The Southern French Cheese You Should Always Buy At Costco

More than a few food and health essentials are widely considered to be great Costco deals. Allergy medicine can be so much cheaper at the warehouse chain than at other stores that Reddit says it alone is worth the price of a Costco membership. Staples like bacon, olive oil, diapers, and even gasoline are some of the best things to buy at Costco if you're serious about savings. But Costco isn't just great for stocking up on the basics. The chain carries some unique artisanal foods, too.

This is especially evident in the store's cheese section. Cheese is a must-buy at Costco, according to Reddit, for myriad reasons. From cheese flights to Spanish cheese variety packs, you can often find deals on dairy at Costco. Having a membership is a handy way for turophiles to try new cheeses, and there's one you might want to keep your eye on. Really: One cheesemonger said they "gasped"  when they saw Costco selling it for $16.49 a pound, while other shops typically sell it for double, they wrote for Kitchn.

What is P'tit Basque cheese?

This gasp-worthy Costco buy is called P'tit Basque cheese. It's made by the cheesemaker Istara, located in the Basque region of the Pyrenees mountains between Spain and France in a town called Larceveau (via Guide Du Pays Basque). Istara specializes in making classic Basque-style sheep's milk cheese, including P'tit Basque. This variety has a semi-firm texture (meaning you can cut it into slices, as opposed to something like a ripe brie), and Gourmet Food World says it's "like a mild, creamier version of Manchego." Also notable? P'tit Basque has a recognizable inedible wax rind, imprinted with the texture of the woven basket the cheese is drained in.

P'tit Basque cheese might seem like an ancient Pyrenees food, but Reluctant Gourmet explains that it was actually invented in 1997 by Lactalis, a large dairy company that also owns the brands Sorrento, Rondelé, and Président (which you might recognize from those wooden wheels of brie at the supermarket). 

Reviewers online have mostly positive things to say about Istara's P'tit Basque cheese. Slow Family Online said it is "nuttier" than cow's milk cheese and "somewhat creamy" with "a dry, salty finish." Marcella the Cheesemonger praised it as "a terrific cheese," saying "it is sweet and salty and pleasant on the tongue." For those looking for a new cheese to try, P'tit Basque is one unique option that's more affordable at Costco.