Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Season's Choice Spicy Onion Rings (Aldi)

These oddly taste like regular onion rings, with a heat that creeps up on you.
The last time these were available as a Special Buy from Aldi stores, which was a few months back, they only had them in BBQ and Black Pepper varieties. Well now, there's an added flavor: spicy. I don't really have the palate for things that are “hot”, and so this probably wouldn't be something that would normally be in my wheelhouse. But you know what? I love onion rings, and I already reviewed the other two varieties, so I reasoned that I might as well just go ahead and complete the trifecta.

As I noted in the other reviews, these flavored onion rings have a much crispier batter on them than Aldi's original whole onion rings, which is a giant plus in my book...each bite gives off a ridiculous crunch, and they cook up pretty quickly in the oven. So, for all intents and purposes, the appearance is exactly the same to the other onion ring options.

But what is unique to this one is its taste...most notably, just how spicy is this? And what does “spicy” even taste like? After all, the term merely means something that is “flavored with spice”, so there are millions of possible combinations out there. I was expecting them to be slathered with maybe a hot sauce, or sprinkled with some kind of red pepper, but these look chillingly like the normal onion rings...just by looking at them, you can't tell that they're hiding a dark, burning secret. As a matter of fact, you can't even tell that once you take a bite, at least not for a little while. I was anticipating a sriracha, or maybe just a basic hot sauce flavor to be cooked into the ring, but it's not. It tastes just like a normal onion ring...and then the spices kick in.

Again, I don't have the taste for hot things like some people do. I don't put hot sauce, or buffalo sauce, on anything and don't seek out to try products just because they're hot. I do like trying new things, and as long as something has good flavor, no matter how hot it is (within reason), then I'll like it. I may be breaking out in sweat and wiping tears from my face as I eat it, because I also have a very low tolerance for heat, but I'll still eat it.

With that in mind, I have to say that these are hotter than I thought they would be, at least initially. It never got to the point where I was frantically looking for milk or water to take away the pain, and the heat doesn't really linger for too long, but just four of these onion rings got my nose running slightly. In my opinion, it's just the right amount of heat, but it will probably be too weak for true fans of hot stuff.

One thing I noticed, which is consistent across the board for Aldi's onion rings, is that there are a pound of onion rings in each bag. However, since they vary in size from large to tiny, there can be as little as ten onion rings included, if you get mostly medium-to-large ones. Now, since it's by weight, it technically evens out to the same amount of onion rings no matter how many are inside, but I have to say there's something a little visually unsatisfying about only getting three or four onion rings in a serving, even if they are bigger than average. But maybe that's just a personal psychological thing.

At any rate, these are good, but not great, onion rings that may or may not appease fans of hot stuff.

Overall: 6/10. It tastes like a standard onion ring, until the heat comes from out of nowhere and attacks. I don't have a high tolerance for heat, and so I thought these were actually pretty spicy...I had four pieces (half of the bag we got) and it was enough to get my nose running a little bit. But the heat seemed to dissipate pretty quickly, so it wasn't a lingering sensation. Like the other varieties (BBQ and Black Pepper being the other two), the batter cooks up crispier and is more flavorful than their standard onion rings (which are still very good), but they are also fifty cents more per 16 oz. bag, coming in at $2.49. It's not a great onion ring, but it is a little different, and so I suppose they're worth trying at least once.

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