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10 Costco Cult Favorite Food Items

The Costco shopping cart awaits
The Costco shopping cart awaits. Photo from ozy.com

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10 Costco Cult Favorite Food Items

China Off Shore Trading Company? Rumor once had it that this was the spelled out name of Costco, and with the recent foray of the gigantic membership warehousing chain into Chinese territory in 2019, the rumors are afresh once more. Name aside, some of their products have attained iconic status since Costco’s 1976 Price Club days. And here you’ll find 10 Costco cult favorite items that will never die. These Costco oldies but goodies have withstood the test of time.

10. Costco Peanut Butter-Filled Pretzel Nuggets

Peanut Butter-Filled Pretzel Nuggets are among the top-selling snacks sold exclusively by Costco under the Kirkland Signature brand. Don’t try these nuggets at home or at work unless you have a tremendous amount of self-control. As many people have experienced, snack addiction is a point of no return with the first bite of these delicious salty and sweet Peanut Butter-Filled Pretzel Nuggets. That addiction can be multiplied exponentially by a previous love or devotion to peanut butter. But how healthy are Peanut Butter-Filled Pretzel Nuggets, anyways? Surely, if you’re going to get addicted to a snack, it’s got to be worth it, right?  Wrong. Peanut Butter-Filled Pretzel Nuggets will find you missing your healthy morning cereal and milk regime pretty soon. And the worst part of it all? The most addictive snack ever invented by humanity can easily add three inches to your waistline. Don’t say I didn’t say I didn’t warn ya. But what if you’re already hooked? Oh well, nobody can help you now. Not even Dr. Phil.

9. Costco Pre-Made Skillet Mac & Cheese

Craving that 27-pound bucket of Mac & Cheese? Well Costco’ got it. Obviously, the membership-only warehouse club’s Pre-Made Skillet Mac & Cheese is an upgrade for all Kraft Mac & Cheese lovers out there. And the best part of it is, the cooking is already a done deal. So all you have to do is heat up Costco’s incarnation or its reinvention of the Kraft Mac & Cheese Dinner. No boiling water, no mixing sauce – just heat and eat. However, if you still want to show off your cooking expertise, you can always put the Pre-Made Skillet Mac & Cheese in a nonstick pan on medium-high heat. Just don’t forget to act like you’re really cooking or your distinguished dinner guests might catch on. Although, if there are any Costco members on your guest list, consider yourself busted. Your chef-dom will never have been more short-lived. By the way, Costco’s Pre-Made Skillet Mac & Cheese in bucket format is supposedly enough to feed 180 people, no kidding. So if you need to bring something to a potluck dinner, then this dish is definitely your passport to keeping up with the Joneses. This giant bucket would also be good for reunions, cookouts, frat parties or served at a dinner party for 180 of your closest friends. As far as the 27-pound bucket is concerned, the Kirkland Mac & Cheese, as it’s also oftentimes called, comes in smaller sizes as well. So if you don’t need 27 pounds of Macaroni and cheese, you should be able to find a size that fits your needs. Of course, you do need that $60-membership card to dig into all the Mac & Cheese goodness that Costco has to offer.

8. Kirkland SignatureBacon / Pre-Cooked Bacon / Bacon Crumbles

Costco’s bacon sales are definitely something to write home about. The world’s number two retailer, second only to Walmart, has all the bacon you’ll ever need when you can’t get enough of it for breakfast. Costco’s Pre-Cooked Bacon is the perfect solution for busybodies everywhere. For those who really enjoy their morning bacon crunchy or toasted, just empty out the package of Costco Pre-Cooked bacon into a frying pan and just keep cooking until you reach that desired extra crunch. However, if you’re the type who doesn’t like their bacon overcooked, you’ll be fine and dandy doing nothing to the pre-cooked bacon except pop it in the microwave to heat up and then chow down. At 500 grams, the Costco Pre-Cooked Bacon or even Bacon Crumbles for that matter, should be sufficient for most needs. Costco sure knows how to save their members lots of prep time, at least as far as bacon or Mac & Cheese are concerned. You want convenience, you got it. Just think about how you’ll be saving yourself and you kitchen walls from all those splash burns and grease splatters. Ready-to-eat never had it so good. And it’s always done right, too. So right that the big bad wolf probably would have saved himself a lot of hassle if he had just gone to Costco.

