Thursday, February 19, 2015

Kombucha Wonder Drink (Cherry Cassis) - Aldi: Cherry Hill, NJ

Kombucha Wonder Drink (Cherry Cassis) - Aldi: Cherry Hill, NJ
I learned about Kombucha a few years ago in one of EmmymadeinJapan's videos. Since then, I've noticed several brands being sold at the Asian Markets I frequent, but I never felt compelled to pick a bottle up for myself. From what I understand it's a fermented tea, and that doesn't sound like something I'd enjoy. (I hate beer and other fermented stuff so I figured I'd pass on it.)  Recently, I've noticed that Kombucha has been making it's way into Americanized grocery stores like Target and Wegman's, but now it's even made it's way to Aldi! Since I am a sucker for anything Aldi sells ever, I thought I might as well give this a try. (Plus it was fairly cheap.)

The bottle is made of glass, which is something I always love, and it has a simple logo and design. I like it's simplicity, and I think that the layout utilizes the empty space well. While the front is very simple and clean, the back is a mess of information. I have really sharp eyes, so I can read this all without any problems, but that text is pretty darn small. (Possibly 4 or 5 pts.) The text being difficult to read for others might be my only complain about the design, other than that, it looks pretty nice. (It's not the best bottle design I've ever seen, but I like it for what it is.)

I twisted off the cap and poured it into a glass to get a better look, and oh man, this stuff smells very strongly of vinegar. I've said this before, and I know it's weird, but I really like balsamic vinegar. Three years ago, right before I started Sometimes Foodie, I had really bad stomach problems that caused ulcers, and I lost a lot of weight. Even though I was really unhealthy, I had booked a tour of Italy, and I wasn't about to miss that. While I was at a vineyard a very sweet Italian Woman gave me some really old balsamic vinegar saying it would help settle my stomach. Now, I don't know if it was the power of suggestion, which it totally could have been, but it helped me settle my stomach so that I could keep everything down. From that point on I steadily got better and I was so happy to be able to eat again, I started a food blog. (Sometimes Foodie: Origins.) I still drink balsamic vinegar from time to time, which is totally weird, I get it, but it seems to really help. So to me, this aroma isn't off putting, it's actually appealing, like some kind of black cherry vinegar. I'm sure a LOT of you would think it smells awful, but I think this might be pretty yummy.

I took a sip, and my initial reaction was NOPE. I won't lie, I nearly spat it out. I thought it tasted like some kind of fermented vinegar and black cherry wine, which doesn't sound all that bad when I type it out, but it definitely wasn't working for me. I re-watched Emmy's video about kombucha, and she mentioned that a lot of people really don't enjoy their first few sips, but it grows on you. Rather than wimp out, I decided to keep on sipping. (It has nothing to do with the fact that I am cheap and hate wasting food. Nope. Not at all. Totally braveness.)
Sips one through 5 weren't that great, but after a little bit the fermented wine-like flavoring began to fade away and it started tasting more like a fruity vinegar, which was way more appealing. (At least to me.) I ended up nursing the bottle while I was writing this review, and I have to say it's growing on me. It's not quite as rich and tangy in flavor as balsamic vinegar, but the flavoring did grow on me. 

I'm not sure if I'd buy this again, but I do think I can finish off this bottle without any problems. Plus, I'm glad I gave it a chance, it's no where near as awful as I thought. I don't think this flavor will appeal to the general public all that much, but if you really like balsamic vinegar, you might want to check this out.

Unlike a lot of the items sold at Aldi, this is NOT one of their private labels. It's rare for Aldi to get name-brand or unique non-Aldi items, they come and go on the shelves at random, so I don't know if they'll ever have this product again, but if they do, I'll be sure to try another flavor and see if I can be converted to the Kombucha-side. (Or if this was a fluke.)
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