This store is crazy busy. The worst is that the lines at the cash registers are always super long and seem to move slowly too. They could really benefit from having some self-checkout lanes or quite a few actually. When we were in line waiting, I must have looked really frustrated because the woman in front of me suggested we try the Costco in Lakeside next time where it is less busy and the people are friendlier. Unfortunately, when I look on the mostly useless Costco UK website I can’t find a location that seems to correspond to that but with help from Google Maps I believe this is the one in Thurrock. This one seems kind of farther, however, I am going to take her advice and try going to another location in one of the upcoming weeks.
Scottish Salmon Fillet – We actually got this last week and used the coupon for £2.00 off but I forgot to write about it. It was really delicious though, as all of the Costco Salmon is no matter where you shop. They don’t specify on the package if this is farm raised or not (doesn’t matter to me but does to a lot of people). The taste was a little stronger than the farm raised salmon that we’ve had in the US; maybe that is an indication that it isn’t farmed. What I really appreciate was that, just like in the US, they take out all the little pin bones and take the skin off of it too. We are big fans of salmon and eat it all the time, probably the fish we eat the most really. Because it is so versatile it can handle any kind of spice combo and pretty much any side dishes too. Sometimes we like it prepared really simply with salt, pepper, dill and lemon slices but sometimes we get more elaborate and do a kind of blackened Cajun thing or just about anything else that I feel like throwing on it. The fish at Costco (US or UK, doesn’t matter) is always so fresh and delicious, it is just easy to prepare because it always comes out really nicely. This time we had some sauteed mushrooms, onions and zucchini as a side dish along with some Basmati rice. It was so delicious! This was a big piece of fish, so I decided to freeze half of it. I’ve never done that before with the salmon we’ve gotten from Costco, so I’m hoping this works out well when we thaw it out. 0.866 kg for £6.22 (£8.22 – £2.00 off coupon), £9.49 per kg (US: $9.58 ($12.66 – $3.08 off coupon), $14.61 per kg). Item #: 0001157.
Charlie Bingham’s Chicken & Haloumi Kebabs – I’ve tried all kinds of froze or fresh prepared items from Costco, but this is definitely one of the best. Both Dave and I absolutely loved these kebabs! I wish we had bought more, a situation I will definitely rectify next time we are at Costco. The kebabs are hand-skewered (fancy) with pieces of chicken, haloumi and red peppers with a scrumptious blend of Moroccan spices. The chicken is incredibly tender and juicy. And well, the haloumi is of course yummy because it is grillable cheese. But for sure the spice mixture elevates this to a whole new level of deliciousness. It’s a pretty complex blend of spices: parsley, coriander (fresh and ground), honey, Greek yogurt, paprika, black pepper, lemon juice, cumin, salt, cinnamon, ginger, tumeric, and cayenne pepper. As with a lot of mixtures like this, cinnamon is the overwhelming fragrance, so the kitchen smelled great even after we were done cooking them. The ideal cooking method for these would be on the barbeque, but not all of us have one of those. So, in our case, we use the broiler/grill in our oven and it worked quite well. For best results, you really need to thaw these out before you cook them, no matter the cooking method. It didn’t take very long to prepare them either, certainly less than 20 minutes from fridge to plate. The kebabs are so delicious and well-seasoned, that you can have something like plain rice with them for a good accompaniment. Just thinking about how yummy they were, has me wishing that I had some more for dinner tonight. 10 kebabs for £9.39 (US: $14.46). Item #: 0097122.
Orville Redenbacher’s Gourmet Movie Theatre Butter Popcorn – Dave is a big fan of popcorn of most any flavor, but his favorite is just butter, I think. So, when we had a little sample of this stuff at Costco he had to have some. It was so mean of Costco to do a demonstration of this too because it smelled so good and you could smell it all over the store! So, if there was any doubt, this is the kind of stuff that you get in little packets and put in the microwave to pop. It makes a nice snack because it is quick to make. Plus, popcorn isn’t the most unhealthy thing you could choose to eat either; one serving has 25% of your daily grain intake according to the box. So, now instead of eating something super bad like a chocolate bar, Dave will grab one of these bags and have a yummy snack in a few minutes. And of course, since it is movie theatre butter flavored it has this big buttery flavor and smell, which makes it seem even better. The impressive thing is that there are hardly ever unpopped kernels in the bottom of the bag either; just lots of fluffy popcorn. 32, 3.3 ounce bags for £7.65 (US: $11.78). Item #: 0095683.
Green Williams Pears – I love pears, usually. But I was not enjoying these so much. There were a couple of problems with them. First, they had a mealy texture that was really unappetizing. Normally, a good pear has a fabulous crisp texture, similar to an apple. However, these were almost grainy in texture. Secondly, they didn’t last very long at all. There weren’t many in the package but three of them went bad while we were eating others. There were only eight in this carton, thankfully, and we ended up having to pitch at least 3 of them. When we picked them up at Costco they looked okay, not all bruised and nasty or anything. Weirdly, the bad ones seemed to be bad from the inside out too. In any case, I won’t be getting these again. I don’t know if it was just a quality issue or perhaps they always have this texture and short shelf life. I guess we should have just went for one of the other pear varieties. At least they weren’t too pricey but I still hate having to throw out fruit. If I didn’t live so far from Costco now, I probably would have just taken them back. It was kind of surprising too because we’ve had really great luck with all of the other produce that we’ve gotten at the new Costco. Perhaps we’ll have to do a more thorough examination in the future though. 8 pears for £1.99 (US: $3.06). Item #: 0002454.
Kirkland Signature Triple Satin Toilet Paper – I know it is hard to believe since I love Costco and all of the Kirkland Signature stuff so much, however, I’ve never tried the KS toilet paper. We used to always buy Charmin but after reading all of the really favorable reviews from readers here, we decided to try the KS stuff next time we were out. Of course, then we moved. But finally, we made good on that decision. And I have to say that compared to the other UK brands we’ve tried (Andrex is the only one I remember) the Kirkland Signature toilet paper is so much better. It’s really soft even though it doesn’t look all quilty and plus like Charmin. Plus, the rolls are ‘normal’ sized, instead of the jumbo size, so they easily fit and move on a regular roll holder. There’s only so much I can say about toilet paper but really, if you’ve not tried this yet you should give it a try next time you’re out. And for those of you wondering where I could possibly be storing this in my new, much smaller flat space, it’s all under my bed which is too low for anything else to go under but this all fits perfectly. 12, 4 roll packs for £12.49 (US: $19.23). Item #: 0079779.