Thursday, November 22, 2018

Season's Choice Quinoa Crunch Southwest Veggie Burger (Aldi)

I think I'll just stick to their regular veggie burgers.
As you all probably know by now, my wife leans toward the vegetarian side of life. She'll eat meat if it's around and she's hungry (or if she gets a craving for a burger or steak), but generally avoids it, especially in pre-packaged foods. Even though I am not one, I’m always looking for things in Aldi ads that will appeal to her. My latest find is Season’s Choice Quinoa Crunch Southwest Burger, a veggie patty that, unlike their Veggie Burger and Chipotle Black Bean Burgers, are a limited time Special Buy at Aldi stores. I liked the Veggie Burger and absolutely love the Chipotle Black Bean, so these had some pretty big shoes to fill in my book.

I probably could have gotten a much better crunch on these if I had the patience to make them in the oven…but I don’t, so I settled for a much limper patty, courtesy of the ultra-convenient (and quick) microwave prep method. The dusting of quinoa on the outside is evident right from the get-go, as the texture eschews the standard softness with one that feels like the breading on a typical chicken sandwich. Again, it didn’t add much of a crunch to mine, since I prepped it in the microwave, but it still added a rougher texture that I actually found more inviting than some of the smooth vegetable patties out there.

Honestly, I was expecting a lot more out of these. There’s a slight “southwestern” flavor in there, I guess, courtesy of some spices that seem to be thrown in as an afterthought, but given the intense taste explosion of Season’s Choice own Chipotle Black Bean Burgers, I was bracing myself for something special. Instead, we get a typical veggie burger, with some added crunch, and a price tag that’s somehow $1.20 more than their typical, year ’round veggie burger offerings (is quinoa really that expensive of an ingredient?).

This isn’t at all to say they are bad, because there’s some decent flavor in there. In fact, I have a sneaking suspicion that, had I not had the Chipotle Black Bean Burgers before, I probably would have liked these a whole lot more. But I have, and there’s no denying that those offer much more intense flavor for over a dollar less. For this reason, I really don’t think I could see myself buying these again, at least not in the near future.

Overall: 5/10. This is just a case of Aldi shooting themselves in the foot: There’s technically nothing wrong with Season’s Choice Quinoa Crunch Southwest Burger, besides a rather weak flavor that I’d hesitate to call “southwest”, but the texture, featuring some crunchy quinoa (that, not surprisingly, didn’t get crunchy in the microwave, but which I have a feeling probably would have in the oven) is more akin to an actual meat patty. Still, I had these shortly after trying their black bean veggie burgers, which provide a whole lot more flavor for about a dollar less per package, and so I was expecting a lot more out of these. Not a bad vegetable product, but not one I'm really eager to try again.

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