7. Costco Baked Goods/Sheet Cake

How good are Costco’s baked goods? Well, the chain’s over 90 million members have a lot of good things to say. For starters, the Costco Sheet Cake definitely saves lots of baking and preparation time. Sheet cakes are the go-to when it comes to office parties and community events. Who wants to make a giant cake at home? Just go with the flow and save yourself precious time. It’s like prefab homes. With Costco baked goodies, you can let your imagination run wild with mixing and matching. And for that matter, adding your own touch with food decorations, spices, and toppings. The Costco test kitchen sure has a lot to teach cooking and baking aficionados. With a few additions, it’s easy to turn those Costco baked goods into something almost like your very own. And you’re gonna love yourself for it. Copycats are everywhere. But in this day and age, is there even such a thing as original anymore? With Costco’s Sheet Cake, originality has taken on a new meaning. Just imagine, for just $18.99, you can feed almost 50 hungry mouths. The same thing at Walmart will easily cost around $25 bucks. So do take advantage of that Costco membership. And just when you’ve run out of new baking or cake ideas, the Costco Bakery will be there to help you out with so many cake customization options that you’ll be left breathless with wonder. So you know what to do? When the creative juices have run out or you’re having the baking equivalent of writer’s block: Costco baked goods may be the best answer, at least from a multiple choice point of view.

6. Welcome to the World of Açai Bowls

Five-dollar Acai Bowls? You’d be crazy to say no to Costco. After all, Booster Juice and Jamba Juice wouldn’t go this low on price. But Costco does. And they can afford to because it all boils down to a numbers game. Ninety million Costco members multiplied by the $60 buck membership fee equals in excess of $5 billion dollars. Just imagine. This is before anyone even walks in the stores to make their first purchase. You can’t argue with such a strong financial foundation. This is what accounts for all the Costco price magic happening all around us. But what’s in an acai bowl, anyway? For the uninitiated, a bowl of acai typically contains acai, of course, in addition to strawberry, banana, dark chocolate, blueberry, and blackberry. And as the initiated would know, not all acai bowls are created equal. Also, the recent introduction of the acai bowl in Costco food courts across the United States is just one piece of proof that Costco is heading towards a future of healthy eating. The demise of the good old Costco Polish Dog may have brought tears to countless diners eyes, but for those seeking healthier options, the Costco acai bowl proves that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Although many probably would have just preferred the Polish Dog.

5. Basil Pesto, Kirkland Style

As the pioneer in the wholesale retailing biz, Costco sure knows how to pick a good horse. And the Kirkland Basil Pesto is the perfect example of this. If you haven’t been introduced into the world of pesto yet, where have you been? You can definitely begin with the sauce and dish-in-one that originated from Genoa, the capital city of Liguria, Italy. Like most pestos, the Costco brand of basil pesto is an uncooked seasoning which includes fresh basil, garlic, pine nuts, and oil. In comparison, the original Genoa recipe consists of crushed garlic, European pine nuts, coarse salt, basil leaves, hard cheeses, and of course, olive oil. For the uninitiated, it’s really easy to confuse basil pesto with guacamole because of the color. However, there’s absolutely no relation, whatsoever. Basil pesto is pure basil, with no avocado. But then again, who’s to stop an aspiring chef from innovating? Refrigerate your Costo Basil Pesto to get the most out of it. This will give you one to three weeks of useful life. As a royal member of the so-called Mediterranean diet, you get a passport to being healthy and who knows, maybe even longer life. If it’s going on three weeks and you haven’t touched your basil pesto yet, you better move it to the freezer already. Always remember, the Costco basil pesto had been prepared months before and stored at room temperature. That said, this dish and sauce-in-one will need your TLC. Some common traits of fresh basil gone bad are discoloration, moist texture, and a rotten smell. Basil will first become limp and then turn black. It can also change color from dark green to brown as the leaves lose natural oils.

