Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Candy Covered Chickpeas At Ceazar's

I'm a big fan of candy coating, but even I wouldn't have expected chickpeas to turn into a cute little dessert.

Ceazar's International Market in Elkridge sells a ton of dried beans and lentils as part of the largest local selection of Middle Eastern foods.  It sells some chickpeas covered with pastel candy coating in the sweets aisle.

I thought these were better than just a gimmick.  They're cousins of the Jordan almond, and I thought the chickpeas were better than almonds.  All of the mild nutty flavor with none of the bitterness that you can get in candy-quality nuts.  The candy coating is really firm, so they crunch hard if you bite them right away.  I sucked them for a minute or so and kept instinctively crunching the slightly-thinner shells like that owl in the old Tootsie Pop commercials.

Definitely check out the candy coated chickpeas if you go to Caezar's.  These would make a pretty candy bowl, especially if you're doing a pastel theme on a spring or Easter table.  And no trip to Ceazar's would be complete without buying the pistachio nougat -- a rose-water flavored candy that is absolutely worth the money.

Ceazar's is a great resource for food that ranges from India through Greece.  They also have a halal butcher, which makes it a great spot if you want lamb or goat.  If you want to read more about local eating, click for the starting page for my "What I Learned" guide to food in Howard County.

Ceazar International Market and Restaurant
6801 Douglas Legum Drive
Elkridge, MD 21075

443-755-9442 (market)
442-755-9444 (restaurant)

NEAR: Just off Rte 103 east of U.S. 1. This is just south of Rte 100 and less than two miles from I-95. From Rte 100, you take U.S. 1 south, turn left at the first light onto Rte 103 and follow it as it curves twice. Ceazar is in a shopping center on the left.


Sarah said...

I totally grew up on these! I'll have to get to down to their new location-- the old one was much more convenient for me. I gotta say that after growing up closer to DC, it's very odd for me for there to be only one middle-eastern grocery in the area and that I have to make a special trip for it.

HowChow said...

@Sarah -- Don't focus on the change too much. I noticed that, got infatuated with discovering places, and found myself blogging. It's exhausting!

thenewguy said...

I just noticed what looks like a middle eastern grocer opening up next door to Royal Pizza, in the same shopping center as Akbar, Azul 17, etc. I didn't see any signs on when it would be opening.

Sarah said...

@HowChow: Haha-- fair enough.

Here's another interesting sweet for you then. There's an Iranian cookie called nokhodchee made out of chickpea flour, flavored with pistachios. Fantastic little things, great with tea. They are traditional for the Iranian new year (first day of Spring). Wonder if Ceazars has them. I might have to go out of my way tonight :)

HowChow said...

@Sarah -- Please tell me if they're at Ceazars. I think that store is run by Iranians, so I bet they'll have them. I would love to buy them before the new year. I should have done something before Chinese New Year, and I just missed it.

Sarah said...

@HowChow: I was going to go tonight but got stuck in the worst traffic coming home. I'll swing by tomorrow.