Custom Made Meals Bacon Wrapped Jalapeno Peppers (Aldi)

A package of Custom Made Meals Bacon-Wrapped Jalapeno Peppers
A little too rich.

Whoa, whoa, whoa. We don't usually buy the meat special buys (because the store is usually full of so many more things we are interested in) but the instant I saw this in the ad, it became an immediate “must buy”.  I'm a fan of anything cream cheese, and their (frozen) jalapeno poppers are absolutely fantastic (even though they are a completely different line), so I put two and two together and figured there was no way these could disappoint.  

I was wrong.

That's what I'd be saying if they did disappoint, but as it turns out, I was pretty much right: These are pretty fantastic, at least in the flavor department, and at least for a little while.  Think a fresher, more upscale version of jalapeno poppers, and you would pretty much have the flavor down: The bacon blends well with the cream cheese and pepper, all of the flavors combining to form a stomach-bloating combination that's almost overwhelmingly rich.  Eight came in the package, and we each had three before we had to toss in the towel.  I'm not sure these are that great as the side dish that we used them for, but they would be absolutely perfect as finger foods at a party.

The bacon does stay a little limp, which I guess it has to in order to hold everything together, but I was missing that crunch.  My wife did overcook them to try to char them up a bit, but they were still pretty limp and flaccid.  The jalapenos themselves taste pretty fresh, with some nice crunch and even some juices left inside. They provide a nice kick in the heat department, and a noticeable blast of fire right after the first couple of bites, but by the second or third one, my tastebuds had calibrated to it, and the heat didn't bother me.  The cream cheese has the dual role of providing creamy comfort for the heat, while simultaneously offering up its own decadent flavor, and it certainly doesn't disappoint here. But it's also the main reason for its richness: there's so much cream cheese per pepper, that it doesn't take much to sit like a brick in the stomach.  I'm one of those people that never thought there could be such a thing as too much cream cheese, but it's an appropriate critique here. If they would just dial it back a bit, I think these would be a near-perfect snack.

These are pretty pricey, coming in at $6.49 per lb., and aren't actually from an Aldi brand.  Our package was $6.57 for eight poppers...much more than you'd pay for the frozen kind, but also expected, considering these are "fresher". Each popper is also a good size (they take at least two bites to finish off), and pack in a rather surprising amount of flavor.  These were definitely a splurge for us, both in terms of financial and health hits, but it was a digression that I don't regret taking at all.

Overall: 6.5/10. Think a fresher, more upscale version of frozen jalapeno poppers, and you would be on the right track.  All of the flavors combine to form a complex, almost disgustingly rich combination that overwhelms the taste buds...then sits like a brick in the stomach.  There's too much cream cheese (something I never thought I'd ever say), and the bacon stays pretty limp, no matter how hard you try to char them, but they are certainly delicious in short bursts. These would be better suited as finger foods at a party, rather than the side dish we used them for.  They're a little pricey ($6.49 per lb., with most packages hovering around the 1 lb. mark), and aren't actually from an Aldi brand, but you definitely get your money's worth in the flavor department.  Would definitely get them again, though not anytime soon...gotta let my tastebuds (and stomach) recover first.

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