The Expensive, Bougie Goods You Can Buy At Costco

It's easy to miss the fact that Costco sells a lot of bougie foods since most of the higher-end items are available online rather than at the club itself. As it turns out, you don't need a local gourmet grocery store selling Wagyu beef and caviar when you can buy the same stuff at Costco. Among the selection, you'll find that some products are expensive luxury imports, whereas others are shipped from restaurants you only wish you could visit.

While warehouse clubs like Costco have become synonymous with bulk value among customers, they also offer lavish extravagances if you know where to look. The trick is to go online; you might be surprised by what you find. The luxury items on our list run from around $80 to nearly $7,000. Whether you're looking for a high-end spice, convenience food, delicacy, or a food experience to share, Costco has you covered with these expensive bougie goods.

Full thread Greek saffron jar

Saffron is famous for being the most expensive spice in the world. At its costliest, you're looking at upwards of $15 per gram, so buying the same amount at Costco for around $6 is actually a deal. Still, at $79.99 for a 14-gram jar, it's pretty pricey considering the quantity. The reason it's so expensive is complex. Each Crocus sativus flower yields three stigmas that workers must hand-pluck one by one. It can take the equivalent of a 40-hour work week to harvest just 2.2 pounds of saffron from 150,000 flowers. Since most of the plants bloom during the same one-week period each year and need to be picked in the early morning, many people are required to quickly harvest during ideal conditions.

Most people describe saffron as having an earthy, grassy, or buttery flavor. Some detect honey or even floral notes in dishes that are flavored with it. However, other people find that saffron tastes unappealingly like iodine. Interestingly enough, tasting iodine when you eat saffron-flavored foods is genetic, much like thinking cilantro tastes like soap. As long as you don't have the genetic predisposition that makes the spice totally unpleasant, it's well worth the bougie price tag. Considering Costco's saffron has a 200+ color score, you'll be getting the highest quality category too.

Golden Nest Swallow bird nests

They might look like rice vermicelli noodles but swallow bird nests are actually made from dried bird spit. You can buy two swiftlet nests for $89.99 at Costco. Oddly enough, they're edible, though we're curious about the first person who thought that eating a bird's nest was a good idea. In one legend, Chinese royalty first acquired them from Indonesia in the search for the secret to eternal youth. In another tale, hungry soldiers stranded on an island in Southeast Asia discovered them after desperately boiling swallow nests for potential food. Today, people in China and around the world still consume swallow nests for their purported health benefits, with unverified health claims ranging from younger-looking skin to increased libido.

The cost for swallow bird nests ranges from $2,600 to $7,400 per kilogram. So, you're not really getting a good deal buying your swallow nests from Costco since they come out to $8,999 per kilogram. However, it's all about scarcity if you can't find them elsewhere. This is definitely a luxury eating experience since swallow nests really don't taste like much on their own. Culinary-wise, it's more about the textural experience of adding them to other foods like soup broth or drinks to produce a gelatinous texture and slightly sweet flavor.

Ferrara's Bakery 24 Large Cannoli

Cannoli seem like a simple dessert, but a really good cannolo is something you won't soon forget. If you don't have a place nearby to get authentic Italian cannoli, buying them from Costco is the next best thing. They actually come straight from Ferrara Bakery in Little Italy, NYC. If you were able to stop by Ferrara to pick up a box of cannoli, you'd end up paying $164 for two dozen. Therefore, paying $109.99 for the same amount at Costco is a good deal (especially if you don't live in New York). 

That being said, the cannoli from Costco are sold frozen so you will have to thaw them before digging in. The good news is that these rich desserts will last a whole year in the freezer, so you can pull one out whenever you get a cannolo craving. The box comes with a dozen plain cannoli and a dozen dipped into Belgian chocolate, making this a perfect treat to slowly enjoy by yourself or to serve when you entertain.

5-day organic juice cleanse pack

Juice cleanses have been popular for years and are a fairly trendy and bougie practice. Popular reasons to go on an all-juice diet include improving your health, weight loss, flushing out toxins, and acquiring healthier-looking skin. Costco makes it easier to do a juice cleanse by selling a 35-pack of pre-made shots and juices that will last you five days. Not having to purchase lots of fruit and vegetables separately to run through a juicer is definitely convenient, which is why Costco's juicing pack costs $139.99. The good news is that it's all organic with no added sugar, colors, or flavors.

