Saturday, December 14, 2019

Winternacht Peanut Clusters with Milk Chocolate (Erdnussberge) (Aldi)

Quite possibly the most addicting boring product ever made.
If candy and Christmas go together like turkey and Thanksgiving, then chocolate candy is the green bean casserole of this analogous Thanksgiving feast—sure, you can technically have a holiday without it, but why the hell would you want to (unless you’re lactose intolerant, of course)? With very little chocolate in our house, and feeling the warmth of the holiday season, I decided to see what delicious confectionary treats Aldi was offering up this year! And somehow, someway, after perusing the aisle for no less than 5 minutes, I settled on Winternacht’s Peanut and Chocolate Clusters.

I’m really torn here, because this simple treat has caused a plethora of conflicting, complex emotions from deep within me. Once again, I became a victim of my own lack of attention-to-detail, because upon quick glance of the packaging, I thought these were more akin to “turtles”, that delectable mix of chocolate and peanuts, with the addition of ooey-gooey caramel. Instead, these are actually boring as shit: peanuts and chocolate. That’s it. And it doesn’t even look like good chocolate…it’s just standard milk chocolate, and standard peanuts.

Despite this, though—and despite my complete awareness concerning just how boring these are—I couldn't stop eating them, and I cannot for the life of me figure out why. Maybe the teeny clusters look more appetizing on a subconscious level. Maybe it’s a sign my life is completely devoid of anything resembling happiness and these are attempting to fill that hole. Or maybe what I thought was its weakness, is actually more of a strength: the almost alarming simplicity of it all, which flies in the face of today’s “more is more” ideology. At any rate, these are good, even though there is nothing at all that is even remotely outstanding about them.

While those two things (boring vs. addicting) cancel each other out, there is one big hit that isn’t offset by any positives: the price. When I forked over $2.99 for this 8.82 oz. package, I was still under the assumption I’d be getting “turtles” with my hard-earned cash. Instead, getting the cheapest, most basic of all nuts, along with some non-rich, non-melty, “rugged” German chocolate, doesn’t really feel like a winning value proposition to me.

And that is why, despite the inexplicably addicting nature of these, I probably won’t ever buy them again.

Overall: 6/10. It’s rare that I find a product as divisive as Winternacht’s peanut and chocolate clusters: on one hand, it’s $2.99 (per 8.8 oz bag) and comprised entirely of just what the title implies; on the other hand, despite the fact it’s neither an outstanding example of peanuts or chocolate, I downed this whole bag in about three days, pretty much entirely by myself—I couldn’t stop eating them once I started. It’s almost like a psychological test to figure out which side “wins out”, but at the end of the day, the price is too high for me to justify it. The chocolate is neither rich, nor particularly great, and the peanuts are…well, peanuts. For the same price, or even less, you can get much better chocolate treats, especially around this time of year, or you could save the cash and just make a batch of your own for a fraction of the cost.

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