Why You Should Think Twice Before Buying Costco's Pumpkin Pie

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As fall 2020 arrived, many people were grateful for some cool weather and a few food-friendly holidays on the horizon. But pumpkin pie aficionados know there’s another reason to celebrate: September through December is Pumpkin Pie Season at Costco.

If you don’t know, Costco’s pumpkin pie is a 12-serving delight that is so popular that millions fly off the shelves each year. There’s even an entire Facebook page dedicated to its greatness. These pumpkin pies are super handy if you don’t have time to bake one at home for your next holiday dinner, or if you’re simply in the mood for that sweet, but fleeting taste of fall.

That said, recent online chatter among Costco pumpkin pie fans has revealed a surprising flaw in this beloved holiday staple that may cause you to rethink your dessert plans this year. If you’re getting ready to head out to Costco to pick up a pie or two, consider their warnings first.

Comments on the coupon and savings blog Hip 2 Save relayed some interesting and unpleasant observations about the texture of Costco’s pumpkin pie that are definitely cause for concern. Users were perplexed and dismayed by the presence of a gritty, sandy feel in the pumpkin pie filling.

One commenter stated,

“My mom said she didn’t like Costco pumpkin pie because it was gritty. I got two pies after that and noticed the grittiness in both of them. It worried me because it seemed to be coming from the filling. What on earth would be gritty in the filling??”

Another chimed in, saying,

“I bought one from Costco [last November] and another to take to our daughter’s house on Thanksgiving. Same grittiness.”

So, what’s actually going on with this Costco bakery favorite?

The pumpkins used in Costco’s pumpkin pies are a variety called Dickinson. According to Costco Connection, they come from an enormous facility owned by Seneca Foods in Illinois. Each year, tens of thousands of pounds of pumpkins are picked, processed, and shipped off to Costco bakeries, where they are transformed into those mouth-watering holiday pies.

Epicurious notes that those same Dickinson pumpkins happen to also be used in the well-known Libby’s brand of canned pumpkin. A Facebook post from a Libby’s customer revealed some unsavory details about the texture of Costco’s famous pies.

The original post from Darcy Schultz called out Libby’s pumpkin for being gritty and racked up more than 400 comments, with several noting that Costco’s pumpkin pies are plagued by the same problem. Folks obviously assumed Costco pies were being made from Libby’s canned pumpkin. That isn’t exactly the case; they just use the same variety of pumpkin. But that doesn’t make these pie-lovers’ claims of sandy, gritty pumpkin pies from Costco any less true, and they certainly weren’t shy about sharing.

Several comments mentioned that unwelcome grit and the disturbing texture it imparts to what should be a smooth, silky pie filling, with claims like,

“Every time I eat a Costco pumpkin pie I get a bit of grit/sand in it!”

Another added,

“Every pie from Costco that I get feels crunchy. The most recent one, [it] is like the number one ingredient is sand.”

Another person noted,

“Just had some pumpkin pie from Costco and it had weird sand grain type things too!”

For its part, Libby’s responded to the comments about sand and grit in the texture of its canned pumpkin:

“We use multiple washing systems on the pumpkin but, like lettuce, some tiny grit or sand can make it through our washing process.”

Most likely, Costco’s explanation would be along the same lines, and while it definitely solves the mystery of gritty pie, it’s still a little gross. None of the Costco commenters tagged the big-box retailer in their posts, though, so we’ve yet to see a corporate response.

Costco has been using the same pie recipe since 1987, and we’re sure it never included sand nor grit. Even so, in light of these fans’ discoveries, you may just want to think twice before buying a Costco pumpkin pie for your next fall meal.

#Costco #PumpkinPie

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