Defendi Taleggio di Caravaggio – As I have already established, I love cheese. And that is one of the great things about Costco: they have a very nice supply of specialty cheeses. Lots of choices besides the usual choices of cheddar and mozzarella. I also appreciate the fact that they change up the cheese selection to give shoppers a chance to try something new. The taleggio cheese is a semi-soft cow’s milk cheese with a washed rind and it hails from the Lombardy region of Italy. This cheese is produced by the Defendi dairy that has been making quality Lombardi cheese since the mid-1800s. So, they really have it down to an art. Since the cheese is a DOP item (Denomination of Protected Origin) it can only be produced in a very specific provinces: Lombardy, Piedmont, and Veneto. The cheese is smooth and creamy or oozy in texture, depending on how long you leave it to sit out before eating it. The one thing that might put some off is that the rind is splotched with mold, and that can be something between shocking and creepy if you’re not expecting it. But you just cut that away and you’re left with a fantastic cheese. It’s got a pretty mild taste with a little nutty thing going on too. It is mouthwateringly good when spread on some fresh French bread or on crackers too. It would go very nicely with fruit like apples or pears, as well. And since the texture is so soft and supple, you can easily spread it too. 500 grams for £4.00 (US: $6.25). Item #: 0039664.
Espuña Tapas al Minuto – It was just a day to pick up items with a foreign flare, I think. Who doesn’t like tapas? It’s nice to have something around that you can have for a little dinner and these are perfect for that. Well, as long as you add some veggies. There were four different meat based items in the package: 6 mini Spanish pork sausages with paprika, 4 pork frankfurters stuffed with cheese and wrapped in bacon, 2 skewers of diced pork marinated in paprika, 2 skewers of diced pork marinated with Spanish herbs. I think the little frankfurters with the cheese and bacon were probably the most liked item in the pack for us. I can’t help it, I love bacon. However, all of the items were tasty. There whole package offers a nice variety of texture and preparations so that it doesn’t seem boring and like pork overkill. The ‘al Minuto’ part comes from the fact that you can pop these in the microwave for just two minutes and be good to go. We opted for the longer, but possibly better, cooking method of using the oven to broil them. I think this was certainly better for the bacon wrapped stuff because otherwise I think it would have gotten floppy instead of crispy. There are two individually wrapped packages in the bundle at Costco, and while it is a nice little collection of tapas, it’s not really in party quantities (even with the two packages) unless you are having a very small party. 2 packages for £4.69 (US: $7.33). Item #: 0110352.
Costco Bakery Pain au Chocolat – Yes, I know that these are beyond unhealthy, but that doesn’t mean they’re not good. Croissants, in general, are delicious with all that flakiness and tasting of butter. But when you throw in some chocolate, it just makes it that much better. This was totally an impulse buy because we were shopping hungry (I know, I know, you’d think I’d have learned my lesson). These make a perfect breakfast or afternoon item with a cup of tea, coffee, or hot chocolate; they’re also no slouch with a glass of milk. Since there are 12 in the big package from Costco, we decided to freeze some. They came out a little deflated and the texture wasn’t quite as good, but were mostly acceptable. I’m thinking I should have thawed them a little differently and certainly taken them out of the Ziploc; so I bear some responsibility for the state they were in after the time in the freezer. These weren’t the best versions of the pain au chocolat that I’ve ever had, they were a little oily and there wasn’t as much chocolate as I would have liked, but they were still more than acceptable. And really, if you were having a bunch of people over for brunch, these would be a great item to pick up. 12 count for £3.49 (US: $5.45). Item #: 0014007.
Colgate 360° Toothbrush 4 Pack – Of course, we had to run out of toothbrushes when there was no coupon going on. And I probably should have picked these up in the US because I think they might have had the Oral-B brushes that I prefer. Oh well, when you need toothbrushes, you just have to buy them. And really, even without a coupon, Costco is still far less than at the other stores I shop at. Even though these aren’t my preferred toothbrush, they’re still quite nice and have all the cool stuff to keep your teeth looking their best. They have the tapered bristles that really do help you get in between your teeth better, as well as right around your gumline. They also say that they have polishing cups to keep your teeth free of stains; which certainly is a good thing. And if you flip the head over, you have the scratchy tongue cleaning surface to keep your tongue bacteria free (that’s what gives you bad breath). I also like that the handle is pretty chunky with a nice curve to it, so it fits in your hand well. Plus, the handle has the little rubbery gripe that makes it easier to hold onto, as well. 4 toothbrushes for £6.99 (US: $10.92). Item #: 0088583.
Goldtoe Men’s Cotton Crew Socks – We actually picked these up when we were in New York, and I’m finally getting around to writing about them. It is my sincere belief that having a large supply of socks, is an excellent idea. Mostly because it means that I have to do laundry less frequently; which is always a winner for me. Similar to their packs of athletic socks, you get a great deal on 4 pairs of socks that is far less expensive than buying them someplace else. They’re certainly nothing special or stylish in this case, just plain black cotton crew socks, but they are perfect for Dave to wear with his suits everyday. The nice thing is that they have the AquaFX moisture control system to keep your feet not feeling gross and clammy. They also employ the Freshcare system and I think we can all tell what that does; no one likes stinky socks hanging around in the laundry hamper. The other nice comfort feature, is that the toe seams are flattened for a smooth fit that won’t rub on the tops of your toes. 4 pairs of socks for $9.99 (UK: £6.40). Item #: 275121.