Uncovering the Freakiest Aldi Finds on Offer
“it’s not bad…but it’s strange.”
Swapping a ‘Spoons trip for a session of culinary discovery, Lisa and I braved the July drizzle and headed to Aldi, ready to scout the site for the most sumptuous of the selection. Here’s our run-down.
Upon arriving, slightly soggy and armed with totes, we grabbed a basket and prepared for battle. It wasn’t long before we spotted some Salted Pretzel & White Tea scented multi-purpose cleaner, and although sparkling clean floors with a hint of baked goods did sound tempting, we considered our floor adequately clean—and, due to incidents now firmly in the past, Lisa had terrifyingly little faith in her ability to distinguish between condiment and cleaning fluid.
Instead of risking a health hazard, we moved on to snag a sizeable number of pure steals, all of which were (supposedly) suitable for human consumption: a lemon sherbet and a strawberry laces flavoured cider, Baileys (extra thick) strawberry flavoured cream, limoncello popcorn, peanut butter flavoured whiskey liqueur, Yorkshire pudding beer, and, to finish everything off, some Guinness flavour chips. Delectable…right?
First up: Lemon sherbet flavoured cider
To kick things off, we headed to the Special Buys aisle, where we found our first nugget of gold. A drink that contained neither nuggets or gold, this cider was supposedly a lemon sherbet in a can. Accordingly, LT expected to get distilled candy (or, as Lisa insists, sweets) in a can. We suppose that it did deliver: specifically, a taste that almost exactly mimicked a lemon sherbet, with a sweetness that was more like a very dry cider such that we were left very aware that we were in fact drinking alcohol and, alas, not wantonly consuming candy.
Our opinion: “It’s almost like when you fancy sweets but are too grown up for Haribos, so you go into that one sweet shop on the high street that’s probably a front for money laundering.” The full experience, in a can—no human interaction needed.
Second on the list is its sister, the strawberry lace flavoured cider
This beverage had more of the sweetness that we had expected—much more: “it’s your doctor’s (and your dentist’s) worst nightmare”. The saccharine overtones dominated this drink, and left behind an aftertaste that reminisced of fruit laces left too long in a disused backpack.
We theorised that it could be easily recreated in the comfort of your kitchen (or gyp…) by liquifying American Candy Store procurements, before leaving that concoction out, uncovered, for a few days, and adding your second least favourite off-brand artificial sweetener. If we were to decide on a tagline for this drink, it would “The Child Catcher’s Night-Cap”. Perfect for Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.
Third on the list: Baileys extra thick strawberry cream
As an accompaniment to the Aldi find that we spotted in the fridge, we started off by following tradition with some strawberries. The strawberries themselves were lovely, and combined with the cream—which simply tasted like a thicker version of Baileys—it made for a surprisingly tasty, and boozy, dessert. We would both recommend: The cream acted as the perfect antidote to the healthiness of actually eating fruit.
However, as strawberries can be slightly pricey on a student’s budget, we decided to experiment with what we had, which happened to be bell peppers. It almost seemed like the peppers had been engineered for the task forming a cute little ladle. Lisa remarked that the flavours made her feel things that came dangerously close to an out of body experience, and I declined to comment. Thus, we both agreed that strawberries are superior.
We beg to know: Ever wanted to spoon Baileys into your mouth without getting yelled at at the houseparty? Ever snuck away in shame after being caught licking Baileys off your friend’s brother’s bedroom floor? Well, look no further.
Now introducing: Limoncello popcorn
When we think of Italy, Lisa dreams of the hand-painted frescos and I think of the fascinating architecture—and both salivate over the limoncello. Remember that time when you tried to sneak back 10 bottles of limoncello in your carry-on and were stopped by airport security? (Lisa doesn’t; I do.) If only your intense craving for limoncello could be satisfied in a convenient snack-friendly form, right? Luckily, a genius alike with Ramsay has created your dream drink in chewable form.
Alas, upon trying these, no visceral images of the Sistine Chapel, nor Botticelli angels, were aroused. Nonetheless, with buttery and caramel-adjacent overtones (or some such food critic lingo), this snack tastes the same as a lemon meringue pie. As such, we were both so enamoured that I snuck a second bag into the cinema the next day, with my coat as an unpaid accomplice, and with Lisa maintaining a firm five paces between us.
We continue with: Peanut butter flavour whiskey liqueur
Lisa’s first comment was that “it smells like alcohol”, and documented my first impression: “Alcohol with a hint of peanut butter, I’d say. It smells nothing like peanuts, nor Reese’s Cups, but rather like almonds, or marzipan. It tastes like the centre of a boozy praline containing some unidentifiable nut—not quite Lindt, but perhaps something found in an off-brand box of holiday chocolates that my grandma has in the back of her cupboard. So sweet you forget there’s whiskey in it.” Neither of us was particularly impressed, although we discovered that its taste was improved when mixed with Pepsi.
Moving onwards, we encounter: Yorkshire pudding beer
A necessary disclaimer is we both hate beer. The overwhelming opinion was that this fascinating drink tastes the same as normal beer: Bad. Some beer fanatics may disagree. That said, having eggs and milk in your drink is, in my opinion, a bit weird. Lisa recommends it “for the laughs”. Overall, it’s worth bringing to parties for the reactions.
Saving the worst for last: Guinness flavour potato chips
Lisa, who used her Irish passport as ID to purchase this treasure, was desperate to enjoy it. But sadly, she hated them from the start, starting from the fact that they were called “British potato chips”, which, she argues, is impossible: they are either potato chips, or they’re British crisps. I strongly disagreed with this opinion, and a British-American dictionary definition was needed to settle the brewing dispute. But this labelling fault/quirk proved to be this product’s least upsetting aspect. The crisps’ colour is dark, although this came only a surprise to me, a Guinness virgin. We expected them to taste bitter and earthy—in other words, like Guinness. Sampling them, we both agreed that they taste the same as the tempura vegetables in a fast-food Japanese place do. I detected a hint of soy sauce; Lisa, still fuming over the packaging, called them “weird”, and refused to eat any more.
The overall impression was that they sadly failed to live up to expectation; you might as well head to your nearest Wagamama’s. However, upon noticing that the bag comes with an 18+ warning, and a link to the Drinkaware website, Lisa wisely observed that “this could be a gateway drug”, so discretion is advised when consuming your Guinness crisps.
Lisa and I, both people who generally prefer to live without regret, almost regretted some of our adventurous purchases, and we weren’t entirely sure what to make of the fact that the most exciting finds tend to require ID at the till. Nonetheless, we both thoroughly recommend the limoncello popcorn, and the Yorkshire pudding beer is sure to be a fun addition to a BYOB party; I have sworn that that the beer is my go-to gift for friends, and Lisa has promised a can of the strawberry laces cider to her cousin.