I’ve had a lousy week, so I hope everyone else has had a much better one. This is one week I am definitely pleased to see the end of, even though I kept thinking that should be yesterday. Maybe hoping is more accurate. And how truly fitting, it seems that the week ends with a Friday the 13th. I was planning to go to Costco this weekend but it is supposed to be super rainy and I just don’t feel like dealing with that. Hopefully, next week will be better and the weekend will be drier.
If you are a Costco Korea shopper, don’t forget that they will be closing early at 7 pm on Wednesday and will be entirely CLOSED on Thursday for Chuseok!
Kirkland Signature Ladies Yoga V-Neck Tee – I buy almost all of my workout wear from Costco. In particular, their Kirkland Signature tanks and capris are great, as are the matching jackets. I do wish that they had matching shorts as well though. All of the clothing is really well made and comfortable. Plus, it has remarkably stood up to lots of exercise and washing without fading or fraying, much better than some of the more pricey things I’ve bought from Nike or even Sweaty Betty, honestly. So, naturally, when I saw the new yoga v-neck tees, I had to get one. These tees are made out of a great fabric that feels soft to the touch and has a nice amount of stretch to make it comfortable no matter how much stretching and moving you are doing. In addition to those important qualities, the material also has a wicking function to keep you feeling better and drier during a hard workout. The curved seams along the sides make the fit more feminine, and thus much more flattering than a boxy tee. There’s also a bit of ruching detail on the sides to make it more flattering as well. The tees have a nice v-neck that is deep enough to be comfortable and give you a little air when you are working out, but not so deep that you have to be self-conscious about it. The sleeves are a cap sleeve, so not too long, but still a comfortable length. The shirts are really comfortable for working out because of the nice fabric and the fit. I like that the fit is fitted enough that when you are doing various yoga poses, like where you bend over, the shirt stays in place and doesn’t end up falling down and getting all bunched up around your head. No one likes that kind of thing. Of course, the tees are also nice enough that you could just wear them too, even if you’re not actually working out. The colours were similar to the tanks that they have, so pink, teal, aqua, purple, plus I think they had white and black as well. I hope they still have them the next time I’m at Costco because I’d like to pick up a couple more. £8.99 (US: $14.22). Item #: 0679898K.
Forest Feast Dried Sour Philippine Mango – Much like the “normal” or sweet, not sour version, this is really yummy dried mango too. It’s not so dried that it is hard and leathery, but still has enough moisture to make it enjoyable. And of course, there is lots and lots of concentrated mango taste. Which is what I would expect since this is just mango with a little bit of sugar to enhance the flavour. Since this is made from young, green Philippine mangoes that they harvest before they are truly ripe, they are more sour than a fully ripe mango. When I first tried a piece I thought it was a bit like eating a Granny Smith Apple, with that tart tanginess. But as I ate a little more I could discern the mango flavour and it wasn’t as sour as I had originally thought either. It’s actually kind of the perfect blend of sweet and sour. One handful or 25 grams of this is equivalent to a single serving of the recommended five a day too. Plus on top of everything else, it is fair trade. Forest Feast sources all of their fruit solely from PREDA Fair Trading Organisation in the Philippines to guarantee a better deal for third world farmers. The PREDA foundation, based in Olangapo City in the Philippines is a three times Nobel Peace Prize Nominated Charitable Organisation. They are a pioneer in establishing Fair Trade in the Philippines and guarantees growers a fair price, helping to create economic stability. If you need still more confirmation that this is great, it also won the Great Taste gold in 2012. Both varieties of the Forest Feast dried mango is certainly some of the best I’ve ever had and we will definitely be getting another bag or two on our next trip to Costco. They say that you can use this for snacking, baking, or cooking. Of course, I just like to eat it right from the bag. They have a recipe for a sour mango tart on the back of the bag; it sounds super delicious. Of course, that would mean that we would have to forego eating it just straight and I’m not sure that we can do that. Of course, as you might know, dried fruit of any kind isn’t sugar free or a low cal snack, fruit has lots of sugar in it naturally and that doesn’t go anywhere just because they dry it out. But the dried fruit, if you don’t over indulge, is a great way to get some fruit but not have to worry about having fresh fruit available. Aside from the fact that this isn’t low in sugar, it is actually low in fat and all in all, isn’t too calorie laden. I didn’t refrigerate after I opened as they suggest you do on the bag, however, I didn’t notice any adverse changes in the quality of the fruit. Of course, it didn’t hang around in our cabinet too long either. The good thing is that it is a zip top resealable bag so it is easy to store. 400 grams for £6.49 (US: $10.26). Item #: 0148710.
