The One Thing Costco Does Almost as Well as the French

updated Apr 30, 2019
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(Image credit: Juan Llauro/Shutterstock)

Much like Oprah, I love bread — particularly good bread. I blame my husband; he’s half French and definitely a bread connoisseur. We spent some time in France this summer, visiting with family, sharing his culture with our kids, and eating lots and lots of bread. Now that we’re home, there’s only one baguette for us, and it’s from Costco.

During the two weeks we spent in the country, my husband jumped out of bed at the crack of dawn, grabbed anyone else who happened to be awake, and headed to the local boulangerie for an assortment of pastries and at least two baguettes. Maybe trois ou quatre. Because can you ever have enough really good bread?

Home in South Carolina, we were ready to be disappointed. We have other good things, like pimiento cheese, boiled peanuts, and biscuits — but nothing beats a baguette sandwich, filled with simple ingredients like tomatoes, slabs of good cheese, and a smear of spicy Dijon mustard.

(Image credit: Anne Wolfe Postic)

Costco to the rescue. Their baguettes, delivered to the store par-baked and then finished in-store to just the right level of doneness, are the best ones we’ve had outside of France.

What Makes a Great Baguette?

1. Color.

You want a mix of dark and lighter colors, and a caramelized crust, showing that the bread has been cooked properly.

2. A crispy crust and a soft inside.

Science tells us that the contrast in textures releases more aroma molecules, which enhance the taste.

3. Irregular holes on the inside.

This means your bread hangs on to condiments, butter, the remaining sauce on your plate, or whatever else it is you want to enjoy. And you’ll be surprised by little pockets of more intense flavor. Hooray!

4. Availability.

You can’t always go to France for a baguette, can you?

Costco passes with flying colors.

(Image credit: Anne Wolfe Postic)

The Best Way to Enjoy a Costco Baguette

It’s hard to wait to dig into that baguette — and you shouldn’t have to. Costco also sells Kerrygold butter, so tear off the end and load it up with butter, giving yourself just enough energy to put away the rest of your haul. Then, I usually make a sandwich with those juicy little Campari tomatoes from Costco (even when tomatoes aren’t in season, Costco’s options are pretty darn good). I add Costco’s Kirkland Signature brie, which is from Normandy, very close to where my French mother-in-law grew up.

I’m not going to say how often we go to Costco just for the baguette. But, as the kids say, we’re doing it for the culture. And our kids are learning about my husband’s culture one sandwich at a time.

Have you had the baguettes from Costco? Do you agree that they’re as good as I say they are?