A Taste of ALDI Foods

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I recently had a chance to taste ALDI foods. I’m super impressed and chomping at the bit for my local store to open here in California. Here’s why.

This post is sponsored by ALDI. I have been compensated for my time spent writing. All opinions are mine.

A Taste of ALDI Foods | Good Cheap Eats

I’ll admit. I’ve been a little skeptical about ALDI foods in the past. I last shopped at ALDI a handful of times back in Kansas City over eight years ago.

Since then, folks have raved to me about all the changes and improvements ALDI has made the last few years, but I really wanted to taste it for myself and see if it really was as good as everyone was saying.

Recently, I had the opportunity to taste ALDI foods in a variety of settings: a gourmet dinner party, a taste-testing comparison with national brands, a lovely salad luncheon, and a wine and cheese tasting.

What can I say, except that I am counting down the days until the ALDI in my area opens! In fact, I’ve already spied the perfect location for them to move to closer to my house.

A Taste of ALDI Foods

Let me show you some of the great ALDI foods I had the chance to savor last month at the Taste of ALDI Event:

A Taste of ALDI Foods | Good Cheap Eats

A Gourmet Dinner Party

I had no idea what a fabulous dinner party was in store or that I would be seated next to Mary Nolan, executive chef at Bon Appetit Magazine. Mary is an absolute delight –- she let me bend her ear about freezer cooking – with amazing taste.

The menu that she put together for us using ALDI food was impeccable:

  • Prosciutto-Wrapped Asparagus, Caprese Skewers, Assorted Cheeses and Charcuterie
  • Crostini with Goat Cheese and Mushrooms
  • Kale Salad with Lemon-Yogurt Dressing, Southern Grove Marcona Almonds, Avocado, and Southern Grove Dried Cranberries
  • Seared Specially Selected Jumbo Scallops with Herbed-Lemon Oil
  • Chile-Rubbed USDA Choice Flat Iron Steak
  • Seared Cauliflower Steaks with Tomato, Kalamata Olives, Spicy Pasta Sauce and Pistachios
  • Priano Pipe Rigate with Spring Vegetables, Parmesan, and Lemon
  • Chocolate Cake with Almond-Cream Cheese Filling and Fresh Berries

Each course came with perfect wine pairings and was served in a beautiful setting, the grounds of a winery in Santa Ynez. Look at all the courses! You and I both know that this could cost $50 to $75 per person at a restaurant and at least $25 per person at home.

Guess what? ALDI was able to pull it off for $14.59 (not including the wine)! Hello? Sign me up!

(Obviously, I don’t throw big dinner parties very often, especially not fancy-schmancy ones, but consider the variety of this menu and scale it down? You could easily host a great event for even $5/person!)

A Taste of ALDI Foods | Good Cheap Eats

And can I just say that the chocolate cake was AMAZING?! I can’t wait to make that at home. That was worth the $14.59 right there. 😉

Interesting note: Prior to the dinner, I did not think that I liked Moscato, but the Moiselle Sparkling Moscato served with the cake was really wonderful, so much so that I snagged a bottle to take home with me.

The FishMama Trifecta – when my birthday, my anniversary, and Mother’s Day all land in one 3-week period — has begun. I know what we’re having for one of those meals!

A Taste of ALDI Foods | Good Cheap Eats

A Taste Test Comparing ALDI Foods with National Brands

As I mentioned a few weeks ago, ALDI takes great care in curating food products from a wide range of national food producers, requiring that their store brands be as good or better than the national equivalent.

I had the opportunity to taste a number of different ALDI food products and compare them to the national competitors. In most cases, it was impossible to tell a difference – both were good! And in many cases, like the Simply Nature Exotic Vegetable Chips, the ALDI food was better than its competitor.

Of the items that I normally buy (vegetable chips, Havarti cheese, guacamole, and tortilla chips), the ALDI food items were my fave.

A Taste of ALDI Foods | Good Cheap Eats

A Lovely Salad Luncheon

This is the perfect menu to serve at your next bridal or baby shower, Mother’s Day, or book club. It was all delicious and prepared with ALDI food. Our luncheon featured a trio of beautiful salads:

  • Mason Jar Italian Salad
  • Fruit and Avocado Salad
  • Hearts Aflutter Chicken Strawberry Salad

It was all served with assorted breads, including the super delicious Specially Selected Original Naan Bread and glasses of Journey to France Sparkling French Pink Lemonade. Such a pretty table – and set with ALDI fresh flowers!

A Taste of ALDI Foods | Good Cheap Eats

A wine and cheese tasting

I was super impressed that ALDI really has covered all its bases. Not only do they offer amazing prices to make it easy for anyone and everyone to shop ALDI, but they also are reaching that high mark of being able to provide gourmet food and wine.

Minneapolis-based sommelier, Leslee Miller gave us the lowdown on the ALDI wine program. She gave us some great tips for tasting, selecting, and pairing wine. I learned a lot! For instance, I didn’t really think that the shape of the glass really mattered, but Leslee’s demonstration of how different a Chardonnay or a Pinot Noir taste in different glasses really hit it home.

Tip: Always serve those wines in burgundy glasses, the big bulbous ones that look like brandy sniffers. The flavor of the wine is completely different. Who knew?

Almost all ALDI wines are all less than $9.99, packing quality under an itty bitty price tag.

