Saturday, July 6, 2019

Park Street Deli Loaded Baked Potato Salad (Aldi)



Aldi always carries the seasonal side basics for grilling, such as cole slaw, baked beans, and the two salads: macaroni and potato. This year, however, the brand name has switched over to Park Street Deli (from Little Salad Bar), and with it have come the addition of some new products. One of them is this loaded baked potato salad.

On paper it sounds pretty decent, offering up sour cream, bacon bits, cheddar cheese, and onion in a “blended dressing”. But how would that translate to the real world, where marketing speak takes a distant backseat to actual taste?

It’s not great. The texture is very similar to regular potato salad, with chunks of potatoes smothered in the creamy “blended dressing” the packaging alluded to. However, there’s a very…”manufactured” flavor, like an artificial taste, that creeps in toward the finish, as if it has to remind us that it’s factory-made, and not the result of some friend’s recipe.

Alternate view, so you know what you avoid if you approach from the top.
As if the disappointing flavor weren't enough, it also sits in the gut like a brick afterwards, which doesn’t typically happen to me with regular potato salad. I definitely wouldn’t go so far as to call it “disgusting”, but it's much closer to that than “good”: after a couple bites each, my wife and I were done with this, eating our grilled hamburgers without the benefit of a side dish. I waited until the next day to try it again, and got the same results, forcing down three or four bites before having to give up on it: three days later, and the mere thought of it makes my stomach turn, which is never good for a food item.

I get the idea behind it, and at least it makes sense (putting baked potato accouterments within a different potato-based vessel), but this isn’t a very appetizing way to pull it off. The space this occupies in-store could be replaced with a much more useful item.

Overall: 2/10. The idea behind this at least makes sense: swapping out the typical ingredients of a potato-based item for a different one (in this case, putting a loaded baked potato inside a potato salad), but the execution leaves a lot to be desired. It all starts with the taste, which starts off okay, but then veers off into an artificial finish that is more off-putting than enticing. It also sits like a brick in the stomach for at least an hour after eating it, something that doesn't typically happen to me with other potato salads. Three days after eating this for the second time, my stomach turns at the mere thought of it, which means the rest is going in the trash can: never a “win” for a food product. Avoid this one like the plague.

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