Today I will be reviewing what has just got to be one of the most basic of all kitchen basics, margarine, or ‘oleo’ as the crosswords puzzles would have it. I keep both margarine and butter in the fridge; they may be interchangeable in some instances, but in many ways they are not, and both deserve their place. For the past few years I’ve been purchasing the Golden Gate Crystal Margarine from Costco.
There are a couple of things I like about this margarine. The first, and most important, is the taste. It just tastes right; it has a distinctive margarine taste that is strong without being overpowering, reminiscent of butter, but not quite. I assume here you like margarine, otherwise you’ll be disappointed.
Without being particularly picky, because I know we’re talking about a bunch of congealed oil here, the Crystal margarine seems relatively healthy; it contains no trans fats, no lactose (obviously), is non-hydrogenated and, in following the fad of the day, contains Omega-3 fatty acids, which have been linked to all sorts of wonderful things, including increased cardio-vascular health and a betterment of your mood, of all things.
The second thing I like about Crystal Margarine is the cost effectiveness; a container or 1.36 kilograms, or 3 pounds, of margarine costs as little as $4.99, which is much less than the Becel containers at Costco, which are around 10 bucks for 2 kilos. This price comes down to about 36 cents per hundred grams, which is very acceptable.
If you shop smart, you’ll be able to find the Crystal Margarine on special at your local Costco, and really stock up. When it’s on special, it really is. Last time it was, I bought 2 containers for $2.99 each, which is just about given away, considering the following: THE CONTAINER!
Golden Gate and Rubbermaid seem to be working in lockstep on this one; each Crystal Margarine container is a wonderful, reusable genuine Rubbermaid brand tupperware-style container, which is ideal for work lunches, leftovers and a million other uses around the house; if you were hesitating between different brands of margarine, you should buy this one just because of its container, everything else notwithstanding.
Between the great taste of Golden Gate Crystal Margarine, its relative health benefits, its ridiculously low price and its really cool, reusable Rubbermaid container, switching to it should be a no-brainer. I’ve been buying this for years – and have the mountain of tupperware to prove it – and I’m going to continue, until they screw it up and change the magic recipe. I hope they don’t; I like tupperware.
Last but not least, Golden Gate is a Canadian company, despite its very Californian logo, with offices in both Ontario and Quebec. It’s great to buy local.
UPDATE – April 2016 – There is a recall affecting the Crystal Margarine sold at Costco, and possibly other places. Please visit their website or contact your local Costco for additional information.