THE NEW COSTCO PROGRAM features a wide selection of shrimp, all low in fat with
zero carbs. All are processed exactly the same.
Kirkland Signature’s year-round freezer shrimp come in these varieties:
• 100- to 150-count (per pound) tail-off cooked (salad size)
• 50- to 70-count tail-on cooked (perfect for instant party skewers)
• 31- to 40-count tail-on cooked or raw (deli-platter size)
• 21- to 25-count tail-on cooked or raw
These last two larger shrimp are stunning in shrimp cocktails, on the grill or as hors d’oeu vres.
In the Service Deli you’ll find gorgeously plated, ready-to-eat shrimp with fresh lemon wedges
and sauce. Exceptionally large, frozen 11- to 15-count tail-on raw shrimp in 1.5-pound pouches
are available in many warehouses and at Seafood Road Shows.
All Costco shrimp go directly from pond to eating;that weight is included.)
processor. There are no auctions or long sitting Costco shrimp are uniform in color, size and
times, and the shrimp are maintained at a safe tem- condition. All are either white or black tiger (dark
perature and monitored every step of the way. stripes) shrimp. These common names refer to the
Costco’s processors handle the shrimp in hours general color of the shrimp before cooking, not the
rather than days. Only two ingredients are allowed: color of the meat.
shrimp and salt (a natural flavoring agent). There Black spots or rings, though not harmful, can
are no preservatives, no chemicals and no pond indicate mishandling during harvesting and are not
antibiotics. Quality assurance is number one. acceptable. If you find bisulfate listed as an ingredi-
Costco shrimp are weighed after being hand- ent, you should know that this chemical prevents
peeled and deveined and before an ice glaze is black spots. Costco does not allow bisulfate.
added. The glaze acts as a natural deterrent to A cautionary word on shrimp labels: Don’t be
freezer burn. The weight stated on each package is fooled by shrimp packages touting “Jumbo,”
the weight of the meat and nothing more. (Some “Colossal” or “Prawn.” In the U.S., the only accept-
Costco shrimp are offered with tails on for ease of able rating is count per pound. Cute descriptions
are meaningless, so go by count per pound when
choosing the right size of shrimp for your recipe.
Costco has chosen the more difficult and expensive shrimp high road, with the result netting members the best catch of the day. Chow down! C
Consumer reporter Pat Volchok gives a behind-the-scenes look at Costco products and services.
a closer look
I sampled Costco’s precooked shrimp and similar
products from several national chains to compare
taste and value. Costco’s product was superior in
all cases. Here’s a sample of my findings.
Costco Kirkland Signature™
2-POUND BAG, 31– 40 COUNT: $13.99
VISUAL: Beautiful coral and white colors
TEXTURE: Looks like lobster; firm
PHOTOS: IRIDIO PHOTOGRAPH Y
SMELL: Pleasant slight scent of the sea
TASTE: Like lobster meat; mild flavor;
I want to eat more
OTHER FACTORS: Window to view product,
resealable; only ingredients are shrimp and salt
National Retailer Private Label
1-POUND BAG, 31– 40 COUNT: $12.99
VISUAL: Translucent and a couple of
questionable black spots
TEXTURE: Undercooked, which keeps more
moisture in for added weight; rubbery, wiggly
SMELL: None TASTE: Bland
OTHER FACTORS: Window in bag;
resealable; lists STPP and sodium bisulfate
SHRIMP ARE ONLY as
good as the weakest link.
Don’t let that weak link
be the cook. Here are some
Follow the overnight
thawing directions on each
bag of Kirkland Signature
frozen shrimp. In an emergency, the sealed bag can
be submerged in a bowl of
cold water until thawed.
Avoid putting shrimp under
running water because it
removes the natural flavor.
It’s important not to
overcook shrimp. The best
directions I’ve found are
in Ina Garten’s Barefoot
Contessa Cookbook. Here
are those directions applied
to Costco’s 2-pound bag of
Kirkland Signature frozen
After thawing the
shrimp, bring 3 quarts
water, 2 tablespoons salt
and half a quartered lemon
to a boil. Add the shrimp;
reduce the heat to medium.
Cook uncovered for only 3
minutes or until the shrimp
turn pink and are barely
cooked through. Remove
with a slotted spoon to a
bowl of ice water; let sit for
a couple of minutes. Drain.
For shrimp party tips
and one of my favorite
shrimp appetizer recipes,
tion.com and click on