Eating my way through Costco

Admit it. You might think you go to Costco for the 32 gallon jar of hummus or the five pound bag of tortellini. But you really go for the samples. You just buy something to keep from looking embarrassed that you’ve spent an hour there with an empty cart.

I went to Costco today, wheeling my empty cart through the store and stopping to graze just to see what it was like to make an intentional trip for snacking on free food. It was fun. Here’s what was on the menu today.

Costco Madelaine

I started off with half a Madeleine, a sweet little French cake. Very tasty. I have seen these at more than one reception and they could easily be passed off as home made.

Costco Turkey Slice

Not inspired, but the slice of turkey was really good. Moist and it tasted like real turkey instead of a processed turkey loaf which I actually think it might be. I would buy a package if I wanted to make 3,287 turkey sandwiches. Which I don’t.

Costco Chicken Salad on Hawaiian Roll

This is the Cape Cod Chicken Salad on a Hawaiian Roll. You might think you can make better chicken salad but you can’t. Extremely delicious on a Hawaiian Roll…or an eighth of a Hawaiian Role. I wheeled the cart around for a few minutes and came back for seconds.

Costco Beef Bratwurst

The beef bratwurst was very juicy and full of flavor. The server gave me a choice of beef or pork but I felt a little guilty trying to go back to try both flavors. I didn’t want to appear to be piggy.

Costco Panko Tyson Chicken

The panko-crusted chicken tender was absolutely delicious. Super crispy crust and moist chicken. And a five-pound bag was only $9.99. But it is highly processed food from Tyson, which does not treat its chickens kindly from what I’m told. Wrestling with situational ethics, I declined to buy a bag after going back for seconds.

Costco Strawberry Slush

This may have been the best thing I had during the trip. It’s pure strawberries put into some kind of freezer machine that turns them into a soft ice cream in about 30 seconds. Only my conviction that appliances that only do one thing are not a good idea prevented me from buying it.

Costco Banana With Hemp Seed

Umm. Yuck. This is a hemp-seed coated sliced banana. I don’t understand hemp and I don’t care how good it is for me. The server looked kind of sad when I picked up the sample as though she, too, knew it sucked.

Costco Pop Tart

And finally the time-tested Pop Tart, this one with a strawberry filling and frosting with sprinkles. It didn’t taste any better today than it did in 1967 when they were introduced. Turns out I have food memories that go back 49 years. It was not a good memory.

But what the heck. Everything was free. I discreetly ditched my empty cart and walked out of Costco without spending a dime. Will I do it again? Maybe tomorrow.

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