A juice cleanse provides fewer daily calories than ordinary meals, so weight loss is likely to occur. Unfortunately, with Costco's juices ranging from 124 to 165 calories per 12-ounce serving and the elixirs only providing 20 to 30 calories per 2.4 ounces, you're likely to spend all five days hungry and low on energy. While consuming juice is certainly an easy way to gain the health benefits of fruits and vegetables, Healthline reports you'd get even more from eating them whole since juice lacks fiber. The outlet also notes there's not enough evidence to prove that just drinking juice actually cleanses your body of toxins or improves your skin. That being said, if you are low on time and want to boost your nutrient content with some ready-made juices and elixirs, this 5-day organic cold pressed juice pack will make it easy.

Boarderie Art charcuterie and cheese board

Of course, you could go into Costco and buy all the ingredients for a nice charcuterie board piece by piece. However, if you have $199.99 and a Costco membership, you don't have to make decisions, harness your inner creativity, or spend time you don't have to create the perfect charcuterie board. Costco's fully-arranged charcuterie and cheese board is exactly what you need for your next bougie get-together. 

It contains 13 interesting types of cheese, including plain and flavored ones. Foods like cured meats, dried fruits, nuts, marmalade, olives, and crackers fill out the rest of the 17-by-13-inch acacia wood board. It also comes with several utensils, so you won't have to get anything in your kitchen dirty. While charcuterie boards certainly aren't new, they are definitely trendy. Pair it with a fruit tray and you've covered your bases for a meal that doesn't require any cooking at all. Once the food is gone, you can keep the wooden board for an occasion when you are feeling inspired to make your own spread.

D'Artagnan semi-boneless quail

You don't often see quail for sale at most grocery stores. Cornish game hens are far more common, but the two birds have some differences. Quail has a greater proportion of dark meat than chicken, and the intensity of its flavor lies somewhere between chicken and duck. You'll also find that it takes a lot more quail for a meal than you would need if you were serving Cornish hen; the average quail only weighs a quarter of a pound as opposed to a pound and a quarter for a Cornish game hen. So, keep in mind that the box of 32 quail you can buy from Costco for $299.99 will only feed a fraction when compared to the same amount of a different poultry bird. Still, you're going to end up with around eight pounds of meat, so it's not insignificant.

Quail costs so much more than chicken because it's still a niche market with low demand. The birds are more expensive for farmers to raise than chickens since they need food with higher protein content. Additionally, it requires a lot of selective breeding to get quail that hatch at a decent rate. Plus, despite being smaller birds, it takes a lot more effort for a quail farmer to catch, pluck, and process quails compared with chickens.

Wagyu surf & turf pack

When you're looking for a meal to impress a date or celebrate something special, $379.99 will buy you a surf and turf pack for two at Costco. You get two cold water lobster tails and two pieces of Wagyu beef filet mignon. If you need any sides, you'll have to purchase them separately because this bougie pack is all about meat. This surf and turf meal comes frozen, so be sure to set aside time to thaw it before cooking.

The idea of eating seafood with steak for special meals has been around since the 1960s. Nobody can seem to agree on whether it was chefs on the Atlantic or Pacific coast of the U.S. who first came up with the idea. Those who claim it started on the West Coast say it originated in Seattle's Space Needle restaurant during the 1962 World's Fair. Meanwhile, people who swear it's an East Coast invention cite a newspaper advertisement in Lowell, Massachusetts, for a Champagne surf 'n turf dinner at a local restaurant in 1966. Whoever served it first, it's here to stay for over-the-top celebration meals.

Iberico bellota ham leg with stand and knife

Considering that a single leg of Iberico ham can sometimes cost as much as $4,500, the ones at Costco are an excellent deal. Still, if you're going to pay $549.99 for a 15.4-pound ham, the least the store can do is give you a stand and knife to go with it. These pigs are some of the best-kept in the world, which is why Iberico ham is so expensive. The black-hooved animals live a life of luxury frolicking out in the wild Spanish Dehesa, where they have free access to many nutrients and fatty acids through the abundance of acorns they eat. The pigs used in the Iberico ham Costco sells all live in the Valle de Los Pedroches, which has the largest area of oaks in the world. In fact, the ratio of land to pigs is 2.5 acres for every animal.

Since Iberian pigs descended from wild boars, their meat is leaner than what you would get from ordinary farm pigs. You'll notice that the fat is marbled throughout the meat rather than lingering in a layer on the outside. This lean, fat-marbled meat sits in a cellar for three years while it is curing, as the fat melts and absorbs the aromas of the surrounding mountain air.

Whole wheel of Parmigiano Reggiano cheese

If you're someone who likes a little pasta with their cheese, you can buy a 72-pound wheel of Parmigiano Reggiano from Costco for a mere $949.99. The whole wheel is about 18 by 9 inches, so it's no small piece of cheese. Even if you ignite it into a flaming wheel of cheese, you're going to have plenty left over to give away to friends or eat until you never want to see another piece of Parmigiano Reggiano again.

