Crystal Margarine from Costco: 1.7 kilograms, $5.99 (Regular Price); Lactose-free, Vegan, No Trans fat, Contains Omega-3 fatty acids, tastes great
It’s fun to write new and exciting products, but sometimes one must pay homage to the true heroes of the kitchen, those whose praise are rarely if ever sung, but without whose existence cooking would be an unpleasant, tasteless chore. Today, I am happy to pay my dues to the humble margarine, specifically the Crystal Margarine, which I’ve been purchasing at my local Costco for many years.
Margarine has been a staple of our household forever; I remember as a kid having it on toast, and to this day a toasted English muffin is not the same without margarine. Of course you can forget making Kraft Dinner without this oily, delicious staple. It even goes great with the Pretzel Crisps Crackers!
I’ll get ahead of all the margarine haters right now: I know its made from oil, and I know that it doesn’t replace butter. Even though it may look similar, and in many cases has similar uses, it is not the same; different ingredients, different uses, different taste.
Margarine, or oleo for the crossword lovers out there, has a long and contentious history in my home province of Quebec. Quebec, you see, is home to a large and powerful cartel of dairy farmers, who through lobbying imposed ridiculously draconian laws and regulation on margarine, as they were afraid people would stop buying butter. For many years, margarine could not be yellow, just plain white. For some time it came with a separate little capsule of yellow dye, which you could mix in with the margarine and thus skirt these lobby-imposed regulation.
Thankfully, for the last 20-25 years, margarine has broken free and can now be whatever color it chooses. It’s still pretty whitish.
Now, to the crux of the matter, the awesome Crystal Margarine that I purchase at Costco. It costs $5.99, Canadian dollars for 1.7 kilograms or 3.75 pounds, but it is often on special, when you can get the same for as little as $3.99. I usually buy a couple in those cases. It’s a product that is almost always in stock, except in exceptional circumstances – more on that later. If you need it, the Costco item number is 1316819.
Crystal Margarine is non-hydrogenated, vegan, lactose-free and contains absolutely no Trans fat. It’s also a great source of polyunsaturated Omega-3.
For those that are interested by this, it’s also kosher, and made from 91% Canola oil and 9% vegetable oil. Here’s the ingredients breakdown:
- Canola Oil
- Modified Palm and Palm Kernel Oil
- Vegetable Monoglycerides, Soy Lecithin, Potassium Sorbate, Natural Flavor, Annatto, Turmeric, Vitamin A Palmitate, Vitamin D2
Like most reasonable people I’m no big fan of palm oil in any form, so I wish that is something that could be addressed by the company, and that this damaging ingredient could be removed. In the meantime, there’s not too much of it, so I’m willing to give them a chance to fix it.
Crystal Margarine is made in Canada by Richardson Oilseed Limited of Winnipeg, Manitoba, and its absolutely great to be able to encourage a local product, such as it is. Not everything has to come from China, and Canada is a major producer, if not THE major producer of Canola, so let’s get to it already. Crystal Margarine is actually made even closer to home, in Oakville, Ontario.
One of the great things about Crystal Margarine is the reusable Tupperware-style container it comes in; it’s clearly designed to be saved and reused, and is it ever. In fact, one of the only times Crystal Margarine was out of stock at Costco was when they switched containers and packaging, causing great distress in Tupperware closets all over Canada, as the old and the new do not stack neatly together; still, its a small price to pay, as for $5.99 you get 1.7 kilograms of delicious margarine, and a container that you can use for lunches and leftovers for years. This is not a cheap container, as good as any brand-name.
Just like rice, flower, pasta or butter, Crystal Margarine is a product that I make sure never to run out of. It’s delicious, affordable, relatively healthy and has a variety of uses around the kitchen. Don’t forget about the container. Never forget about the container.
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