Cheddar Moon Cheese Bites : Costco Product Review

Moon Cheese Cheddar Crunchy Snack from Costco : 283 grams per bag, $12.79 per bag, Costco item number 1395182; Gluten free, 18 grams of proteins per serving; definitely an acquired taste

One of the best things about shopping at Costco is that they are not afraid to bring in new things; who knows, they may discover something entirely new and make lots of sales! In this case, I’m not sure we’ve got a winner. I’m talking here about the Moon Cheese Cheddar Crunchy Bites of Golden Delight, which I got at my local Costco.

Moon Cheese Cheddar

Before we get into the details, let me give you my first impression; the Moon Cheese bites from Costco are very crunchy and quite salty; they will also leave a film of greasy matter on your fingers, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. The problem is that snack really tastes of dried cheese; for me, that’s okay, but then again, I’ll eat pretty much anything. I find that the taste becomes really cool if I stuff a whole bunch in my mouth, but I find it difficult to appreciate if I only eat one at a time.

The thing is that out of 4 people in my family, only one of them – me – likes them. My wife said that they taste like the bottom of a box of Cheez-It, the stale taste is heavily implied although she didn’t say so, probably out of politeness.

My 8-year-old son ate a single one, made a face and said that it tasted like a failed Cheetos – his words, and my daughter, all of 5 years old, said that it tasted like cheese and nuts and would not have another. Now I’m not saying my kids have the last word on all things snack-related, but it does give me a clue where this is going.

Cheddar Moon Cheese Bites Nutrition Facts

In terms of nutrition, how do I put this … there is none. Except if you have a several calcium deficiency, or perhaps you lack saturated fats or sodium in your diet.

Seriously. For 50 grams of these things, or 2/3rd of a cup, you’ll get a whopping 87% of your saturated fats, 28% of your sodium, 18 grams of protein and 600 mg of Calcium, which is good for 46% of your daily requirement, based on a 2,000 calories a day diet. Of yeah, and that two thirds of a cup of dried cheese is worth 310 calories. Think how long you’ll have to be on the Stair-Master . Answer: almost as long as it’ll take to get rid of that cheese-breath. A long time. Long.

Quite frankly, there is not much good to say here. The positives are the calcium, the proteins and the lack of carbohydrates and sugar. That being said, the ingredients list is honest and devoid of creepy, unpronounceable chemicals. Here is the list:

  • Cheddar cheese (pasteurized milk, salt, bacterial culture, annatto, microbial enzyme)

This cheese product is made in the USA, so there’s that going for it, at least it’s not Chinese, although I would be curious to know what type of cheddar they use, and if the milk used to produce it is full of antibiotics.

Here’s a close look at a piece of Moon Cheese; I must admit that the resemblance to moon rocks is quite striking, at least in my imagination. I understand why they rolled with the name.

Cheddar Moon Cheese close-up

Each and every piece of Moon Cheese looks like this, and this is a pretty representative piece in terms of size. Every Moon Cheese ‘rock’ or Bite is about 2 centimetres in length and pockmarked with Moon-inspired “craters”.

Here’s the problem, as I see it. Many people will enjoy this, but many more will not, and at $12.79 for a tiny 283 grams bag, this is a pretty expensive snack to eat mindlessly while watching TV. I like the Shiitake Mushroom Crisps a lot more.

While I enjoy these Cheddar Moon Cheese Bites, or “Crunchy Bites of Golden Delight”, no one else in my family remotely does, so I won’t be buying them again, unless they are seriously discounted. Moreover, even if you’re not shocked by the distressing nutrition facts, there are more enjoyable ways to ingest 310 calories of cheese. For example, by eating actual cheese.

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DJ&A Shiitake Mushroom Crisps : Costco Product Review

DJ&A Shiitake Mushroom Crisps from Costco : 300 grams per bag, $9.99 (Regular price), lots of fiber, quite salty and greasy, crunchy and delicious, made in Australia

I have not written on this site for a long time, but I thought that I would start again by writing a review of one of my favorite products at Costco, one that I simply cannot avoid purchasing when I’m there – which is often.

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you DJ&A Shiitake Mushroom Crisps!

DJ&A Shiitake Mushroom Crisps

So what are those, exactly? This is a question you’d better get used to answering when you get addicted to them, because they look strange and people will talk.

