I conveniently forgot that there are just as many varieties of cheeses as there are breads...millions. It wasn't until my wife threw together a grilled cheese sandwich that I actually liked that I began to realize that.

Slowly, though, my wife’s affinity for cheese has seeped into my life. At once repulsed by the thought of blue cheese (a cheese that my aforementioned mother still can’t stand), a good wedge salad is now one of my favorite things in the world, all thanks to my wife, who turned me on to them. She also taught me that there were more varieties of white cheese than just mozzarella, so now I’m equally keen on provolone (still a white "beginner's cheese" but one I wouldn't have tried otherwise). It goes without saying that she has massively influenced my outlook on cheeses (among other things).

But there’s one area where I must confess that I still feel out of touch: cheese blends. Blending cheeses with various other flavors, ranging from chocolate, to wine, seems to be the big thing these days, and to me, it’s more akin to a fancy wine in that all I can taste is my money being poured down a drain. But this blend, featuring several flavors that I love, including tomato, basil, AND garlic, seemed to be more down my alley. So my wife and I grabbed some wheat crackers to go along with it, and were off on our merry way.

And you know what? This cheese did nothing to change my outlook on “weird” cheeses. I can clearly taste some cheddar, which I’m assuming is the “base” cheese, but beyond that, I would have no idea what the remaining flavors were, had they not been clearly spelled out on the packaging. I didn’t detect an ounce of tomato, basil, OR garlic, much to my chagrin. As far as I’m concerned, we paid $2.99 for a block of cheddar cheese with some added color to insinuate that we were getting something more. I’m not upset about it, because cheese and crackers are pretty much always a good snack, but we could have gotten a much plainer cheese for a fraction of the cost, and been just as happy.

If you’re an absolute cheese freak, then this may be worth the cost for you. Otherwise, I’m not so sure.

Overall: 5.5/10. I liked this, as a cheddar cheese, but really couldn’t taste the garlic, tomato, or basil, which honestly kind of defeated the whole purpose of buying a garlic, tomato, and basil cheese. My wife and I put these on crackers, and while the cheddar shone through, and was certainly delicious, we could have just gotten a plain cheddar for less than $3 a wedge. If you have a serious palate for cheeses, and can differentiate between minute tastes, than this will easily be worth it for you; for me, it just felt like a partial waste of money. Kind of like people that pay thousands of dollars for old bottles of wine, only to discover all they bought was a bottle of old grapes.

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