Costco Shoppers Have Mixed Feelings About This Frozen Chicken Shawarma

Ever walk past the window of a Middle Eastern take-out place and noticed there's a big, vertical spit in the kitchen, on which some giant cylinder of brown meat roasts as it rotates around a heat source? It doesn't look like any cut of meat you've ever seen; in fact, it kind of looks a bit like sausage, albeit without the casing. What you were seeing is shawarma, a popular sandwich meat with Turkish origins. Shawarma can be made of virtually any meat, whether from land, sea, or air, and any combination of various meats (in which case, the meats will almost certainly be ground together, not unlike sausage). It also gets its flavor from added animal fat and a Middle Eastern blend of seasonings (via Gulf News). The meat roasts on the spit and is sliced off to order. From there, it's used to create beautiful pita pocket sandwiches with condiments like yogurt sauce, hot sauce, onions, and hummus. 

Now that we mention it, chicken shawarma does sound perfect right about now, doesn't it? If only there were a way to make your own shawarma at home. Well, now there is, according to Costco superfan Instagrammer, Costco Buys. It's a frozen, prepared chicken shawarma by Ruprecht, and it looks just right for stuffing a pita and tossing in some yogurt sauce and hot sauce. Or so we might think. The thing is, from the reaction to Costco Buys' post, it appears Costco shoppers just might be having some mixed feelings about it.

There's good news and not-quite-as-good news about Costco's chicken shawarma

"Fully cooked chicken shawarma is perfect as a quick, delicious meal!" posted Costco Buys on September 29. Per the caption, the Ruprecht brand frozen marinated chicken shawarma is now available at Costco for $6.99 per pound and supposedly easy to heat. The post received nearly 1,400 likes in a mere six hours, not to mention numerous comments along the lines of, "Yum." Nevertheless, the buzz was decidedly mixed. In fact, some commenters were not shy about saying they were unimpressed by the product. However, most of the negative commentary focused on the same two issues.

"Sodium," one commenter posted, succinctly summarizing the first issue. The nutrition information on the package notes that each serving of this particular chicken shawarma contains 410 milligrams of sodium. That's a lot for a single meal (via WebMD), and it's just a single serving. How many of us really stop at a single serving? "Wish I didn't have to cut it myself," another commenter posted, succinctly summarizing the second. Apparently some people who might ordinarily have been pumped to try this frozen shawarma from Costco were put off that the chicken did not come pre-sliced. 

And that, dear friend, is known as the power of the pocketbook!