Aldi keeps a lineup of spices to fit any occasion, whether it be formal or fun. Stonemill Essentials is one of the grocer’s more common names in that category, and we can testify that the brand’s myriad offerings — from chili powder to cumin — are every bit as good as their counterparts in other grocery stores.
In this post, we’re taking at look at Stonemill Essential’s more whimsical spices.
The seasonings, which have your standard lids for pouring, come with a few brief instructions. They suggest possible uses; they vary a bit from seasoning to seasoning but all include popcorn. For popcorn, they specifically suggest spreading one capful into the popcorn, shaking the mixture, and sprinkling on more to taste. They also advise shaking the seasonings well before use.
Because they all suggest it, we tried out all the seasonings on popcorn. One common experience with all of them is that I found I needed a little more seasoning to achieve the desired flavor than I thought.
On to specific impressions.
Probably my favorite of this list. This seasoning produces a nice, clear white cheddar flavor, which is always an asset for popcorn. It reminded me of the white cheddar flavored variety I get at other stores, although I had to be fairly generous with it to achieve the desired result. In addition to popcorn, the packaging suggests this seasoning for potatoes, pasta, and salads.
Everyone loves ranch and this seasoning tastes like ranch should taste. No surprises there. It goes pretty well on popcorn, although the taste is admittedly a little exotic compared to what I’m used to for popcorn; I might like it better with other foods. On that note, the packaging suggests using it for potatoes, pasta, pizza, veggies, and salad.
I’m not sure what I was expecting with this, but I’m not sure it quite delivered. It tasted more like taco seasoning than cheddar cheese. To be fair, the packaging lists cheddar cheese as the main ingredient, but for whatever reason it didn’t quite do it for me, especially on popcorn. The packaging suggests potatoes, fries, pasta, eggs, and veggies as possible uses.
Like the container says, it’s butter flavor, and butter is one of the key ingredients. I found it to be decent, although I’m not sure I was totally won over with this as a true butter substitute. Some of it might be in the texture — it’s a powder, not a liquid, after all — and some of it might also be in the depth of the flavor. It tastes some like butter, but felt more like a substitute than a replacement. Potatoes, pasta, eggs, veggies, and rice are all listed as other possible targets.
Of the four versions I tested, White Cheddar was my favorite, although the Ranch is good, too. Not as big of a fan of the Nacho Cheddar, and the Butter was merely okay. We didn’t test them with foods outside of popcorn, although there are certainly no shortage of possible suggested uses on the respective packages.