According to Giada de Laurentiis, there's a big difference between plain parmesan and Parmigiano Reggiano. If you buy parmesan cheese, it can come from anywhere, but Parmigiano Reggiano has to come from a specified designation of origin in Italy. Regular parmesan cheeses are perfectly fine, but they're mild rather than sharp like Parmigiano Reggiano. Like a good wine, the latter has a complex flavor profile ranging from fruity to nutty. It also has a unique texture, with crunchy bits throughout. You'll quickly note that as a specialty cheese import, Parmigiano Reggiano is often twice as expensive as other parmesan cheeses.

Japanese Wagyu boneless ribeye roast

Who needs a regular rump roast from an ordinary cow for Sunday dinner when you can awe your guests with a Japanese Wagyu boneless ribeye roast? With the highest-priced Japanese Wagyu beef costing as much as $200 per pound, Costco's roast is a good deal at around $92 per pound. The whole 12-pound roast will cost you $1,099.99, so unless you're cooking for an army, you'll want to be ready to vacuum seal and freeze some of it for another meal. There are many ways you can enjoy this cut of fat-marbled meat. Try cutting it into cubes for stew, slicing it into steaks for the grill, or slicing it paper thin to cook piece-by-piece on a table-top grill.

Wagyu beef is a luxury meat prized for the continuous webs of fat that run through it that provide flavor and tenderness like no other. All this fat comes from farmers scheming to keep the cows inside a pen, stuffing them full of fattening grains three times a day until their bodies have almost as much fat as flesh. It's not all bad though; most farmers ensure their cows live a good life and feed them real food instead of pumping them up with hormones and steroids.

American grass fed organic half cow

You may need to buy a separate freezer for it, yet it's possible to buy half a cow at Costco (and a freezer for that matter). Once you subtract skin, hair, hooves, bones, horns, and innards it's probably not as much mass as you would think. For $1,299.99, you're only getting 65 pounds of meat and oddly enough, no ribs. Still, half a cow is likely to last you a while. Lucky for you, it's already been processed into pieces like roasts, ground beef, tri-tips, brisket, and steaks. Plus, since the cows are 100% grass-fed and pasture-raised, they're leaner, taste better, and have a subtly sweeter flavor than grain-fed varieties.

For people who know they're going to eat a lot of beef throughout the year and have the money upfront, it's a better deal to buy a whole cow in bulk rather than the same amount of beef in smaller quantities over time. Even if you get tired of eating it for a while, it will last two to three years in the freezer since it comes vacuum sealed, so there's no pressure to consume it immediately. The only risk you're taking is the possibility of a days-long power outage in bad weather ruining your investment. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that food is safe in an unopened freezer for 48 hours during a power outage. Any longer and you've lost half a cow.

Plaza Golden Osetra caviar

Not only is golden Osetra caviar rare, but it's among the best caviars available. Caviar connoisseurs like it for its nuttiness and fat-laden creaminess, which is extremely popular atop a blini or served alone as a caviar bump. Osetra caviar is a gourmet indulgence, and Costco's comes from farm-raised sturgeon cured in Greece. You'll find that the eggs are larger than most other types aside from beluga caviar.

Since it will last unopened in the fridge for a couple of weeks, you can relax about how quickly you have to serve it. However, since Costco's golden Osetra caviar comes in a 35.2-ounce tin, it begs to be shared with 30 to 50 of your closest bougie friends. This huge container of caviar will set you back $1,999.99, but it promises a great experience. Plus, it comes with a thermal tote bag, which allows you to bring it anywhere while preserving its freshness. As an extra touch, you get two fancy mother-of-pearl spoons for serving.

One-year emergency food pallet

In case of a worldwide pandemic, apocalypse, or financial collapse, it's not a bad idea to be prepared. And if you have a spare $6,999.99 sitting around, you might as well use it to buy a year's supply of emergency food from Costco. Just be sure you have enough space to store 246 No. 10 cans of food. In the survival kit, you get granola, breakfast skillets, spaghetti, chili mac with beef, beef stroganoff, rice and chicken, and Mexican-style adobo rice and chicken. You also don't have to worry about food going bad any time soon because it's supposedly good for up to 30 years.

Of course, since each No. 10 can holds an average of 109 ounces of food, you'll be eating from one can for a while unless you're sharing. Plus, without a whole lot of variety, you're likely to get sick of eating only seven different foods long before the halfway point of your year-long emergency. Since the packaging isn't very thoughtful, you'd also better hope your food emergency comes with refrigeration for those huge cans of food. The number of calories contained within the entire emergency food supply is enough for one person to consume 1,985 calories a day for a whole year. Having $7,000 worth of food in your house that you may never even eat is a whole other level of bougie.