Basically, these are whole shiitake mushrooms, stem included, that have been very lightly cooked – in oil – thoroughly dehydrated and then seasoned, with quite a bit of salt. It takes about 840 grams of fresh mushrooms to make 300 grams of the cooked and dried ones. Here’s what they look like:

DJ&A Shiitake Mushroom Crisps close-up

So when is a good occasion to partake in delicious Shiitake Mushroom Crisps from DJ&A? Well, anytime. You can bring some as a snack to work, munch on them as you’re writing a product reviews – ahem – or just do like a lot of North Americans , and eat them in front of the TV. What I most enjoy doing is just let it sit in my mouth for a long time, so it regains a little bit of that oh-so-special chewy shiitake mushroom texture.

The size of the bag is also quite generous, 300 grams, which they brag about on the packaging. It used to come in a smaller size – 200 grams I believe – but that was too small for Costco. They re-branded the whole thing, changed the packaging and the price, and there you have it! The current price at my Costco for these is $9.99 per bag, and they are occasionally on special.

What’s great about these Mushroom Crisps is that the taste of mushroom is not overwhelming; it’s there, make no mistake about it, however it’s not overpowering. The spices, which include onion and garlic, blend well with the natural flavor of the mushroom and make for a delicious snack, one that you can certainly binge, although I would not recommend it, because of the impressive saturated fat content.

DJ&A Shiitake Mushroom Crisps nutrition facts

Each 50 grams, or 1/6th of a bag, contains 23% of your daily allowance of saturated fat, as well as 13% of your sodium and 14% of your sugar. Considering that these are delicious, it’s very easy to go overboard and eat more than 50 grams (which is about a cup).

The good news here is that you get a whopping 46% of your fiber, so that’s awesome. Moreover, DJ&A Shiitake Mushroom Crisps are a completely vegan snack option, and the oils used in cooking the mushrooms are sustainable and renewable, even the palm oil.

This product is imported from Australia, and the mushrooms themselves are from China, which is unfortunate, but not so mush so that I’m not buying them. I tell myself that I’m encouraging an Australian company and leave it at that.

DJ&A Shiitake Mushroom Crisps

The ingredients of this delicious snack are as follows:

  • Shiitake mushrooms
  • Oil blend (which includes palm, sunflower, canola and rice bran)
  • Sugar
  • Sea salt
  • Yeast extracts, spices, onion, garlic and natural flavor

The list of possible allergens in the Shiitake Mushroom Crisps is also quite impressive, and includes wheat, milk, peanuts, tree nuts, soybeans, sesame, egg, fish, crustacean and mollusks. I guess they are covering all the bases and just don’t want to get sued, which I guess is fair enough. There is even a little warning that says that the stems might be hard to chew, which they are, but it’s part of the fun.

In conclusion, the DJ&A Shiitake Mushroom Crisps from Costco are just delicious; I love them in all circumstances, and are for me a much better snack than the pretzels I also get from Costco. They are affordable, relatively healthy and a Vegan option to offer to your friends when they visit. I make sure to always have a bag or two available!

Snack Factory Pretzel Crisps Crackers from Costco: Product Review

Costco Canada has been carrying this product for a long time, but for some reason I’d never tried it. Contrary to a regular grocery store, where you can find a thousand brands and flavors of chips and crackers, Costco has a more … limited … selection, so to avoid repetition I decided to finally try the Snack Factory Pretzel Crisps Crackers.

Snack Factory Pretzel Crisps Crackers from Costco
Snack Factory Pretzel Crisps Crackers from Costco

First things first, the basics. The Snack Factory Pretzel Crisps crackers come in bags of 737 grams, which is quite a bit, and costs $6.99 plus taxes, in Canadian dollars – about $5 USD. Based on the serving size – more on that later – I can estimate that there are approximately 290 crackers per bag, so each cracker weighs about 2.5 grams, and each costs about 2.4 pennies. They are made in the United States, although there is no indication as to where the actual ingredients come from. For reference, the Costco Item Number is 262313 (in Canada).

Snack Factory Pretzel Crisps Crackers from Costco Nutrition Facts
Snack Factory Pretzel Crisps Crackers from Costco Nutrition Facts

Alright then, enough with the math. As you can see on the Nutrition Fact sheet right here, each serving is 100 calories, for 11 crackers. While this might seem entirely reasonable, it doesn’t factor in the fact that these Pretzel Crisps are friggin’ delicious, and I dare you to only eat 11. In fact, I’ll go as far as to say that I are so much of them in one sitting that I gave myself sausage fingers because of the salt content.

Now, joking aside, the salt content is 14% per serving, which is not bad if you only have 1 serving, but that’s not really realistic. If you eat these things are crackers or snacks without putting anything on them, you will hoover down a whole bunch because they are awesome.

