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  • Writer's pictureJohn Boccellari


I figured that it was time to branch out from Trader Joe's shadows and do a product review of another local grocery store. If you haven't visited Lidl and you have one near you, just bite the bullet and give them a shot. They have a great quality selection of food for a more reasonable price then most grocery stores and I have found that I am tending to go to them for certain things then the bigger chains like Shop Rite or Stop and Shop. I saw the Seafood Paella on my recent visit and felt that I just had to give it a try.

At first glance, the frozen paella was what I expected, frozen bits of rice and pieces of tiny shrimp, mussels and one piece of pollack. That's right, one single piece of pollack. Hopefully it wasn't intentional during packaging. I did feel gypped when I saw the single piece.

I chose to microwave the paella instead of rehearing on the stove top. Usually I do not microwave shellfish to reheat. But since it was one of the two recommended ways to reheat, I thought I would try it this way just to see how it turned out. The microwave recommendation is to reheat for 8-9 minutes and let stand for 1-2 minutes. I chose to reheat for 8 minutes in a microwave safe bowl, mix the contents of the bowl and then microwave for an additional 2 minutes. Then I let it stand for 1 minute. As you can see from the photos, the rice reheated nicely and the mussels looked decent for what they were.

Time to taste. As mentioned above, there was only one piece of pollack which honestly I could have done without. The single piece of fish tasted fine but I'd rather not have it if I were only getting one piece. Having the single piece only made me want more. The mussels actually tasted fine as well. They had good flavor and the texture was okay. No it does not beat a fresh mussel, how could it. But for what it was, I was okay with it. The shrimp were very itty bitty tiny. One shrimp was actually slightly bigger than a grain of rice. Don't get me wrong, I am certainly not expecting a U15 in a product like this but shrimp as small as grains of rice is a first for me. The rice itself with the vegetables was actually pleasant and enjoyable.

With that said, I give the Lidl Preferred Selection Seafood Paella a 6.1. This was definitely not restaurant quality paella but it was also far above the worst paella that I've ever had. If the issues that I pointed out were not relevant, this product would have had a very different score. I know how that sounds but I would recommend this product for you to try, you may feel differently about it. Enjoy!

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