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Reviews of desserts in Chicago.

Sugar Rush: Zingerman's Peanut Brittle at City Provisions

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[Photograph: Kate Bernot]

If I was peanut brittle, I think I'd feel a bit bitter. After all, peanut brittle was steady holdin' down the whole salty-sweet combo before chocolate-covered bacon or sea salt caramels were even conceived. These days, peanut brittle doesn't get the respect it deserves, relegated as it is to grandmothers' holiday tables and that unappreciated space on the Candy Land board. Zingerman's, I believe, could single-handedly reverse this.

The Ann Arbor-based confectioner (from the same folks as Zingerman's Creamery, Deli, and Bakeshop) packages a peanut brittle so simple, yet so compulsively munchable, that it could reverse the decades-long trend of brittle under-appreciation. With brittle, the appeal is uncomplicated: you want tons of crunch, a flavorful candy, and good quality nuts. Zingerman's nails it with a caramely hard candy lava studded with huge heaps of peanuts, preserved in their salty, crunchy state like precious fossils trapped in amber.

I picked up my bag at City Provisions Deli (for $5.95), then promptly devoured it more quickly than I'd care to admit. When I emailed owner Cleetus Friedman to inquire about his current stock of these confections—yes, I sent an email to a chef with the subject line "Candy"—he told me he was momentarily out of them, but hoped to receive a shipment soon. Last I checked, they were back in stock, though if my cravings don't let up, they won't be for long.

City Provisions

1820 West Wilson Avenue, Chicago, IL 60640 (map)
773-293-2489
cityprovisions.com

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