I grew up in the Philly area which meant I grew up on some local delicacies, such as the ubiquitous Philly cheesesteaks, the reprieve-from-the-governor Tasty-Kakes, and the they-make-‘em-just-as-good-in-South-Jersey soft pretzels. Another regional treat came out for only eight weeks a year: Easter candy by Zitner’s, a Philadelphia company that’s been giving the Delaware Valley the most wonderful cavities since the 1920s.
Every March, the pharmacies, supermarkets and 5&10s blossom with Zitner’s generously-sized Butter Creams, Cocoanut Creams, Double Cocoanuts, Peanut Butter Eggs, and Marshmallow Eggs. But the company’s signature candy—their Fabergé egg—is the Butter Krak Egg, and, Mother of Pearl, these things are good.
A Butter Krak is a mere 2.5 inches long, but it’s densely packed with shredded cocoanut and buttercream, enveloped in toasted cocoanut and dark chocolate.
This combination makes it crunchy on impact but soft on the inside, intensely sweet but with a hint of the bitter. Such complexity means a little goes a long way. Butter Krak Eggs may be artisanal, but they’re not at all snobby. No, this is candy for the Working Man: hearty, filling, and affordable.
Naturally, with such an addictive treat, it’s easy to make the obvious Krak/crack jokes. I hoped to avoid that, but after recently stocking up on a few 9 pc. boxes for the season, I was surprised at my shifty, drug-addict-like behavior. For example, my fear that my son Harry would discover my “stash” led me to hiding them in the refrigerator as such…
Yep, that’s a Rubbermaid container, lined with aluminum foil and labeled as “SEA SALT” (Harry only likes kosher salt). Debbie colluded with me to keep our son in the dark—as long as she could help herself to the booty, too!
After a few weeks toggling between selfish secrecy (“C’mon, Harry doesn’t even like cocoanut!”) and parental guilt (“How could I deny my Son—my own flesh and blood–such a delicacy?!”), I caved. I sat him down to explain why Daddy was sneaking away to the kitchen so often nowadays, privately hoping he’d take a bite of a Butter Krak Egg, make his “Yuck” face and that would be the end of it. Silly me. Here’s how it went down. (By the way, you should know that my consumption time for a Butter Krak is about a minute, a scant 2 or 3 bites—as I’m sure is the case with most of us.)
And now we’re a family of—you guessed it—Krakheads!
If you’d care to join us in the World of Zitner’s, you can order their goodies at the Pennsylvania General Store, Zitner’s only authorized internet distributor.