A few days ago I took my first trip to the monstrous wholesale giant mega-man warehouse that is Costco in Reading. I have friends whose families make regular trips there for household supplies, and when someone brings in a blueberry muffin the size of a small cat into school for lunch, you know there is only one place it came from. Basically everything there is big, big and big. It is really big. To shop there you need a membership under a certain profession, due to it primarily being a shop for businesses, restaurants, companies, you know the deal. Or just large families with large exteriors.
As well as everything being very big, a lot of it is very cheap as well. The café there sold humongous slices of pizza for a mere £1.25 and a bottle of water was just 25p (which I personally believe all bottles of water should be). Refusing to regret not buying beer once we left, I bought 24 bottles of Desperados, probably my favourite lager, for £25 and 16 bottles of various Badger ales for £19. I can’t complain. The other highlights for me included the bumper-super-saver-mega-value packs of 8000 pain au chocolats at the bakery, buckets of Hellman’s mayonnaise and my personal favourite, a box of Small Fish Balls:
Probably due to the fact that Costco is American founded and owned, they were extremely generous when it comes to free samples! My first taster was a slice of butter brioché, “delicious!”, I thought, “I bet the other free samples will be just as mouth-wateringly satisfying, and maybe, just maybe, they will have free samples of the small fish balls!”. So as we walked around the rest of the shop I kept a keen eye out for little Costco humans brandishing perishables. The second human we came to wasn’t offering as great products. She presented me with a tiny plastic cup full of grated cheddar cheese:
The cup baffled me the most, even more than the fact that they were giving out grated cheddar cheese as a free taster. Why put it in a tiny plastic shot glass!? It looked as though it was prodded in with a finger, and so I simply downed it like some sort of cheap spirit. Other taster highlights included some less than satisfactory cous-cous and a crinkle cut crisp in a cupcake case. Unfortunately for me there were no small fish balls to taste. I’m not sure if I would prefer more places like Costco in the local area upon further thought. With more wholesalers around, the novelty of going to places like Costco would surely wear off, and because there would be no novelty any more people would just start eating huge portions as habit and would visit the free sample stands for their breakfast, lunch and dinner. However, when you can find mayonnaise in tubs as big as this, you know you are somewhere very, very special.