Sonoma Creamery CEO John Crean is at the center of near snack hysteria. The historic Sonoma cheese company recently introduced Parmesan Crisps to their lineup of products — a cracker-like square of cheese crack otherwise known as baked Parmesan cheese.

It’s like that crunchy cheese at the bottom of the pan when you make grilled cheese, but way, way better.

These addictive little umami bombs briefly showed up in family-sized bags at Costco in California, Nevada and Arizona. Made with aged Parm, they were a tasty, gluten-free, low-sugar snack with the bonus of a little quinoa added to the mix; a “better for you” snack that was just the ticket for lots of us.

But then they disappeared entirely, leaving anyone who’d tried them in a state of Parmesan withdrawal.

Parmesan Crisps from Sonoma Creamery

Parmesan Crisps from Sonoma Creamery

Meanwhile, Crean was receiving hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of desperate emails from fans of the crisps. Where had they gone? Would they be back?

Crean sent us a few of the most desperate pleas, which speak to the desperate state of snacking…

  • Do you know where I can buy these Parmesan Crisps? The withdrawals are hard on us. HELP!! – Blake H
  • A friend of mine in Stockton, CA sent me a bag of your Parmesan Crisps recently – needless to say, I am addicted to them! – Barb B
  • As are most, I’m addicted to the Sonoma Creamery Parmesan Crisps. I may need Parmesan Crisps Anonymous! –Madison M.
  • Coworkers and I used to keep a candy drawer stocked at work, we have now converted it to a Parm Crisps drawer! Thank you for this amazing product! – Tamie T.
  • A girlfriend introduced me to your Parmesan Crisps and I’m hooked! Where can I buy more? I NEED THEM! – Hugh C.
  • I have been all over the Bay Area looking for your product in Costco. I’m desperate and need them now! Please HELP! – April L.

I get it. As a Parmesan Crisp freak, it’s become an endless topic of discussion both at work and at home. Costco managers shrugged when I pleaded, saying that folks had been buying them by the case, and as of mid-February, they were gone from stores. Not exactly shocking, since Costco loves driving us all crazy by rotating stock frequently in what they call “treasure hunt” marketing.

But we’ve gotten to the bottom of it.

Here’s the bad news: You won’t find them at Costco again until May.

The good news? You can immediately find small bags (2.25 oz) on Amazon.com, Safeway, and in Southern California, especially if you’re willing to try the Bacon Cheddar Crisps or the Cheddar Crisps (good, but just not the same in our book). Beware, however, since there is a company trying to sell them for $25 per bag! Soon, 10 oz. bags will begin showing up on Amazon.com as a direct response to the outcry, according to Crean, but will sell for $11 each (not quite as cheap as the $8.49 at Costco).

Can’t wait? Northern California Costcos are currently offering Parmesan “Whisps” from Cello Cheese. Meh, but close.

“I know what a drug dealer feels like,” said Crean, who in the several minutes we spoke, received three more emails from addicted Parmesan Crisp lovers,”people need their fix. We want to make sure everyone gets to feed their *healthy* addiction!”

Do you have a Costco favorite that’s disappeared?

Note: The use of the term “addiction” is meant to be humorous in this context, but process and substance addictions aren’t humorous at all. Not even a little. You are not alone.