12 Cheeses You Should And Shouldn't Be Buying From Aldi

No one is entirely certain when people began producing cheese, but historians know that the process had already become popular during the height of the Roman Empire. Today, people across the world enjoy countless iterations of this beloved dairy product on its own and as part of other dishes. A typical U.S. resident eats over 40 pounds of cheese per year as of 2021, representing an increase of five pounds over the last 10 years. 

Regarding cheese, the supermarket chain Aldi has made quite a name for itself. The company won the U.S. Product of the Year Award in the cheese category every year between 2020 and 2023, with a different product taking home the award each year. Aldi offers many basic cheeses consumers might expect to see at grocery stores, plus some exclusive flavors and seasonal varieties that are as unique as they are delicious. Some of the store's best cheeses are comparable to (or better than) high-end brands and are excellent options for your next cheese board. To that end, diehard Aldi fans have expressed their love for these cheeses across social media. 

However, some products don't live up to these standards. Despite their reasonable prices, these sub-par cheeses aren't worth adding to your grocery list. Here are some of the best and worst cheeses Aldi currently has to offer.

Buy: Emporium Selection Roasted Garlic With Tomato & Basil Hand-Crafted Cheese

Most people enjoy cheese on their pizza, but what about cheese that tastes like pizza? That's precisely how several Reddit users have described the Roasted Garlic With Tomato & Basil cheese from Emporium Selection. Some users have proclaimed this product to be their go-to Aldi cheese and recommend trying it on salads and pasta. This semi-soft cheese's Italian-inspired flavors give it a taste that is similar to a marinara or pizza sauce. It has a slightly softer consistency than Gouda and melts very evenly. The cheese is also heavily marbled, so every bite has an even amount of roasted garlic flavor.

This product would make a great addition to a cheeseboard, but some Aldi fans have found even more creative ways to use it. For example, in another Reddit thread dedicated to this product, one user suggests substituting it for the feta that's used in the viral baked feta pasta that took over TikTok. This would add a unique infusion of herbaceous flavor to the already delicious pasta dish. It would also be an excellent option for those who dislike the tang of feta or prefer a gooier cheese in their pasta sauces.

Don't Buy: Emporium Selection Smoked Gouda Cheese

Occasionally, a food product is mislabeled so severely that it inspires a class-action lawsuit. In 2021, Aldi faced legal woes over the sliced version of its Emporium Selection Smoked Gouda Cheese due to misleading information on the label. According to court documents, Aldi used a food additive called liquid smoke to flavor its Gouda, instead of naturally smoking the cheese. The flavor it imparts is very mild, only adding a slight hint of smoke to complement the natural sweetness of the cheese. This could be disappointing for consumers who want a more full-bodied smokiness. 

The plaintiff argued that the label should reflect that the cheese is smoke-flavored instead of literally smoked given that the resulting taste isn't fully comparable. Although the lawsuit centered around the sliced smoked Gouda, the not-quite-transparent advertising may make consumers think twice about purchasing the block version, too. Nevertheless, liquid smoke is a widely used flavor enhancer that has been on the FDA's list of "Generally Recognized As Safe" ingredients for decades. For those who are less particular about the origins of a product's cookout-inspired flavor, the cheese could still be worth trying.

Buy: Earth Grown Vegan Mozzarella Style Shreds

Plenty of vegan cheese options are available today, but finding one with a convincingly creamy texture is difficult. Luckily, Aldi shoppers can enjoy a satisfying plant-based option in Earth Grown Vegan Mozzarella Style Shreds. It's not the only vegan cheese Aldi has ever offered (a TikTok user even found vegan blue cheese and feta at one store), but it is one of the most widely available. This cheese comes in an eight-ounce bag instead of the 12-ounce bags provided for dairy-based cheese at Aldi. However, many argue that the delicious flavor and melty texture more than make up for the slightly smaller package. Like quite a few Aldi cheeses, it's also a great value compared to similar products at other stores. 

Reviewers from Abillion have given this product high praise for its meltiness, and many recommend using it on pizza to take advantage of that effect. Several reviews also note that this mozzarella has a very convincing cheese pull, which is uncommon for vegan cheeses. In addition to pizza, Abillion users suggest adding this mozzarella to tostadas, grilled cheese sandwiches, and even macaroni and cheese. Although it would work in many dishes, some reviewers warn that this cheese's subtly nutty flavor and slightly crumbly consistency are much better when melted than eaten straight out of the bag.

