Monday, August 10, 2020

When I See-food, I Dip It

Seafood Dips - Aldi
I am pretty sure I heard someone raving about Aldi's Crab Rangoon dip, but I can't quite remember who. Anyway, when I spotted it, and a Lobster Roll version, I figured I would give it a shot. 

More often than not, I judge food products based on their first impressions, but here I decided to give it a bit more time. Mostly because my first taste of either dip was really underwhelming. I more-so tasted the creamy bases than anything else and texturally I found them unappealing. I decided to grab the Aldi-versions of Wheat Thins and give them each a try as an after-work snack to give these a fair shake, and these are my findings: 

Crab Rangoon: First impression was that this was insanely sweet. Normally when you order crab wantons, or crab rangoon, from your local take-out place it comes with this little tub of brightly red-colored syrupy sweet dipping sauce. I hate that sauce, and usually eat my rangoon with sweet chili sauce instead...but here it seems like they included it in the overall dipping experience so there's no avoiding it.
Other than the sweet creamy base, there are bits of artificial crab, celery, red bell pepper, and onion (I think.) I can't quite tell if there are actual bits of onion in here, or just onion flavoring in the base itself. This also seems to be more cream-cheese base, which makes sense, so it has a stiffer consistency. The chunks in this one are small and very easy to scoop up onto your chip/cracker, and overall I would say it nearly replicates a crab rangoon experience, just a little too creamy and on the sweet-side to be 100% successful.  


Lobster Roll: Honestly, this one tastes an awful lot like tuna fish, but you replaced the tuna with artificial crab. Unlike the crab version, this is mayo based, making it thinner and more sandwich-spread-like in texture. According to the ingredients there is real lobster in here, somewhere, but there is also fake lobster/crab made of whiting and pollock, and if I'm being honest...I can't taste a difference between any of the "chunks." The base is creamy, with a heavy dill and garlic flavor, and there are tiny bit of pepper and what I think is more celery, but the majority of this dip is the base and lumps of "lobster."
I found this flavor to be fairly accurate, but my only real lobster roll experience was the one random time they started selling them at Panera Bread when I worked there. As a dip, this is really hard to manage. The chunks are very big and difficult to scoop up, and once most of the chunks are gone you're left with a really thin mayo-based dip that doesn't feel nearly as satisfying. 
It took me about a week of snacking to figure out how I really felt about both of these dips. They made a really handy after-work snack when it was hot and I was too lazy to start cooking dinner. But neither flavor really won me over. I don't think I would buy either of these again for my own consumption, and since no one is hosting any parties anytime soon...I doubt I'll be picking either up for any future shindigs. 
Fans of these would also like: Takoyaki, Bertolli Lobster and Ricotta Ravioli, or Panera Lobster Bisque
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