Well-curated Snacks at Careful Peach Boutique

Only the outstanding stuff

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By David Hammond

Walking by Careful Peach Boutique last week, I casually glanced in the front windows and saw… food items. That was a surprise.

Now, I'd bought some excellent soap from Careful Peach at the now vanished Wednesday Farmers' Market on Lake Street, but I didn't know this little boutique sold food. The display caught my interest, so I walked inside.

I was examining the Brandt beef jerky when Milissa Alvarez, who was working the register that day, came up to me and said, "People are always saying to me, 'Really, beef jerky at Careful Peach!"

I was surprised, too, because I thought this was mostly, you know, a store for women.

"We're trying to offer some items for men," said Alvarez, "You know, things that women could by as gifts for their boyfriends and husbands. " That means food.

"All the food items we carry," said Alvarez, "are small batch."

This is, indeed, a well-curated collection of food, and the beef jerky turned out to be very good, probably the best I've ever had.

When traveling, I frequently buy a bag of beef jerky in the airport because it's highly portable, low-fat, high protein and more or less edible. I can't say it tastes that good…in fact, the jerky you buy in the airport or at convenience stores has an unpleasant dog food taste in the back of the mouth, and one has the feeling that the meat is maybe just a cut above what we might feed a pet.

The Brandt jerky from Careful Peach, on the other hand, had a very clean beef flavor, with no obvious chemical after-taste, and it was very tender, not at all chewy or gnarly. Brandt beef is made without hormones and without antibiotics, which may or may not affect the flavor, but either way it's nice to know.

Brandt Beef Jerky is not a cheap snack, but it's not that expensive either: about $7 for a 3 oz bag. Worth it.

We also brought home a jar of excellent pickled garlic and some chocolate covered toffee that was just spectacularly good.

Careful Peach Boutique does not carry a lot of food, but that lack of range is actually a good thing. Instead of combing through lots of edible merchandise, some mediocre, some good and some outstanding, they just carry the outstanding stuff.



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