Don't Buy: Happy Farms Cream Cheese

Cream cheese is one of the most versatile dairy products around. It forms the basis of multiple sauces and dips, can be part of delicious cake frosting, and it's hard to find a more perfect food pairing than cream cheese and bagels. The most readily available option in Aldi stores is Happy Farms Cream Cheese, which comes in the familiar block variety or as a spread. Consumers can purchase the spreadable version in either a traditional or whipped texture. All three options are the same size, so shoppers can take their pick without sacrificing on quantity. Unfortunately, though, many argue that this cheese's quality is another thing altogether. Some Aldi fans think shoppers should skip this product altogether. 

One Reddit user devoted a whole thread to complaining about the blandness of this cream cheese, and many other users agreed. The thread's comment section is full of consumers who are disappointed with this spread's lackluster flavor, especially compared to some of Aldi's other products. Consumers have lodged similar complaints on Facebook, where one poster notes that the cream cheese they purchased had an unpleasantly tart flavor. Several other users echoed this concern, though some were more forgiving of this product. Overall, the lack of consistency in the taste of this cream cheese may not be worth the risk, even for such a low price.

Buy: Emporium Selection Cranberry White Cheddar Cheese

Sweet and savory flavors can create delicious combinations, so Emporium Selection Cranberry White Cheddar Cheese sounds great. It combines large chunks of cranberries with a pleasantly sharp, slightly crumbly white cheddar and is sold as an eight-ounce round. Although it's technically a seasonal item, this cheese has reappeared on Aldi shelves for multiple years thanks to its enduring popularity. It is especially easy to find around Thanksgiving and the winter holidays when many people enjoy festive dishes such as cranberry sauce and party favorites like cheese-laden charcuterie boards.  

One Aldi shopper recommended this particular cheese on Facebook, and multiple other users chimed in to share their love for this product. A few suggested using it for a unique spin on grilled cheese, while others recommend enjoying the cheese as-is. Of course, it would also make a great addition to a cheese board. For example, one Reddit user shared a photo of this unconventional cheddar paired with assorted berries, crackers, meats, and other cheeses. Others commented that this cheese is one of their favorites and is a must-buy whenever it is in stock.

Don't Buy: Happy Farms American Cheese Singles

No one expects sliced American cheese to be superior to other types of cheese. Still, Aldi fans are divided on whether or not Happy Farms American Cheese Singles stack up to the competition. This cheese comes in a 16-slice package for a decent price, but some Reddit users believe it leaves much to be desired. A few bluntly describe this cheese as trash, while one user even theorizes that milk bottles might be included in the ingredients list. Furthermore, some users dislike the consistency of this cheese when it's melted, which can make for a disappointing grilled cheese sandwich. 

The consensus is that this cheese's flavor and texture pales when measured against other brands. However, not all Happy Farms American cheese is of low quality. Most posters in the Reddit thread agree that the deluxe version of this product is a much better buy in terms of taste. These slices are less processed than their individually-wrapped counterparts and have a more convincing cheese flavor. They also have a more pleasing melt factor, making them perfect for both hot and cold sandwiches. However, the deluxe slices are more expensive than the standard version.

Buy: Emporium Selection Parmesan Cheese Wedge

Wedges of Parmesan cheese can be very pricey, especially for well-aged and imported varieties. This cheese develops increasingly complex flavors over time, which means that the aging process sometimes last 30 months or more. Although the advertised maturation period for Emporium Selection Parmesan Cheese Wedge is significantly shorter, this cheese is still a delicious and affordable option. Parmesan aged 12 months or less is still considered immature and has a milder flavor than older cheeses. According to the label, this Parmesan is aged for at least 10 months, likely making it a fairly young cheese. Moreover, the label notes the cheese is inspired by Italian Parmesans, but it is manufactured in the U.S.  

If that doesn't bother you, then you may find real value in this cheese. As Aldi Reviewer explains, this cheese would be excellent paired with wine, particularly a sparkling variety like Prosecco. The reviewer recommends enjoying this cheese in small doses due to its pleasantly intense flavor. However, like most Parmesans, it would also be excellent grated over various dishes. One YouTube reviewer describes the cheese as perfectly salted with a subtle note of sweetness and recommends shaving it over a salad. The reviewer also recommends this cheese because of its simple ingredient list, which excludes artificial flavorings and preservatives.

Don't Buy: Emporium Selection Hot Honey Gouda Cheese

Aldi often features cheeses with unique flavor combinations, and Emporium Selection Hot Honey Gouda Cheese is no exception. This cheese is part of a summer-themed selection of flavored Goudas, which also includes spinach and artichoke and Sriracha varieties. Since spicy hot honey has become a cult favorite in recent years, it's no surprise that the discount grocery chain tried to capitalize on the distinctive condiment with this cheese. Unfortunately, as a TikTok reviewer and others have discovered, this cheese doesn't live up to its exciting name. 

