|Costco's Balsamic Vinegar of Modena, Italy.|
Editor's note: Today, I look at some new and old items at Costco, and report on a light lunch at the newly renovated Suburban Diner in Paramus.By VICTOR E. SASSON
The world's best-tasting organic salad mix now comes in a new package -- and at a new lower price when you buy it at Costco Wholesale.
Earthbound Farm has tweaked the packaging of its Organic Half & Half -- Spring Mix and Baby Spinach -- and Costco knocked 40 cents off the usual price of $4.99 for a 1-pound container.
How long that price of $4.59 lasts is anyone's guess:
Costco's price for Earthbound Farm's organic salads goes up and down, but it's always a dollar or two cheaper than other stores.
The new package is an improvement over the old, though when you open it, you're still left holding tear-away plastic that is a recycling challenge.
In the old package, it was sometimes difficult to find the separation between the clear-plastic cover and tub.
Now, the cover has two tabs that make the package easier to open.
What's the big deal? When you eat a bowl of this salad every day, you appreciate the improvement.
Of course, the salad is still pre-washed, so it goes right from the container to the bowl, ready to be dressed.
At home, I dress my organic salad with 100% Spanish extra-virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar from Italy, and this week I saw a new bottle of the latter at the Hackensack Costco.
I don't know if this is a new product or just a new bottle and label. I tried Costco's balsamic vinegar a few years ago and found it much too sweet.
Since then, I've been buying this aged vinegar at Jerry's Gourmet and More in Englewood, and since a trip to Italy in 2010, I always buy a brand called Ponti, which I was served in restaurants in Milan and Venice.
Neither Costco's or Ponti's Balasamic Vinegar of Modena contain artificial color, but the latter is a better buy at $1.99 for a half-liter bottle.
Costco's balsamic is sold under the label of the store brand, Kirkland Signature.
This week, I also saw Kirkland Signature Organic Diced Tomatoes, replacing the Del Monte product I bought at the warehouse store.
|Wyman's of Maine says wild blueberries are No. 1 in antioxidants.|
In my freezer, I unearthed a package of fresh frozen wild blueberries from Costco that I bought I don't know how many weeks ago to replace Kirkland Signature Dried Blueberries, which contain a lot of added sugar.
I thawed some of the Wyman's of Maine Wild Blueberries, and used them in my cereal this morning.
It's no surprise they aren't as sweet as the dried blueberries. But they are sugar- and sodium-free -- just wild blueberries.
At Costco on Tuesday, I picked up fresh wild-caught Pacific cod for dinner at $6.99 a pound, and served it with mashed sweet potatoes, skin and all, and an Earthbound Farm salad.
That night, I saw cod fillet for $21.99 a pound at a Food Emporium on the Upper West Side of Manhattan.
A 2-pound package of those incomparable Sunset-brand Campari Tomatoes at Costco was $4.49, or $2.25 a pound, a lower price than at Fairway Market in Paramus.
Costco's Organic Brown Eggs with Manchego Cheese and Pesto, served with mashed sweet potatoes, skin and all. The sweet potatoes came from Trader Joe's.
Organic brown rice
This week, Della-brand Long Grain Organic Brown Rice reappeared at Costco.
In September, employees of the Hackensack Costco told me it had been discontinued, and I ordered another brand online at Amazon. com.
|The Suburban Diner in Paramus re-opened on Monday.|
Route 17 diner reopens
The Suburban Diner in Paramus was crowded today with customers getting their first look at the newly renovated and expanded landmark on Route 17 north.
The diner, which re-opened Monday, has about 20 more seats and slightly higher prices. It now seats 230 people.
I ordered black coffee and split pea soup -- hold the croutons -- and got the biggest bowl of soup I've ever seen in a Greek diner.
|An unusually large bowl of soup was $3.10 at the Suburban Diner.|
A cup of coffee with free refills was $1.80.
My friend had a Western Omelet Sandwich for $4.95, with coleslaw and a pickle, and a Diet Coke for $2.25.
Suburban Diner, 172 Route 17 north, Paramus; 201-261-2605.