Welcome to yet another edition of Costco Food Finds. This month we will be focusing a lot on fruit and cheese - two things that are very near and dear to my heart. The stone fruit is rolling into the store now in a major way. We got nectarines, peaches, and plums. To go with your fruit I have 3x the amount of cheese recommendations than a normal food finds. As a bonus we got a pantry favorite and some Polish sausage.
If you are a melon maniac or garlic guru you are going to love this post. Let's begin!
It's time to get excited about fruit again! Lots of great stuff hitting the produce department this time of year. I want to start by talking about the stone fruit. I have mentioned this in previous Costco Food Finds but it bares worth repeating. When you buy peaches, nectarines, plums, apricots, and pluots at Costco they come in boxes with the variety marked on the side. Here are a couple of examples:
If you want more success at picking good stone fruit at Costco or any store, make note of the variety you are buying. Most stores you can't do this because the variety is not listed but Costco you get it right on the box. Take advantage of this. Record the varieties you like or dislike in a place you can consult with again. The nectarine variety at Costco on this trip is the Honey Fire. I know that these are good because I have had them before - actually from Trader Joe's, who is another store that sell their fruit in boxes with variety names.
Ok I forgot to record the price of these apples. If you are in the market for apples, Koru from New Zealand are the ones I would buy. They are sweet and crisp. Better than anything else Costco is offering this time of year. All the American grown apples have been in cold storage since last fall now so New Zealand apples are going to be fresher.
New Jersey Grown Blueberries
Price: $6.49 for 2 lb container
When New Jersey blueberries go in season it gets me excited because that means my locally grown blueberries here in Michigan are on the horizon. Jersey blueberries aren't bad themselves. Good price as well.
Honeydew fans ought to give the Golden Honeydew a try. Golden Honeydew are very similar in terms of texture and flavor to regular Honeydew melons. Try one, see if you can taste a difference. Here is a great video on how to tell when these melons are ripe.
Price: $7.99 for 2
Tuscan melons look like cantaloupe but a little different. They have more pronounced green stripes on the surface. They do taste much like a cantaloupe, only better and sweeter. Tuscan melons have a smaller seed cavity than cantaloupe so you get more melon to enjoy. As the name suggests, the Tuscan melon originated in Italy.
Tropical Treasure Pluots
Price: $7.99 for 4 lb container
In the picture the container says red plums. I looked up the variety listed on the little sticker on the container. I found that Tropical Treasure is technically a pluot. This means that in has some apricot in it's DNA, but is predominately plum. No matter what they are, they are extremely good. Very juicy. Had a challenging time not getting juice on my shirt. Sweet and flavorful as well. A must buy.
Maple Leaf Garlic Cheddar Cheese
Maple Leaf cheese is one of the best cheese makers in Wisconsin. You may have seen their cranberry cheddar during the Thanksgiving season. Maple Leaf makes an excellent Monterrey Jack. First time I have seen their garlic cheddar. I am sure it would make great quesadilla fodder.
Most of us know Asiago as a hard, dry cheese that you grate onto your favorite pasta. You can also buy it young before it has hardened up. Fresh Asiago is sweet and slightly sour. It has a strong aroma that my daughter finds offensive! If you like the aged version do yourself a favor and experience it in a different form.
Garofalo Bufala Mozzzarella
Price: $11.99 for 17.6oz container ($10.90/lb)
You have never had mozzarella until you have had it made from water buffalo milk. This is the traditional way it has been made in Italy. It has more depth of flavor than cow's milk mozz. Mozzarella di Buffala is more tangy as well. Most Americans probably won't like it as much on it's own but try it on your next pizza and you will be surprised. It is more pricey than regular mozzarella for sure. The price at Costco is cheaper than I have seen it at other places like Whole Foods.
Kiolbassa Roasted Garlic Polish Sausage
Summer time means cookouts. Why not throw some polish sausage on the grill. And the fact that it has roasted garlic in it, only makes it better. Roasted garlic brings a new mild garlic flavor and sweetness. This sausage is made by Kiolbassa.
For the Pantry
Red Star Active Dry Yeast
Price: 32oz bag for $4.49
This is the yeast that I always buy. It is so cheaper this way. Buying those little individual packs is cost effective. Even the jars are the same price or more money than these bags. My type on keeping the yeast effective is once you have opened the bag store in the freezer. You will get a lot longer life out of it, than keeping it as room temperature.