Snack Factory Pretzel Crisps Ingredients

When it comes to ingredients, these crackers are actually not that bad. Here are the ingredients, in order of appearance:

  • Wheat Flour
  • Sugar
  • Salt
  • Malt Syrup (Tapioca Syrup, Malt Extract)
  • Sodium Hydroxide

Sodium Hydroxide is present in order to give the pretzel their distinctive crunch. In certain cases, Sodium Carbonate is used, but clearly not in this case.

Snack Factory Pretzel Crisps Crackers from Costco
Snack Factory Pretzel Crisps Crackers from Costco

These Pretzel Crisps are also Non-GMO certified, which is great if you’re into that kind of stuff. Costco has more and more of those products, because I guess they can tell which way the wind is blowing. Personally, I care a lot less about GMOs than I do about the crazy lists of unpronounceable ingredients you can find in heavily modified and processed foods.

In conclusion, while I’m not a fan of that last ingredient, in part because it can be used as a drain and pipe cleaner, I’m confident that it’s only present in small enough concentrations not to be harmful. Moreover, these Snack Factory Pretzel Crisps crackers are made in the USA, non-GMO certified, and more importantly, they are absolutely delicious either just like that, as potato chips, or with dip, as canapes, or whatever. Just be mindful of the salt content, and you’ll be fine.

Enjoy, and let me know in the comments below how you enjoy them, also if your local Costco carries them!

Check out my other Product Reviews right here!

Siwin Asian Chicken Dumplings Potstickers at Costco: Product Review

As readers of this blog know, I’m a big sucker for things that come from Costco. You always get the best value, and that’s what I’m all about. Today I’m going to write about Siwin Asian Chicken and Vegetable Dumplings Potstickers, which I purchase at Costco in a suitably enormous bag.

Siwin Asian Chicken and Vegetable Dumplings
That’s a lot of dough.

Now, the basics. These Asian potstickers are available at Costco in 1.91 kilogram bags, about 4 pounds. Regular price was $12.99 Canadian dollars, and there was an instant savings of $3 per bag, so of course I got two. It drives my wife nuts, and Costco’s stock price ever higher. For those who are interested, the Costco item number is 5502859 (in Canada, anyways). There are roughly 84 potstickers in each bag, entirely cooked before being frozen. Possible allergens are sesame, soy and wheat. These are NOT gluten free.

Siwin Asian Chicken Dumplings Ingredients

One of the things I appreciate from many of these kind of things (from Costco, anyways) is that the ingredients are more or less wholesome. Nothing weird or unpronounceable, and these potstickers are no exceptions. Here we go, in order of appearance:

Filling:

  • Chicken, Cabbage, Water, Green Onion, Canola Oil, Sugar, Yeast Extract, Salt, Spices, Sesame Oil

Wrapper:

  • Wheat flour, Water, Canola Oil, Salt, Sugar

Sauce:

  • Soy Sauce, Sugar, Water, Vinegar, Sesame Oil
Siwin Asian Chicken and Vegetable Dumplings Ingredients

Siwin Asian Chicken Dumplings Nutrition Facts

As you can expect from this type of prepared food, it’s really the sodium that’s a kicker here. One portion of potstickers, with one portion of the supplied sauce, will give you a whopping 39% of your daily sodium, and I can guarantee you that you’ll still be hungry! I usually skip the sauce, the dumplings are tasty as is.

Siwin Asian Chicken and Vegetable Dumplings Nutrition Facts
Easy on the salt, there, cowboy.

Siwin Asian Chicken Dumplings Cooking Instructions

Cooking these dumplings is really super easy. A steamer would be nice, but you can make do with a simple non-stick pan and a tablespoon of vegetable oil. Turn the heat up to medium-high, dump a bunch of dumplings in the pan, and add about 1/2 a cup of water.

Siwin Asian Chicken and Vegetable Dumplings Cooking
Takes only about 5-6 minutes, total.

Bring the water to a boil, and cover for 3 minutes. Afterwards, simply remove the cover, let the remaining water evaporate and fry them a little, until you get a light crust. Remove from the pan and eat up!

The Siwin Asian Chicken and Vegetable Dumplings Potstickers I purchase at Costco are always a hit with the kids. They only take a few minutes to cook, so they are ideal when you’re running out of time and need to make something RIGHT NOW because the kids are hungry and they will DIE OF HUNGER if they don’t eat RIGHT THIS SECOND. With lots of crying and whining.

Even when purchased at full price, this is a really good product that’s quick and easy to make, and for something that comes frozen in a bag, doesn’t contain horrible ingredients and that is not too bad for you, provided you don’t eat the whole bag in one sitting. Bon app├ętit!