It makes sense that Antoninus Pius died in 161 AD from eating too much cheese. Cheese is delicious. It’s creamy and sweet and salty and it always makes you go back for more and more until you die.
However, many people don’t have a Roman emperor cheese budget, or much budget at all. That's not to say they they don’t crave the finer things in life, because they do. They just do it on the cheap. Like me. I’m describing me. I’ve often craved something fine and expensive made from virginal goat nectar, but I've always had inadequate money, so I've settled on $2.50 cheese from Aldi.
But you know, those Aldi cheeses aren’t bad. Sometimes you can build a fancy cheese platter from non-fancy cheese. But how? you ask. Well I’ll show you. I’ve made a guide for all unemployed cheese lovers like myself. I tasted every supermarket cheese for $2.50 or less (I found 25 of them, mostly designed for kids' school lunches) so that you may live and die like the emperor you are.
Coles’ Tasty Light Cheese
It was a balmy Sunday morning, and I was eager for my breakfast of cheese. I had my Grapetiser. I’d worn my realest fake tie. I was even in a rose garden, and my palate was ready for action. And fortunately, Coles made a pretty rad cheese. It was fresh and cheddary, and had a semi-soft mouthfeel. This is the slice you’d gift a cartoon mouse.
Mainland’s Extra Tasty
I think this one had a great peanutty taste but… a bit of a doughy texture? Look, to be honest, I was a little distracted when reviewing this flavour. An elderly lady walked up to me and said: “out of all the roses in this garden, you’re the finest rose of them all.”
Woolworths’ Tasty Cheese Light
This cheese tasted exactly like the Coles one, but it had a better texture. It was crumbly yet soft and didn’t feel factory-made. It got an eight bourgeoisie out of 10.
Pantalica’s Parmesan Cheese
This parmesan was never designed for a cracker. And while it didn’t taste great away from its pasta home base, I could still recognise its greatness. We should ban all table salts, and just use parmy instead.
Coles’ Kids Triangles Cheese
Make it stop.
Cowbelle’s Mini Moons
Antoninus Pius! Do not take me with you!
Vepo Cheese’s Ghoda
I’m serious, the last four cheeses were the worst. They were all miniature, plastic-ish, and tasted like soft congealed milk. I mean, look at my face in those photos. My tongue was in unspeakable pain.
Woolworths’ Natural Tasty Cheese
I was back onto the mainstream cheddars and grateful. This cheese tasted like growing up in an Australian fringe suburb. It was mushroomy, salty, and had the texture of an expensive clay. This one was truly made for an emperor.
This tasty cheese wasn’t tasty, wasn’t cheese-esque, and was the first snack to challenge my life choices.
Look, maybe the parmesan had ruined my palate, because this cheese also had zero flavour. So I took a big swig of my “Christian wine” and never went back.
Coles’ Tasty Cheese
This tasted expensive and had a cheap mouthfeel. But more importantly, I was already starting to feel full. I was worried I’d end up like Pius.
Another stupid powdered parmesan. And a bad Woolworths one at that. I was relieved to say that this parmy tasted precisely like salted toaster crumbs.
Westacre’s Extra Tasty
Westacre’s Extra Tasty tasted like their Tasty, and their Tasty tasted just like their packaging.
Coles’ Vintage Cheese
At this point, I was feeling pretty sick of eating the strongest cheddars imaginable. And the Coles Vintage Cheese didn’t help. However, if this wasn’t your 11th cracker, you’d probably say it was average.
This was a cheese you’d make out with. It tasted like salted caramel, and that complemented its softer texture. I should have bought Colby some flowers.
Babybel Mini Cheese
Wow, what a sour and stubby piece of dairy slab. It brought back some good memories but honestly, the only fun part was unwrapping it.
Coles’ Grated Parmesan
I was now 101 percent full, and this parmesan wasn’t all that tranquil. But, for what it’s worth, it tasted exactly the same as Pantalicas. And it was also 40 cents cheaper.
Mainland’s Sweet Chilli and Cream Cheese
Ah! Praise be to Mainland. This cheese legitimately saved my stomach. Its sweet and spicy flavour not only gave me hope, but it was the best one I’d eaten that morning. If this creamy goodness didn’t exist, I’d be a corpse in a rose bush.
Emporium Selection Natural Cream Cheese
This was blander than Keith Urban. If you hate Philadelphia's cream cheese, and have lost all your tastebuds, then this is your new favourite flavour.
Emporium Selection’s Herbed Cream Cheese
The garlic and onion lift Emporium from a C-minus up to a frothing B-plus. Buy this cream for your house party. You’ll deserve a standing ovation.
Woolworths’ Fresh Mozzarella Cheese Ball
Okay, is it impressive that you can buy a mozzarella ball for $2.50? Yes. Is it astonishing that it has a five-star health rating? Absolutely. Did these facts make it delicious on a Ritz cracker? No, it tasted like raw egg yolk.
Manhattan’s Cream Cheese
Unremarkable. This cheese is a white guy named Michael.
Gravox’s Finishing Cheese Sauce
Alright, maybe I’m a monster: I found the Gravox to be bloody scrumptious. It tasted brackish and kind of like butterscotch and had some pleasant garlicky undertones. There was even a whiff of umami. Yup, this was somehow my fave cheese of the whole day.
Cowbelle’s Light Cheese Triangles
I had eaten 25 pieces of cheese and was feeling officially stuffed. Luckily, it was a Christmas dinner, birthday cake sort of full. I was glad that I’d defeated these brands and I wasn’t the next Antoninus Pius.
Oh, and the Cowbelle cheese triangles were completely forgettable.
So, now that I’m a cheese expert, what deals would I recommend? I would say that the Mainland’s Colby and Sweet Chilli, and the Woolworths tasty selection, were objectively excellent. I’d also state that you should never eat a supermarket mini cheese. And if you ever wanted to tear off your faux-bourgeois exterior, then buy a bucket of Gravox.
Please suggest other awful foods for Joel to review on Instagram