Tuesday, May 17, 2022

A Frugal Indulgence for a Millennial Marie Antoinette - Aldi Spring Assortment Macarons

Aldi Spring Macarons

There is a clear difference between freshly-made bakery macarons and mass produced frozen ones BUT that doesn't mean frozen macarons are bad. They're just different. 

Pros of frozen macarons: more affordable, are readily available in stores like Aldi, Walmart, Lidl, etc., keep for a long time but are quick to thaw for snacking.

Cons of frozen macarons: Their stability means they aren't as decadent or delicate as freshly made, and they tend to come in boring flavors. If you'd seen one box of frozen macrons, you've  seen them all. 

Until now that is. Aldi is opening their frozen macaron section up to seasonal flavors, like this spring box. I hope this is the start of a trend and we see more, maybe even limited edition, flavors in the future. So, what's in this spring mix and how does it compare to the normal year-round one? 

We have 6 flavors: Blueberry, Raspberry, Blood Orange, Coconut, Pistachio, and Lemon. Like most frozen macaron boxes, we get 2 of each flavor, making 12 macarons in total.  

(purple x purple) The scent of this one reminds me a little of Skittles, which is interesting. Blueberry on it's own can be very sweet and one-note, which is why it is normally paired with lemon. But in this case, it's sweet and jammy. The best thing I can liken it to is blueberry themed breakfast cereal. I can't remember if I have ever had a blueberry macaron before, so points for originality. (Although, like Whose Line is it Anyway, the points don't matter.) Yummy cookie, but it isn't going to change your life. 

Raspberry: (pink) Barely there fruity aroma. I feel like raspberry is included in every frozen macaron box I have ever seen, so I wasn't very excited about seeing it again here. It's filling is the most jam-like of the box, and it has actual seeds in it. Nice, but nothing revolutionary. Take a macaron shell, fill it with a slightly dehydrated scoop of jam so it's chewy and denser than usual, and you have this. It's possibly the strongest flavor in this mix, with the least buttery filling, and I like it, but I would have liked to see something more unique and original. 

Blood Orange: (orange x orange) it has a light citrus aroma, but it tastes really rich. Like the filling is butter-based, with a bright zesty orange flavor. It isn't as bold as I expected from something marketed as "blood orange," more like orange Creamsicle, but it's very delicious and very different from normal frozen macaron offerings.  

(tan x white) smells faintly tropical, kind of like sunscreen. Another rich flavor, but this time it's more like coconut oil than butter cream. The filling's texture is incredibly smooth, like a normal, plain, macaron shell filled with Goya Cream of coconut. I've had more flavorful and decadent coconut macarons from ICI in Philadelphia, but for something that came from Aldi's freezer section for roughly $5.00, it's pretty great. I wish I could buy a whole box of just this flavor. 

Pistachio: (green x green) A light, indistinct, nutty aroma. Easily the weakest flavor of the bunch. It's filling is buttery, like the blood orange, but there isn't much pistachio flavor. It gets lost in the almond-based cookie. I normally love pistachio, but this is pretty weak. Plus it's in every frozen macaron box. 

Lemon: (yellow x yellow) Lightly zesty smell. This filling is bright, a little tart, and "zingy." It doesn't qualify as sour, but it is significantly more tart than the other offerings which is a welcome change of pace. That said, I had had bolder, brighter, zestier lemon macarons, but considering this came from the freezer, it's not bad at all. The filling is creamy, imagine lemon curd whipped into butter cream frosting, and the texture is very nice. I'm pretty sure this is in their year-round box, so it's not "new for spring," or anything.

Speaking of "not new," Aldi's original box comes with Raspberry, Lemon, Pistachio, Salted Caramel, Chocolate and Vanilla. Three of those flavors (lemon, pistachio, and raspberry) are repeated here. That's half the box. I'm not thrilled about that. 

The only "new" flavors are coconut, blood orange, and blueberry. I enjoyed all three, but I really wish all 6 flavors had been new-new. 

Even so, I do like these, especially their price point. Bakery fresh macarons are currently going for $2.50 a piece in my area, so a dozen would be $30 bucks. As much as I love fresh macarons, and as delicious as they can be, I simply cannot afford to indulge as often as I would like. That's where products like these come in.   

These frozen ones perfect for late night snacking, or last minute tea parties, and I intend to finish the rest of this box as I soak in a bubble bath and watch HBO on my laptop, like a Millennial Marie Antoinette. Try and grab a box before they disappear, but even if you miss out, you'll always have Paris the year-round box. 

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1 comment:

  1. I have always hesitated to buy these Macarons but now that they're changing the flavors seasonally, my interest has peaked. :) Have to get them next trip for sure!