One of the things I really wanted to try out when I got my Costco membership was their selection of dried fruit. The prices were pretty good, but I was curious whether the quality would reflect the cheap price or really be a great value.
Here is the selection I found at Costco during a January 2016 trip in Ann Arbor, Michigan (selection and prices may vary)
|Kirkland Dried Blueberries||$7.69 for 20oz bag ($.385/oz)|
|Kirkland Dried Tart Cheries||$7.99 for 20oz bag ($.40/oz)|
|Organic Apricots||$13.99 for 48oz bag ($.291/oz)|
|Kirland Signature Sunsweet Dried Plums||$8.89 for 58oz bag ($.159/oz)|
|Ocean Spray Craisins||$8.79 for 64oz bag ($.137/oz)|
|Welch's Dried Honeycrisp Apples||$9.99 for 30oz bag ($.333/oz)|
|Nature's Finest Dried Mangoes||$12.99 FOR 30oz bag ($.433/oz)|
|Phililipine Natural Dried Mangoes||$9.99 for 16oz bag ($.624/oz)|
|Organic Made in Nature Black Mission Figs||$11.99 for 32oz bag ($.375/oz)|
|Organic Dried Cranberries||$7.89 for 24oz bag ($.329/oz)|
Examining these prices show that you can really save some money buying your dried fruit from Costco. Other places I have seen 4 or 5 oz bag of dried fruit going in the $4 to $5 range. As long as you are going to use it all up, then I say go for it. If not you are better off with the smaller bags or buying at a store that sells in bulk.
I am going go through and break down each thing Costco had to offer.
The Kirland dried blueberries were equally as good. Not as flavorful as the out of this world amazing Trader Joe’s Wild Dried Blueberries – definitely worth their money. Best price I have seen on dried blueberries.
The Kirkland brand dried cherries are made from Montmorency cherries. They are a tart cherry variety grow widely here in Michigan, the number 1 tart cherry producing state. Tart cherries have more intense flavor than sweet cherries. These Kirkland brands are pretty flavorful too. Would buy them again.
These guys you can find elsewhere. The term Craisins has become the “Kleenex” of the dried cranberry world. Since they are so widely available check for sales at other stores, it’s possible with a sale, maybe a coupon you can save even more money elsewhere. I think there are pretty tasting dried cranberries (see below).
These are organic dried versions of Black Mission figs. In fresh form this is the fig you see the most, along with Brown Turkey. Black Mission has a better flavor I believe than Brown turkey, although I do prefer the green varieties overall for flavor. Since fresh figs have a short season and you can’t find them year around, dried ones give you a chance to have them and use them in recipes no matter what month the calendar says.
Another option from Made in Nature, also organic. These apricots are Unsulfured, which means they don’t have added sulfure dioxide as a preservative. The fruit won’t appear bright orange like apricots that have been treated. They will be more dark brown in color. I like this better as you are avoiding preservatives that I have heard some people have any allergy to.
These mangoes are listed as fat free. Why would I have to worry about fat in mangoes? Well a lot of dried fruit has oil added to it, to keep it from sticking. These mangoes are thus oil free.
I mentioned earlier than there were better tasting dried cranberries than the Craisins. Well this is them. They also have the advantage of being organic. You are going to pay a lot more money for these ones, over twice the price. Make the choice that is best for you.
A second dried mango option. These are sulfate free and sugar free. You are getting just dried mangoes. These are the most expensive dried fruit at Costco.
Dried plums, also called prune, are made from a specific style of plum, the sugar or prune plum. They are usually purple on the outside, very sweet on the inside, and the shape of a football. Not my favorite plum in terms of actual taste, but it’s easy to make these into dried fruit without added sugar.
Everyone’s favorite apple nowadays is the Honeycrisp. Well not my favorite, I know people really go for it. With apples available year round, I usually don’t buy much dried apples personally. However if you are a Honeycrisp fanatic you might want to try these, especially when Honeycrisp become unavailable or too expensive during the summer months.
Have you bought dried fruit from Costco? What did you buy and what did you think of it? Leave a comment below.