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Specially Selected Pesto Macaroni & Cheese (Aldi)

I would say that I’m not that big of a fan of pesto, though the only times I’ve ever had it, involved buying it from the supermarket. And that can be enough to ruin just about anything. Yet I have reviewed both of Specially Selected’s other gourmet macaroni and cheese products (you can see those reviews here), so I figured I might as well go ahead and complete the trifecta.

True to form, I wasn’t really a big fan. There’s just something about pesto that doesn’t do anything for me, which is certainly odd, considering I like just about all of the ingredients separately. Of course, like I said, I’ve never had the fresh stuff, and I’m sure something is lost in the translation of shoving it into a boxed, factory-made macaroni and cheese product.

The pestos I’ve had can best be described as “bland and salty”, a combination that you don’t hear of too often; this one is certainly no different. There’s definitely a cheese flavor, courtesy of the accompanying cheese powder packet, but this it gives way to a pesto flavor that consists largely of salt, maybe a hint of basil, and then that’s about it. Maybe I’m just expecting too much from pesto; maybe it’s supposed to be a lighter flavor that just kind of shows up and just as quickly disappears. I thought maybe Specially Selected would have the antidote for that kind of thought process; that they would have the first pesto recipe to truly wow me, and turn me into a believer.

They didn’t.

Overall: 4/10. Take this review with a grain of this product’s saltiness, because I’m not a huge pesto fan, but I was not at all impressed with this dish. I should mention I’ve only had pestos a few times, and all of them were in supermarket products; I was hoping Specially Selected would make me a believer of pesto, but they failed in the same regards as other ones I’ve had. There’s some cheesiness, courtesy of the sauce packet, and then saltiness, followed by a hint of basil, and then…nothing. That’s it. Maybe it’s supposed to be like this, and I’m just expecting too much, but I was not a fan at all.

This Post Has 6 Comments

  1. Anonymous

    going to try the pesto mac and cheese made with half wine and half water, should tone down the saltiness. After reading this review however, I will also add some Italian sausage to it, somehow I think this will provide what is missing.

  2. atom

    Let me know how that worked out for you. I'm not against trying it again, but it definitely needed something that was missing from the box. I'd much prefer the cheapo name brand mac and cheeses over that "gourmet" variety, at least as-is.

  3. Anonymous

    I'm gourmet addict myself, have been a frequent consumer of Annies dry Mac N Cheese products. Either Aarontom reviewed something completely different from the Aldis Specially Selected Pesto Mac and Cheese, or a very foul batch of it shipped from Italy to the US. Well, it actually was a darker shade of green than depicted on the box when made according to the directions on the same, and it smelled and tasted like something that only would have been scooped up from an Italian cat-litter box, dried in the sun, and then packaged for American consumption. I know the Italians hate Americans, but hey, Italy…..we still hate you for Mussolini and Nero. And your shitty exports!

  4. American Socialist

    Absolutely disgusting! Wouldn't be worse if it actually was dried crap scooped out of my cat's box!

  5. Anonymous

    If you're on a diet, this will make you lose weight from vomitng at the first whiff! Save your money,don't wast it on this crap.

  6. atom

    Alrighty, well you certainly made your point…three separate times.

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