Here's Why Costco Hotdogs Might Taste Different In Japan

While most people love Costco for its unique offerings and larger-than-life-sized items, the food court is what really gets people excited. The Costco food court is a magical oasis in the midst of fluorescent lights, giant cardboard boxes, and endless free samples. The fan-favorite hot dog and soda combo is a steal of a deal, with the price remaining unchanged since 1985. Even with record inflation, Costco's CEO declared that the $1.50 deal will remain "forever," and customers were delighted to hear it (per CNBC).

For those who like a little variety, the Costco food court has plenty of options to keep you full and satisfied during your shopping trip. In U.S. stores, customers can order a slice of cheese or pepperoni pizza, the infamous chicken bake, a latte freeze, a churro, and more (per Fast Food Menu Prices). Even with this slew of options, some Americans are jealous of the different offerings at international Costco stores. Iceland stores serve fresh gelato, for example, while South Korea's version of a chicken bake is filled with bulgogi (via BuzzFeed). Even the chain's signature hot dog varies depending on where in the world you order it.

It's not all beef

According to The Kitchn, hot dogs from the Costco food court in Japan are not the same as the American ones. In the states, Costco prides itself on serving and selling 100% all-beef hot dogs free from filler, phosphates, and artificial colors and flavors. It's always been this way: The $1 hot dogs from Costco got their start when the chain sold Hebrew National hot dogs from a cart outside of its stores in the mid-1980s. In Japan and Taiwan, however, the food court hot dogs are made from 100% pork.

In Japan, hot dogs aren't the only food court item that differs from their American counterparts. In a Reddit thread, it was revealed that some unique Japanese Costco items include caramel soft serve, Aussie beef pie, a cheeseburger, and a pulled pork burger. According to Digg, hot dog meat is not the only difference from its American counterpart. The price of a hot dog and soda in Japan is also ever-so slightly more expensive, at about $1.33. Still, a great deal considering it's a hefty, tasty treat to enjoy while you shop.