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Zitner’s Butter Krak: Happy (Addictive) Easter!

Good morning, friends. Tomorrow is Easter, and if you’ve been reading here longer than, oh, 24 hours, you know it’s not my holiday. It is, however, my husband’s holiday, and he enjoys every candy-loving second of it. We went to my in-laws’ last weekend for a little pre-Easter candy debauchery, just to blow Harry’s Jewish mind. He woke up to a trail of jelly beans leading downstairs and through the house, until it finally ended at a platter of candy large enough to feed the neighborhood. Pretty sure Harry wanted to marry the Easter bunny after that. And if that wasn’t enough, later in the day his cousins came over for an Easter egg hunt, Harry’s first. I have to say, coming home to Passover’s matzo-focused eating, as delicious as it is, wasn’t easy.
While we were down there, Stephen took the opportunity to replenish his stash of one of his favorite holiday treats, which he shared with Harry. I invited him to tell you about it here (he’s got a pretty amazing blog of his own, all about movies, music, and various other pop cultural stuff, called Peel Slowly).
That’s right, it’s guest post time!

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.

This Post Has 22 Comments

  1. Larval Doctor

    I live in Philly (as of 8 months ago), but I've never seen such things. Where can I buy them locally?

  2. debbie koenig

    Larval Doctor (great name, btw!), we got them at the supermarket. A Shop-Rite in south Jersey. I think they're all over, but hurry cuz they won't be available for much longer!

  3. Karen

    First off….they sound delicious!! I am sure I could become a "Krakhead" myself. But the best part was watching Harry slowly savor the candy bar. He is so much like his cousin – with the thumbs up bc you can't stop eating down to the jumping for joy at the yumminess. Made me smile 🙂

  4. raedi

    I want to be a Krakhead too, Harry is so sweet…I love the idea of hiding in foil, loved your post….RaeDi

  5. raedi

    I want to be a Krakhead too, Harry is so sweet…I love the idea of hiding in foil, loved your post….RaeDi

  6. debbie koenig

    Thanks, Raedi! And thanks for stopping to leave a comment–first time, no?

  7. Casey@Good. Food. Stories.

    Guys… don't want to blow your minds any further, but I saw Butter Krak in the Clifton, NJ Target a few weeks ago. Just across the highway from Rutt's Hut!

  8. debbie koenig

    That *is* mind-blowing, Casey! We'll be right there.

  9. emily @

    Good lord, Debbie. Now I've just gone and ordered some. Just so you know…the boxes are HALF-OFF now! Order in bulk and freeze…

  10. debbie koenig

    Emily, you and Casey are EVIL.

  11. Beth

    I just bought a box of butter Krak eggs as I do every year. They used to be wonderful but for the last 2 years, not so much. The chocolate is white and the center is all dried up. I suspect they are last years eggs.

    So w here do I get fresh ones?

    1. Debbie Koenig

      Ugh, how disappointing! Nothing worse than bad chocolate. Honestly, since we live in Brooklyn I’m not sure what the best place is to get them–but Stephen’s mom got us a few boxes at her local Shop Rite, and they were dee-lish. My sense is that they’re all over the place in South Jersey, but I could be wrong.

  12. Mike

    Harry is adorable! Yes,I’m a krakhead,too & now that we live in CA they were only a fond memory- until this year! Boscov’s sells them online & boy did I take advantage of their free shipping. They actually arrived in good shape & we’re rationing them. There was recently an article in the Inky about Zitners & the new owner- it’s worth a read. Thanks for sharing the awesome video- it made my day!

    1. Debbie Koenig

      Hi Mike, thanks for the Harry love! Glad you got your Krak in CA–free shipping, nice. Off to look for that article…

  13. Karen

    When we moved to Virginia from Tennessee via South Dakota 6 years ago, I was totally unaware of the Butter Krak phenom. Then, 3 years ago, I stopped at our local Wawa convenient store and there was a box by the register. The man in from of me went bonkers and bought half the box. So I bought one and gave it a try. 🙁 I, too, am now a Krakhead. Mine are hidden in a Martin’s grocery bag in the back of the veggie drawer of my refrigerator, where my husband is unlikely to find them. My name is Karen..and I am an addict.

  14. Sally LeMoine

    Just saw Butter Krak on the Andrew Zimmern show & must order some. Coconut & chocolate? Yum Yum Yum!!!!!!!!

    Thank you from a Texas Girl who had no idea!!!!!!!!

    Can’t wait to order some, my mouth is watering!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  15. Gloria Mills

    Never had it but saw this on the Bizarre Foods n so love dark chocolate so want to order some.

  16. Nancy S.

    Believe it or not, they are even better (and last slightly longer) frozen! I (carefully) slice them into 4-5 slices and just enjoy as each melts on my tongue. In my area, Bucks-Montgomery border, they are available in Wa-Wa and CVS. Wal-mart has boxes of 8 (currently half price and hidden under all the left-over peanut butter ones at the Warminster Wal-Mart) but they are smaller than the individually wrapped ones. Still just as tasty. I found these in the 70s at a local pharmacy and have been sold ever since.

  17. Kathy krauss

    Just saw on bizarre foods where do you buy Zitnets butter Kraks? They look wonderful live in Southern California

    1. Debbie Koenig

      I’ve seen them online, but I’ve never bought them that way! Did you try googling? It’s off-season now so they may not be available.

  18. Carol Lambert

    I would love to order some of your candy and try it it sounds really good. I’ve been watching a video on TV and everything thank you

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