Friday, April 16, 2021

Happy Farms Mozzarella String Cheese (Aldi)

An opened package of Happy Farms Mozzarella String Cheese
An affordably-delicious snack for all ages.

There are foods that everyone seems to have in their lunches in elementary school, and chief among them is probably string cheese. I don't know whose idea it was to make cheese into a peel-able pillar, but more power to them, because it seems to be the food that defies generations and continues to be popular, even as technology improves and makes other fads obsolete. Like many things that youngsters enjoy (cable television, R-rated movies), I was deprived of string cheese as a child. There were no reasons in particular, besides the simple notion that I just never really bothered my mom to buy any. And even though I vaguely remember trying it (and liked it) as a youngster, it apparently wasn't enough for me to request my mom constantly keeping some on hand.

But thanks to having a childish wife (which is used as a term of endearment here) - and then an actual child - string cheese has finally made a more consistent appearance in my life as a thirtysomething! And of course, our trusted provider of the completely unnecessary snack, is Aldi, which offer 12 packs for the reasonable rate of $2.49 per pack. And my go-to kind has been perhaps the only cheese that I have loved since I was a child: mozzarella.

This story starts the same way as most do: we bought a package of these for our son, and I used my parental privileges to steal one for myself. I really can't remember the texture of most string cheeses, but I'd imagine this is pretty much the same right out of the pack: it's soft. I also can't compare the “stringiness” to others, but I'll admit to being a little off-put when I started pulling it apart, only to discover that it looks like a fraying rope. Really, is this what kids find so attractive about string cheese? I thought it pulled apart “cleaner” for some reason, and the only reason it was “string” cheese was because it could be peeled into sections, but it definitely lives up to its literal name.

Aside from that, it's pretty much mozzarella cheese, which is what you should be hoping for when you buy a mozzarella cheese product. I'm not sure the manufacturing process to make cheese stringy, but I'm wondering if it involves rather large quantities of salt, because this seems to be saltier than most regular mozzarella cheeses that I've had. It's not that super-noticeable, but it's definitely there. Other than that, though, it has a nice, mild flavor—maybe a little too mild—yet accurate for the kind of cheese that it is. The taste is close enough that I no longer have to eat shredded mozzarella, where I would risk spilling more all over the floor (or the kitchen sink) than I actually managed to get into my mouth.

It's really the perfect snack for those occasions when you want something to eat that you can also peel, but you're all out of bananas. We don't always keep these on hand (our tastes seem to vary from week to week), but it's one of those items that everyone in the family unanimously likes, so we get them more frequently than I ever have at any other point in my life. I guess considering I rarely got it as a kid, that's a statement that would apply by default, but still...it's good.

Overall: 8/10. It seems to be a little saltier than normal mozzarella, but other than that, this is a pretty tasty little snack. It has a nice, light cheese flavor, and peeling it is a breeze. The price is pretty solid at $3.09 for a 10 oz. package (of 12 individually-wrapped cheese sticks), giving you either a couple of weeks' worth of school lunches, or multiple days' worth of snacks at home. We don't always have these on hand, but considering it's one of the few products the whole family seems to enjoy, we have them more often than not.

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