Thursday, December 22, 2016

Racine Dutch Almond Kringle - Aldi

Racine Dutch Kringles (Almond) - Aldi $4.99
It's a Christmas Mira-kringle! (Boo!)

What's a Kringle? Well, it's a large halo-shaped pastry made with layered dough and various fillings and toppings. They're the official state pastry of Wisconsin, they have Danish roots, and here on the East Coast, seasonal Kringle offerings are often sold at Trader Joe's. When Trader Joe's does get a shipment of Kringles in, they never last long. People go crazy for these things!

A while back I reviewed the seasonal Pumpkin Caramel Kringle from O&H Danish Bakery, but before that I tried the O&H Almond Kringle (my first ever Kringle) and it was the absolute BEST! Since it's the holidays and they're in HIGH demand, it's hard to get my hands on one from Trader Joe's, so I decided to try this version from Aldi instead. Will Racine Danish Kringles taste as good as O&H? We shall see!
First thing's first, this packaging is WAY different than O&H's. O&H sell their large Kringles in waxed paper bags sealed with a sticker. There are no panels allowing you to see the Kringle inside, no plastic, no nothing. It gives the product a rustic, homemade, feel, but it isn't great for preservation and shelf stability. This Racine Kringle is packaged in an oval-shaped cardboard dish and then covered in food-grade shrink-plastic. It's air-tight, and I can see my Kringle before I buy it (making it way easier to pick the one with the most icing). The only real downside to the Racine Kringle is that it's smaller. At least, I think it's smaller. I don't have an O&H Kringle for a side-by-side comparison, but the O&H variety didn't fit in my photo-set-up, and this one fit easily, so there must be a decent size difference. Personally, I prefer this packaging, because I can easily see what I'm getting and I feel like it stays fresher longer, but if this tastes awful...all that preservation and convenience will be for naught.

Fingers crossed that it tastes as good as it looks!
Kringles come in a lot of different flavors. This year Aldi offered this almond and a raspberry version, but if you check out O&H's website, they have TONS of offerings. Everything from classic almond to birthday cake. (For the record, their website photos show WAY more filling than I had in either of their Kringles I bought at Trader Joe's.) I'm more of a traditionalist when in comes to pastries, I think "Birthday cake" flavored food is just a novelty trend, so if I'm getting a Kringle, I'm going with the old-school Almond.

I peeled back the plastic, and this thing smells sweet and buttery with the sugary sweetness of Jordan almonds. Almond is the only nut-flavoring (eww..)  I really enjoy, so I think this Kringle smells heavenly. I wish I could bottle this and wear it like a perfume. (I won't though, because that's how you get ants.)

I sliced a little segment off to review and it looks...beautiful. Look at it!
So pretty. So, how does it taste? Will it be comparable to the O&H one I fell in love with?

It's delicious, and very close to the O&H version, but the fillings is not as rich as the one I remember. From what I recall, the O&H filling has a dense, marzipan-like texture and flavor profile. (Which I freaking love. The more marzipan-like, the better.) This Racine version is sweet, flaky, and it has a decent amount of almond filling, but it's just not as flavorful. If I never had the O&H variety, I'd be over the moon for this one, but that's sadly not the case.
Don't misunderstand, this Racine Kringle is still totally delicious, and it's light flavoring makes this a fantastic breakfast or tea accompaniment, but once you've had the dense delicious filling from O&H, it's hard going back to anything else. Still, I'm really glad I bought this and I still think it'd make a great addition to any holiday brunch or dessert table. If I can't get my hands on O&H again next year (which is likely since Trader Joe's sell out super fast), I would definitely re-buy this one. It was easier to get my hands on, it's packaged nicer, and it still tastes fantastic. Just...not AS fantastic.
© Maria Smith 
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  1. What about the raspberry one?

    1. I actually didn't pick that one up, since Almond is my favorite, so you'll have to let me know how it tastes!