The reviewer tried this cheese melted and found that it had a nice consistency. However, it was utterly devoid of honey flavor. The cheese is also not particularly spicy despite the presence of crushed red pepper on its ingredients list. Although Gouda is delicious in its unadulterated form, this cheese will likely disappoint those who are craving the taste of hot honey. Unfortunately, it is also the weakest option in its product group. As one Aldi aficionado posted on Instagram, the other two flavors are far better than the Hot Honey Gouda. Based on the comments on this post, most Gouda lovers would be better off trying the Sriracha Gouda.

Buy: Emporium Selection Irish Cheddar Assortment

As you may guess, cheesemakers craft Irish cheddar from milk derived from Ireland-based cows. When finished, this cheese typically remains in its natural white form. Aldi shoppers can enjoy three varieties of this famous cheese as part of the Emporium Selection Irish Cheddar Assortment, which is sold in distinctive colorful packages. Although Aldi frequently offers Irish-themed seasonal products around St. Patrick's Day, these cheeses are part of the store's year-round inventory. The brand has labeled each according to age: mild, mature, and vintage. 

According to Aldi Reviewer, each flavor has something worthwhile to offer cheddar fans, like a smooth consistency and subtle flavor in the mood version. By comparison, the reviewer found the mature cheddar to be slightly tangier, with a taste halfway between mild and sharp. The vintage version is the likely best option for those who enjoy sharp cheddar.

Several users in a Reddit thread devoted to the most beloved Aldi cheeses mention this product assortment as a must-have. One suggests trying the vintage cheddar with crackers and raspberry preserves for a nice balance of salty and sweet. These cheeses would also make an excellent cheddar option for a cheeseboard or melted in a grilled cheese sandwich. 

Don't Buy: Emporium Selection Brie Cheese Round

Brie likely has its origins in 7th-century France and is still beloved by cheese connoisseurs today. For Aldi shoppers, this soft cheese comes in the form of the Emporium Selection Brie Cheese Round. This basic brie is available year-round and is best served gently warmed or at room temperature. Although the low price may make this product seem like a steal, the taste may push consumers to look elsewhere for their favorite French cheese. 

Brie is typically nutty and buttery, but many Reddit users feel that Aldi's version fails to capture that signature flavor. In the thread, the original poster describes their struggle to like this cheese, explaining that they tried it with and without the rind. They found the inner cheese tasteless and overly salty. Several users responded with their own criticisms, describing the cheese as too mild and bland. One user didn't pull any punches when giving their opinion: "It tastes like the smell of wet paper towels. It's the only Aldi cheese I won't buy."

Buy: Emporium Selection Apple Smoked Gouda Cheese

Many of Aldi's cheeses are award-winning, including the Emporium Selection Applewood Smoked Gouda. This Gouda is one of three applewood smoked cheeses, alongside cheddar and Gruyere. The collection earned a 2023 gold medal from Chefs In America for its exceptional flavor, an accolade the brand advertises on the label. These cheeses are cold-smoked for six hours using natural wood, which sets them apart from some of Aldi's other smoked cheeses. 

All three are a great buy, but the Gouda is especially noteworthy. Since applewood imparts a mildly sweet flavor when used for smoking, it blends perfectly with the nutty caramel notes of Gouda. In a Reddit thread that pitted three popular Emporium Selection Goudas against each other, users noted that the smoke flavor in this cheese is very subtle. This makes it an excellent choice for someone who wants to enjoy smokiness without losing the signature taste of the cheese. One user recommends trying this Gouda as a burger topping, but it would also work well as a slightly smoky addition to a charcuterie board. 

Don't Buy: Happy Farms Deli-Sliced Swiss Cheese

Most consumers expect deli-style cheese to be thinly sliced, but Happy Farms Deli-Sliced Swiss Cheese doesn't quite deliver on that promise. The cheese comes in a resealable package of 11 slices and is an affordable sandwich option. However, the slices are slightly thicker than many other deli-sliced cheeses, which may be disappointing for some Swiss cheese fans. Even if the slice thickness isn't an issue, the flavor might be. A YouTube reviewer had a mostly neutral reaction to this ho-hum cheese, describing it as neither awful nor excellent. 

Furthermore, Aldi Reviewer points out another problem: the packaging. The cheese comes in a plastic tray with a resealable flap that does little to protect it from air exposure. The result is a cheese that dries out faster than products in more secure containers, creating an unpleasant texture. Unfortunately, the packaging also contributes to premature spoilage. Unless consumers repackage this cheese themselves after opening it, they may find it growing mold long before they can finish eating it.