Kitchn Love Letters

The $10 Costco Staple I’m Stocking in My Fridge All Summer Long

published Jun 27, 2023
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Costco storefront and parking lot with shopping carts
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I firmly believe that dips are the most important thing on the table at summer dinner parties and backyard barbecues. Don’t get me wrong — hamburgers, hot dogs, and even steaks cooked over an open flame are sure to get guests’ mouths watering. But the appetizers are what set the scene when people first arrive, as they are the first thing your guests are going to eat. So you want to make sure those bites are just as memorable as the main course.

Before having some friends over recently, I made a quick trip to Costco to pick up some easy snacks that I just knew everyone would love. Among the chips, hummus, pita, and fresh cut veggies I picked up, I found a brand-new dip that I’ll be sure to add to any future summer party I’ll be hosting: La Terra Fina Pineapple Habanero Dip & Spread.

Credit: Kurt Suchman

What’s So Great About La Terra Fina Pineapple Habanero Dip & Spread?

This Costco find is made for those who love spicy and sweet flavors together. Terra Fina’s quiches earned rave reviews from Kitchn Staff Writer, Patty Catalano, earlier this spring. So when I spotted its pineapple-habanero dip in the fridge section, I knew it would be worth a try.

Cream cheese and shredded Monterey Jack make up the base of this creamy dip, but most of the flavor here is the one-two punch of sweet chopped pineapple and fiery habanero peppers. I thought the idea of a cheese-based dip with fruit sounded a little bizarre to me, but after sneaking a bite while setting up the appetizers I almost considered keeping the entire tub in the fridge for myself.

It starts out with a salty-creamy flavor from the base, which made me think it was going to taste more like a classic spinach-artichoke or queso dip. But then the tanginess of the pineapple creeps in and the spicy habanero heat follows. It’s cheesy, spicy, and tropical all at once. Anyone who has ever enjoyed the classic pepper jelly and cream cheese dip knows this flavor combination is an underappreciated mix.

Credit: Kurt Suchman

What’s the Best Way to Use La Terra Fina Pineapple Habanero Dip & Spread?

Just spooning the dip right out into a bowl and serving it with tortilla chips, cut produce (carrot sticks, cucumber slices, and sweet bell peppers), and soft pita is probably the best way to introduce yourself to the unique flavors of the dip. And once you familiarize yourself with it, you’ll find there are so many possibilities.

It has a creamy base, so it also works well when warmed up until melty, maybe even with a sprinkling of shredded Monterey Jack on top to get extra brown and bubbly. It’s also a surprisingly delicious condiment for most anything you put on the grill. Slather it on your bun for a fruity, Tex-Mex twist on your standard burger. Pair it with grilled chicken — especially recipes that lean a little tangy (hello, tequila lime marinade). 

After the party was over and I still had some dip left over (it comes in a massive 31-ounce tub), I had a lot of fun sneaking it into quesadillas with leftover chicken from the party throughout the week. A surprising favorite was roasting cauliflower in the oven until brown and crispy and mixing it with some dip before putting it in an oven-safe bowl, sprinkling with more cheese, and broiling it until bubbly; I ate it with corn tortillas like street tacos. 

Find it in stores: Terra Fina Pineapple Habanero Dip & Spread, $9.49 for 31 ounces

What Costco dips are you loving right now? Tell us about them in the comments below.