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Food Review: Tuscan Garden Cheese & Garlic Croutons

Tuscan Garden Cheese & Garlic Croutons
Available at Aldi, costs less than a name brand, tastes just as good.

A salad is always better with croutons.  It's a texture element that kicks rabbit food up a notch.  Croutons are also good additions to a variety of casseroles, soups, and stews, and make a great base for stuffings. 

I recently picked up a bag of Tuscan Garden Cheese & Garlic Croutons at Aldi.  Regular readers know that I'm a fan of the discount grocer, doing my regular grocery shopping there and always posting cost comparisons and savings on  I'm not big on name brands when it comes to grocery items.  In my experience, store or discount brands are every bit as good as the name brand, 8 out of 10 times, and cost less.

So where do croutons fall?  I mean, we're basically talking about stale bread with flavoring.  Can there really be much of a difference in flavor and product quality?

No.  The Tuscan Garden Cheese & Garlic are good croutons, you get the cheese and garlic notes, the flavor isn't weak, it's not overpowering, it's not too salty, and there's the crunch factor you expect from a crouton.  This is a perfectly good crouton product.  So why spend more for similar flavor and texture?

Tuscan Garden Croutons
Croutons on a simple side salad

Costing $1.25 at Aldi for a 5-ounce bag, I'm giving Tuscan Garden Cheese & Garlic Croutons 5 out of 5 Bachelor on the Cheap Stars.  What can I say, we're talking about croutons here and while they do help elevate a salad, it's not like we're talking about a product with a true "Wow" factor, it's stale bread with a little flavor.  No brand of crouton has ever "Wowed" me.  Tuscan Garden croutons do the job of "helping" a salad and are a nice addition as a topping to soups and casseroles.  Compare that price to Dillons store brand Kroger Homestyle Cheese & Garlic Croutons priced at $1.39 for a 5-ounce bag and name brand New York Bakery Texas Toast Cheese and Garlic Croutons priced at $1.99 for a 5-ounce bag.

$pend Wisely My Friends...

~ Mike


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