Tuesday, January 25, 2011
Trader Joe's Peanut Brittle
Dear Trader Joe's Peanut Brittle,
Um, I'm always terribly awkward when it comes to stuff like this. I haven't been trying to avoid you. I know you see me whenever I pass by in the grocery aisle, and probably want to get my attention, but I barely glance over and acknowledge you. I don't find you untasty or undesirable or anything like that - quite the opposite, in fact - but, I guess, because of me and who I am, I just need to move along. It's not you, certainly not you, it's ... just me.
Let me attempt to explain. I remember the first time I saw you, on a wooden shelf brimming of promise of tastiness and extra large peanuts. You simply looked marvelous and I could not resist grabbing a boxful and bringing you home as my wife-allotted "one treat" for the week. But then, once you came home, it was back to another wooden shelf. I let you get lost in a time of homemade cookies and treats and sweets and all sorts of great deliciousness the holiday season brings. I almost forgot about you - I mean, I knew you were there, but there were snickerdoodles and buckeyes and pizzelles and chocolate mint guys and, and .... and all this other stuff. I know you're technically not just a holiday treat, but I regarded you as an afterthought. Please forgive me for that. I mean, I know you're mass-produced for profit, not lovingly, thoughtfully handcrafted like others, but that doesn't mean you can't be amazingly delicious as well.
I remember when I first saw and experienced you for what you truly are. Sandy and I had munched our way through most of our cookies but needed some other treat to crunch on for one of our lazy couch-puppy-Netflix nights. She's the one who said, you know, maybe it's about time we gave you a try. I remember opening the box and foil package inside and then seeing you, beautiful, sweet, thick, nutty, salty, crunchy you, big pieces worthy of several mouthfuls mixed with small delightful bites. I have never seen a peanut brittle that looked like you. And your taste - oh, how it filled me with wonder, with salty-sweet comfort, with the thought of some how, some way, everything was just right with the universe at that moment (inside my mouth, at least). Amazing, like you meant for only me, except by the look in Sandy's eyes I knew she was having the same experience. Here I am, a former journalism major, one who trained and learned how to try and convey thoughts and truths into words on a page, and yet I feel a struggle to even words that sound like what I thought at that moment and time.
I know this sounds over-dramatic, and perhaps a little silly because our time together was so short (was it even ten minutes before Sandy and I ate every bit of you we had?), but I think I love you. No, I do. I do love you. You are perfect, absolutely perfect, and for those brief moments we truly shared, I will treasure forever.
But there's me here too. I know it may be tough for you to understand, being an inanimate food product and all, but I cannot buy you again, at least not on a regular basis. I just don't feel like I can control myself around you. If I buy you again, you'd be gone before I parallel-parked the Subaru outside my front door. There's a reasonable chance you might not make it through the checkout line. Mothers shopping there would have to shield the eyes of their small children from the sight of the wild-eyed, red bearded guy who could not stop from shoving you into my mouth. Sandy would have to decide between grabbing her own boxful or taking me on in a Hunger Games-esque death match for you. And we just can't have that. That, and I'm not sure how well you fit in a healthy balanced diet that I try to delude myself into thinking that I eat.
It's not you. It's me. It's a cliche, I know, but so true. I want you but know I cannot have you.
Please understand if next time I go to Trader Joe's, I don't buy you. I'll try to at least smile and nod in your direction, but even that, I fear, may tempt me beyond my boundaries. Please know what you have meant to me, and know that as long as I walk this earth, I will probably never ever find a peanut brittle as delicious, crunchy, nutty and satisfying as you. Never change.
From my heart,
Seriously, this stuff is the shiznit. Buy at your own risk. Double fives.
Bottom line: 10 out of 10 Golden Spoons