My family and I are lucky enough to have a Filipino community of family friends in my hometown, many of whom include children my age. Every culture boasts their own kind of parties, and Filipinos aren’t any different. Now, you might think this might be an article about Filipino food – not yet, fellow readers, but soon enough! No, instead, I’ll actually be talking about a very specific dessert that was always present at our almost-weekly parties during my middle school years (the frequency of which was due to us making every occasion a reason to celebrate, whether it be a simple birthday or a Manny Pacquiao match). One constant to the parties was the constant cycle of food, a delicious mix of Filipino and American classics. My sisters and I had it down to a system: We would start out with a round of the Filipino foods, simmering away on their aluminum buffet trays, then return to indulge in the (mostly store-bought) American dishes that stragglers had brought, like a box of pizza or a bucket of KFC chicken. Without fail, a family always brought a platter of store-bought cheesecake, the one with a medley of flavors. I’m not really a purist about cheesecake – I think it’s delicious in all forms and I’m not sorry. Yesterday was my friend’s birthday, and, somehow, she ended up with much more cheesecake than she had bargained for. Luckily for her, I was more than willing to revisit a childhood favorite, although I felt a bit sugar-sick afterwards. I had at least a bite of each flavor from a platter from Price Chopper and a platter from Walmart – here’s how I compare and rate them.
Both stores had their version of New York style. If you want that classic, tangy flavor, both brands have solid reiterations, although neither are the best you can get out of the selection. If you’re planning on dressing up your slice like with some strawberries or some hot fudge, then both certainly do the trick, but I never reach for the plain slice if there’s still more of the others. Price Chopper’s version gets a slight leg up because its crust is more substantial than Walmart’s.
Price Chopper: 3.75/5
The Chocolates: Chocolate Marble vs. Fudge Brownie vs. Triple Chocolate (Walmart)
I was blessed with not one, not two, but three kinds of chocolate cheesecake. The Price Chopper platter is the size of an actual cake, so it has two flavors (triple chocolate and fudge brownie), while Walmart mini-platter has triple chocolate marble. I would say, if you’re really in the mood for indulgent chocolate – which I pretty much always am – then Price Chopper is the way to go, as both of their kinds are very chocolate-forward. Fudge brownie has some texture variation with the crackly top of a baked brownie, and triple chocolate is more like a denser version of chocolate cake with the flavor coming in forms of chocolate chips, a chocolate drizzle and the chocolate cheesecake base. Both are delicious, it just depends on what you’re in the mood for. Walmart’s chocolate marble is quaint and offers a nice swirl of the flavor if you don’t want your whole slice to be chocolate and you still want to have the tang of the base cake. However, if I want chocolate, I would probably go for either of Price Chopper’s selections.
Chocolate Marble (W): 4.25/5
Fudge Brownie (PC): 4.5/5
Triple Chocolate (PC): 4.5/5
The Strawberry Swirls
I almost wasn’t sure if I was eating a blueberry or raspberry swirl when I saw and took a bite out of Walmart’s strawberry swirl cheesecake. The color was a red-violet and the fruit flavor wasn’t very distinguishable, but it does add a tartness. It hits the spot if you want some fruity flavor with your cheesecake but it’s neither clearly strawberry-flavored nor the strongest slice in the platter. On the other hand, Price Chopper’s strawberry offering was a pleasant surprise, with a vibrant red marbling that carries the sweet strawberry flavor throughout the cake while still being balanced. It’s not one I would have initially reached for, but now it is one I’ll have to reconsider every time I crack into a new platter.
Price Chopper: 4/5
Let’s cut to the chase: I saved the best for last. Price Chopper’s extra flavor is a decadent mix of the caramel marbling with chocolate syrup, caramel syrup, chocolate chips and caramel chips. The chocolate crust is just the cherry on top (or crust on the bottom?).
Price Chopper: 5/5