03 June, 2009

Dollar Store Nightmares: Circle A Ranch Homestyle Meatballs

"Meatballs from the dollar store," my wife said. "You have got to be kidding me."

But I wasn't kidding; I had bought a seven-ounce package of frozen meatballs at Dollar Tree and was trying to interest the rest of the family in trying them. My wife and daughter read the ingredients and opted out, but the dog - functionally illiterate - was interested. I admit the ingredient list was kind of scary: Mechanically separated chicken, chicken skin added, water, soy flour, beef, and then a long list of the spices and chemicals which comprised "2% or less" of the total. Heh. Mechanically separated chicken and chicken skin. These things are basically flavored balls of food-grade slag.

I dumped the meatballs from the bag onto a foam plate and microwaved them for about two minutes, following the package instructions. The results were interesting. Far from the neatly spherical, meaty-looking "serving suggestion" on the package, the meatballs were misshapen lumps that looked like they had been made by wrapping long ribbons of extruded pulp over on itself. They smelled fascinating: exactly like leftover KFC after sitting in the refrigerator for a day or so. Moist but not wet, and not greasy, the texture was firm and consistent though quite spongy. They were a little salty but rather inoffensive - overall, they just lacked any real defining flavor other than "leftover chicken."

I never did get my wife and daughter to have a bite, but the dog was quite enthusiastic and enjoyed most of them that evening, chopped up and mixed with his kibble for supper.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Circle A chicken breast strips at Dollar Tree are very good , we eat them alot i would pass on Circle A Meatballs at Dollar Tree but the Circle A chicken breast strips at Dollar Tree are total A++ but i also did not care for the Circle A Meatballs

Anonymous said...

Circle A chicken breast strips at Dollar Tree are very good , we eat them alot i would pass on Circle A Meatballs at Dollar Tree but the Circle A chicken breast strips at Dollar Tree are total A++ but i also did not care for the Circle A Meatballs

Anonymous said...

I just bought two packages of circle a ranch chicken meatballs. They made spaghetti night hassle free and they were pretty good - my husband said they were alot like chef boyardee meatballs and we all enjoyed them.