Chicago’s Best Jumbo Beef Frankfurters - Every once in a while, Dave and I like hot dogs. Not sausages, but hot dogs. Don’t get me wrong, I also love a nice sausage but sometimes I just want a traditional hot dog without all the fancy sausageness. We were thrilled to see these hot dogs at Costco and knew we had to get them; we were powerless against the hot dogs pull. When we were kids we never really thought about what all was in our hot dogs, but now that we’re older and wiser, we are a bit more selective. These Chicago’s Best dogs are all beef, and not the strange beef parts either. They put it in technical food producer terms and say they don’t use “mechanically recovered meats”, but we all know what they mean. They also don’t add in fillers or extenders, nor do they use artificial colours or flavourings. The hot dogs are actually 70% beef, which is pretty good, I think though they do have a stabiliser and some preservatives. But I still think they are much better for you than most hot dogs. And of course, they do actually taste better as well. They are lightly smoked, which certainly gives them a better taste than the average hot dog. One word of warning though, they are quite large. They will lop over the ends of a normal hot dog bun and kind of dwarf it. We ended up using little baguettes (the mini ones that you can find at Costco that you need to finish baking at home), which were perfect. But they’re not just long, they pretty decently sized all over, since each of them is 1/4 of a pound or 113 grams. Served up with some diced onion and mustard, they were delicious. The cooking instructions suggest boiling or microwaving, however, we opted for kind of grilling them and they turned out really great. The recipe is US but the hot dogs are actually produced in the UK. They’re also kosher, if that is something that concerns you. Certainly if you are going to buy these, you’ll find that Costco most assuredly has the best price. You can get this exact same package at Asda and Ocado. Of course, if you buy at either of those place, you’ll pay £4.75 instead of the £3.39 you would pay at Costco. So, if you want to get your hot do fix, and save the £1.36, then get these huge beef frankfurters from Costco. 566 grams for £3.39 (US: $5.36). Item #: 0012428.
Taywell Mango Sorbet – I think I’ve said it before, but really Dave and I are not big ice cream eaters. Occasionally though, Costco has something that catches our interest. This time it was this mango sorbet from Taywell. The mango is such an amazing burst of flavour, really concentrated and delicious. Not to mention, it has a lovely creamy texture that is pleasant on the tongue. The Taywell people take great care in providing a delicious product that is free of artificial additives, stabilisers and colours. Plus, there are no preservatives. The sorbets are also good for people with with some of the common food allergies since they are free of gluten, milk, and eggs. I was impressed that the mango flavour is actually made with 50% mango and then just sugar, glucose, water, and lemon juice. For a thickener they use locust bean gum. I’m not sure what locust bean gum is exactly, but it certainly sounds better than a bunch of chemical formulations that are also impossible to pronounce. Don’t you agree? The Taywell people are very diligent about using fresh and healthy ingredients and never use fruit concentrates; it’s either fresh fruit or pulp sourced from growers in Kent or Sussex or as near as possible. So, it’s not hard to believe that they have won several awards for their quality and taste. I would highly suggest letting the sorbet warm up a bit before you eat it though, it needs to soften up a bit and also when it is super cold you don’t get the full flavour either. The sorbet is delicious with such a great mango flavour. It’s almost like what you imagine it would be like if you just froze a mango and mashed it up, except the texture is much better than that obviously. This is a perfect treat at the end of the day, or even mid-day. Since it’s sorbet you don’t even have to feel as guilty as if it were ice cream. Unlike some sorbets that I’ve had this has a really creamy, smooth texture. But honestly, the flavour is so awesome, I’m not sure you’ll notice anything else. Taywell makes all kinds of delicious ice creams and sorbets, in a wide, wide variety of flavours. They’ve also just recently rolled out some Asian flavoured ice creams and sorbets - Vanilla Pandan Ice Cream, Lemongrass & Chilli Ice Cream, Kaffir Lime Leaf Ice Cream, and Thai Tea Sorbet - that I would love for Costco to carry, in a little set of small sampling sizes maybe. In any case, this great mango sorbet definitely takes care of my mango cravings. 1 litre for £4.99 (US: $7.89). Item #: 0153656.