Tag Archives: Fish

Johnny’s Xtreme Taste Dill Ranch Dressing and Dip at Costco: Product Review

Let’s make something perfectly clear: there are few things I abhor more than intentional spelling mistakes in words, for any reason. This goes for names, brands and pretty much anything. That’s my personal opinion. This is why I cringed when I saw Johnny’s Xtreme Taste Dill Ranch Dressing & Dip at Costco. ‘Xtreme’, really? ‘Extreme’ wasn’t ‘Xtreme’ enough? Uhhhh.

That’s when I saw the price, $1.97 for 944 ml – almost a liter of ranch dressing. Then I remembered that I have Gravlax in the fridge. For those of you that don’t know Gravlax, it’s a type of marinated salmon with dill. Incredible. I’ll post my recipe sometimes. In the mean time, you can check out the wikipedia entry for it.

Johnny's Xtreme Taste Dill Ranch Dressing and Dip

Johnny’s Xtreme Taste Dill Ranch Dressing and Dip

So, $1.97. It was probably 7 or 8 dollars at some point, but then I thought, with a tacky name and overly colorful and mildly inappropriate packaging, no wonder it’s marked down. Who are they trying to appeal to, anyways? Dill-crazy teenagers? Those aren’t at Costco.

Johnny's Xtreme Taste Dill Ranch Dressing and Dip ( nutrition facts)

Johnny’s Xtreme Taste Dill Ranch Dressing and Dip ( nutrition facts)

In any case, I’m happy I bought it, and I’m writing the review, aren’t I?

I’ve not used Johnny’s Dill Ranch dressing as dressing so far, because I have a bunch of gravlax to eat, but I’m sure it will serve admirably well.

I’ve been using it as dip, and it goes quite well with my marinated salmon; it’s very dilly, as the name implies, and that’s something you just can’t get enough eating gravlax. It doesn’t taste too rich, just right, and sticks to the salmon slices in just the right thickness.

In short, an excellent dip, but I wouldn’t use for everything, which is unfortunate because I have a liter of it and I’m quickly running out of salmon.

As to the nutrition facts, it’s about what you’d expect. Each 2-tablespoon serving contains 22% of your daily fat, 13% of your sodium and not much else. Certainly no vitamins or essential nutrients to speak of, but then again, that’s not really what anyone was looking for here, was it?

Johnny's Xtreme Taste Dill Ranch Dressing and Dip (ingredients)

Johnny’s Xtreme Taste Dill Ranch Dressing and Dip (ingredients)

It does get interesting when you look at the contents. The first 8 ingredients look fine; they are the traditional ingredients you would expect to find in any dill dressing. Things get a little hairier after that.

As you can see from the provided ingredients list, Johnny’s Xtreme Taste Dill Ranch Dressing and Dip contains a plethora of chemical-sounding ingredients, including everyone’s favorite, Calcium Disodium EDTA, which is creepily used to treat heavy metal poisoning, such as lead or mercury.

Gross.

Thankfully, it also prevents the dip from turning when you leave the jar open for too long, so hooray for that and I guess everything’s okay. It’s totally worth it.

In any case, I don’t want to be too rough here on Johnny’s Xtreme Taste Dill Ranch Dressing and Dip. Despite it’s horrible spelling mistake name, loud graphic design and dizzying list of chemicals, it’s certainly no worse than just about anything you buy on supermarket shelves, unless you feel like making *everything* from scratch. I know I don’t. In addition, this dressing is made in the USA by Johnny’s Fine Foods, so it’s not like your buying some imported, low quality and non-certified junk. I’ll be enjoying my dip and dressing now, for a very affordable price thanks to Costco.

Janes’ Lemon Pepper Breaded Cod Fillets at Costco

Since I’ve discovered sushi – and that was a while ago – I tend to like my fish raw, or severely under-cooked, rather than fully cooked. Unfortunately, the rest of my family does not share my enthusiasm, so we occasionally have to eat cooked fish.

Since I feel like I’m ruining fish by cooking it, I sometimes buy frozen, breaded fillets. They are delicious, easy to make and surprisingly healthy. Kind of. My favorites are Janes Lemon Pepper Cod Fillets, uncooked and breaded, which I purchase at Costco in a convenient 1.36 kilogram box.

Janes' Lemon Pepper Cod Fillets at Costco

Janes’ Lemon Pepper Cod Fillets at Costco

Each box claims to contain 10-13 fillets, which in my experience has been quite accurate. I’ve been buying these for years now. Each box costs $13.99, Canadian dollars, at Costco, which means that each fillet costs between $1.07 and $1.39 – roughly.

It’s not the cheapest frozen fish you can get, price-wise, but the quality is definitely there. See that big chunky piece of cod on the box? That’s what the fish actually looks like. It’s not a frozen, breaded fish paste like some other suppliers peddle. This is actual fish, and it tastes good, too.

Costco Janes Lemon Pepper Cod Nutrition Facts

Costco Janes Lemon Pepper Cod Nutrition Facts

For something that comes frozen out of a box, it’s also actually quite healthy. Have a gander at these here nutrition facts.

190 calories per portion is very reasonable, if that’s what you’re counting. I usually eat two, with some rice, to be satisfied.

The box also claims ‘low in saturated fat’, which at 1 gram per portion, is true. In fact, only 15% of your daily fat in a breaded product is pretty good. Thanks to the fish, you also get Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids, which have been linked to all sorts of benefits, notably for cardiovascular and mental health. I doubt these fillets will make the difference, but it certainly can’t hurt!

There’s also quite a bit of Iron – 8% – and 11 grams of proteins.

Like most prepared foods, sodium is where Janes’ Lemon Pepper Cod Fillets fail: 20% of the daily value in each fillet, which is too high. But they certainly are tasty. Of course, you should not be eating this at every meal. My family and I have this once every two weeks or so, when we have it in the house.

Costco Janes Lemon Pepper Cod Ingredients

Costco Janes Lemon Pepper Cod Ingredients

As you can see by the ingredients list, there is nothing that is patently terrible in the cod fillets. I know that some people have a problem with soy, and I know that modified palm oil can’t be that great. I also realize that it’s not a primary ingredient and that my body can certainly live with a little bit of it.

In conclusion, I am happy to recommend Janes’ Lemon Pepper Cod Fillets, uncooked and breaded, to anyone that’s looking to make a quick, tasty and relatively healthy meal. If you can buy it in Costco-sized packages, all the better!

Update – July 23rd, 2015 – Jane’s Lemon Pepper Cod Fillets are on special at Costco locations in Eastern Canada! You get a $4 instant rebate, which brings down the price to a measly $9.99! Get’em while they last!