A Taste of ALDI Foods | Good Cheap Eats

You know I love good food. I don’t mind splurging on good cheese, wine, and a few “froo-froo” items. Now, I’m wondering if it won’t have to be a splurge after all. I’m looking forward to my May ALDI Grand Opening shopping trip.

Keep up with ALDI on the web!

For cooking tips and the 411 on what’s fresh at ALDI, be sure to add ALDI to your feed!

What are YOUR favorite ALDI foods?

Help me out with my shopping list. What do you like to buy at ALDI?

This post is sponsored by ALDI. I have been compensated for my time spent writing. All opinions are mine.

About Jessica Fisher

I believe great meals don't have to be complicated or expensive. There's a better way, and it won't take all afternoon.

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Comments

  1. Brighid says:

    Dairy products. Eggs. Orange juice for $1.69/half gallon! Sale vegetables and fruits. Oh, and especially their dark chocolate bars. So good!

  2. Aldi’s vary a good bit by location (and management, I suspect?) I am lucky to have a good one near me. I tried another one in town a few years ago, and it put me off shopping there, and it is still dirty and disorganized. BUT I’m so glad I didn’t let it stop me from trying again!

    My husband tracks our grocery budget, and he said he noticed a big difference when I started shopping at Aldi instead of Walmart. He thinks I’m saving us over $80 a month if I go there instead.

    We love the dark chocolate squares. They’re just as good as Dove for half the price. We also like their select vanilla and chocolate ice cream. The produce is also a big draw for us. And I just had their Caesar salad kit, and it’s delicious.

  3. We used to live near an Aldi and I loved shopping there. They were just beginning their transition to healthier and more gourmet foods. I was first introduced to it when I spent a summer in Germany–they had the yummiest flavors of yogurt! Alas, I highly doubt Aldi will ever make the move to the frozen North of Alaska. I would definitely shop there.

  4. Franny Boudreau says:

    Do you know if the chocolate cake was a pre made packaged (take home ready to eat) one? I looked on the Aldi site for a recipe and didn’t see it. Thanks! I’m sad that we don’t have wine available at Aldi’s in CT (state law regulations). But great tips about using the correct glassware. I agree with above comment about Aldi’s varying store to store.

  5. Nedra Bryce says:

    Wild caught salmon, ribs, sweet potatoes, avacados, lemons, spinach, almond milk, coconut creamer, eggs, blueberries, raspberries, all the pies, cakes, and chocolates. Can’t wait to see what you buy and cook from Aldi’s!

  6. Also Aldi’s has “la vie” sparkling water for 49 cents. I believe it is like the “la croix”.

  7. Favorite Aldi food…been shopping there for a couple decades now….mushrooms, salads, Irish cream. The ham the kids prefer at Tday and Christmas is Aldi’s butt ham.

    When the kids were home it was Aldi’s and Save A Lot. Save A Lot had the better freezer section, Aldi’s had the better produce.

    Still shop there

  8. My favorite Aldi foods are chocolate, cheese and wine!! One time in line, the lady behind me said, I want to go where you are going!!!

  9. Fresh Brats, the chocer rich chocolate (little bars in cellophane not cardboard). The chocolate coconut almonds (I don’t buy often because lack of will power the bag might last 2 days) Whole milk yogurt. little cans (8oz) of tomato sauce, tortillas in the soft taco and fajita sizes. The organic white cheddar puffs (like pirate booty) It is rare that I try something and dont like it. I only return stuff a few times in 10 years of shopping there.

  10. Adrienne Sadegi says:

    I am a loyal Aldi shopper after my cousin in Chicago turned me on 8 years ago.We lived in a suburb of Cleveland. I was able to keep to a budget of $150 for 4 people 2 times a month. I did have to buy some fruits and vegetables elsewhere due to wanting a wider selection of organic. But our favorites all the organic fruits and veggies, Almond Milk, skinless chicken breasts best price and quality anywhere, multigrain waffles, multigrain and wheat bread, pasta, spaghetti sauce, the exotic veggie chips, I miss shopping there now since we moved to Fort Myers Florida. I will shop there again when they build one. I also loved their toilet paper, paper and cleaning products. Prices were great! They also did some amazing ethnic varieties like German cakes, breads, sauerkraut seasonally.

  11. My DH was an inspector many years ago. He had to seize an ALDI warehouse. He said it was one of the CLEANEST! warehouses he was ever in. I think their canned vegetables beat national brands by far. Cannot beat the mac&cheese either. I find the produce not too consistent. Meat prices are kind of high.

  12. Kelly Schnettgoecke says:

    Most of what we eat comes from Aldi ! I love that they’ve pulled artificial colors and flavors, msg, and a bunch of other additives from most of their products. The organic selection has really expanded at great price points, too. We like the bagged popcorn, applesauce pouches, peanut butter, yogurt, baking basics, soups, whole grain waffles, organic spaghetti sauce and salsa, ground turkey, pork tenderloin, amazing ham, pretty good produce, and the best boxed brownie mix on the market!

  13. I LOVE their sourdough bread, Greek yogurt (plain and vanilla), and shredded cheeses. Between your cookbooks for menu planning, aldi, and the farmstand, we’ve been able to keep our shopping under budget even WITH some splurge items.

  14. Love Aldi’s Chocolates, Pizza’s, Egg Rolls, Chips. Their OJ, Eggs and Butter are very reasonable.

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