One of the most important factors that separate an excellent dish from a mediocre one is the ingredients. To the detriment of our wallets, many chefs stress that the best-quality produce should be sourced from boutique purveyors and specialty stores, so we were surprised to discover that one foodie turns to a common discount supermarket chain for these best-quality buys: Aldi.
Hali Bey Ramdene, food editor at The Kitchn, reveals that the German supermarket is her go-to for high-quality chocolate, an entertaining and cooking staple during the holiday season. Ramdene, who has a degree in gastronomy, says if you only shop at Aldi for one thing, this should be it.
"Most of the chocolate you'll find here has all the hallmarks of high-quality chocolate—it melts well (the white chocolate will surprise you) and has a rich, silky texture," she explains. The products fall under "multiple in-house brands" and span everything from almond-filled treats and cooking chocolate to 80% dark chocolate bars.
While Aldi's reputation tends to attract cost-conscious shoppers rather than seasoned chefs, Ramdene notes that the supermarket's origin could explain its surprisingly gourmet chocolate offering. "Most of the chocolate is produced in Germany, Belgium, and Austria under a European tradition, which accounts for its smooth, buttery texture," she writes. "It's not all too surprising, given Aldi's German heritage."
Where do you shop for the best cooking ingredients? Share your tips and reviews.