4. Costco Dried Mango

Who doesn’t like mango, which, from the North American or European point of view, is that exotic fruit that some people can’t seem to get enough of? As it turns out, mango actually acts more like a hot tea on the body. In fact, it’s one of the only fruits that warms the body rather than cool it down. When you drink orange juice or apple juice, for example, it has a cooling effect on your body. Mango juice, on the other hand, does the complete opposite. And of course, even though it’s not in juice form, you can expect the same thing to happen when you eat a lot of Costco’s famed dried mango. There’s no surprise why it’s such a big hit. Especially for people who live in cold countries like Canada or Iceland. In fact, these people may not even know what the mango juice is doing once on the inside. There’s more than meets the eye when it comes to this exotic fruit. Eat enough of them and maybe you wouldn’t need a warm winter jacket or gloves in the cold weather. But what if you live in a warm climate? Mangos are popular in many Latin American countries and asian countries as well. Then again, who doesn’t love the mango? Costco and their dried version of this fruit could be the reason for the ever-expanding mango appetite.

3. Sheila G’s Brownie Brittle

Sheila G’s Brownie Brittle is a brownie reborn into a kind of a peanut brittle.  So who says that brownies can’t be brittle? Aren’t all brownies supposed to be heavenly soft? Well every now and then, someone turns the traditional into something new. Who knows why. Maybe because of an unexplainable craving for a crunchier brownie. Whatever the reason, this brownie is the best of both worlds. Brownie Brittle was invented by Sheila G. Mains in Palm Beach, Florida. Mains had been a commercial brownie baker since 1992. So good in fact, that she even purchased the telephone number 1-800-Brownie. Yes, you’ll also find these Brownie Brittles at Walmart, but hey, why go there when you have a Costco membership and you can grab a bite from the famed Costco food court at the same time? Sheila G’s Original Chocolate Chip Brownie Brittle contains, drum roll, please: Just 120 calories. If you’re a sucker for those crispy brownie edges, you’ll get a lot of them out of the 5 oz typical Costco Brownie Brittle bag. Some say these brownies are similar in taste to a Heath bar. So here’s a word of caution: the toffee crunch flavor is insanely addicting.

2. Rotisserie Chicken Meat

It seems that the cost-conscious consumer community has an eternal love affair with the Costco rotisserie chicken. After decades of offering this already cooked whole chicken to its members, the company has it all down pat. It’s this consistency and of course the $5.00 price tag that keeps the patented rotisserie chicken on the best seller list year after year. With this tremendous success, companies like Walmart and others are stuck trying to keep up and compete. The bottom line is, this is great news for all consumers looking for a deal when purchasing a cooked whole chicken. A rotisserie chicken is not only healthy but it’s super cheap, too, and will continue to feed hungry Costco patrons on a daily basis. And while you’re picking up that chicken, you can also grab some delicious Costco cookies for dessert.

1. Costco’s Dark Chocolate Potato Chips

Costco’s move to the Dark Side is complete. You’ll never look at potato chips the same way again. After a few bites of Sanders Dark Chocolate Potato Chips, you just can’t. Once your eyes and your taste buds have been opened, there’s just no turning back. The combination of chips and chocolate doesn’t sound like something that belong together. But this snack tells a different story. It seems chips and chocolate actually do make a great combo. Of course, there’s also the point of view that dark chocolate is healthier for you than its milk chocolate counterparts. No matter how controversial the research on this matter is, there will always be an iconic following for the dark-is-better belief. Take Darth Vader fans, for instance. So are you ready to go to the dark side? Then head to Costco. Costco continues to be the world’s largest retailer of choice when it comes to prime beef, organic foods, rotisserie chicken, and wine. It has a total of 759 warehouses around the world with the most being in the United States with 527. Like the Energizer bunny, Costco continues moving fast. They continue to grow thanks to loyal and new patrons who can never give up their favorite Costco items.

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