A great start to a Valentine’s Day.
Yes, roses are lovely.
But chocolate is where it’s at.
At least that’s my philosophy for Valentine’s Day.
And nobody makes chocolate like Burlingame’s Guittard Chocolate Company, a family-owned craft chocolate maker that celebrated its 150th year in business in 2018.
In honor of that monumental anniversary, Guittard created a limited-edition Eureka Works 62 Percent bar, named after the first factory that founder Etienne Guittard set up in San Francisco in 1868.
It’s a blend of cacao beans from its earliest sourcing locations: Indonesia, Hawaii, Ecuador and Brazil. What’s more a portion of proceeds from every bar sold will go to the Heirloom Cacao Preservation Fund, a not-for-profit that works to preserve the rarest cacao trees that produce the highest quality chocolate and to help the farmers who grow them.
Guittard’s special, limited-edition Eureka Works chocolate.
The huge 500g bar ($29.95 on the Guittard Web site) is lovely to look at — molded with a nifty cacao bean imprint design. And the taste? I was fortunate enough to receive a sample recently. It’s a smooth, complex chocolate that tastes prominently of dark cherries and a touch of pineapple. It has some acidity and bitterness, but in measured amounts to let the fruitiness of the bar shine through.
(Clockwise from back) Chocolate Decadence, Orange Creamsicle, and Chocolate Espresso Roons.
Sweet, moist, chewy as can be, and full of tropical coconut.
That’s what you get with Roons, delicious coconut macaroons hand-made in Portland, OR.
I had a chance recently to try samples of these bite-size treats that are gluten-free and grain-free.
I will readily admit that I’m a rather fickle coconut fan. Sometimes I love it; other times I can leave it.
These had me at the first bite.
Humphrey Slocombe’s Hot Toddy — Glenlevit ice cream with clove caramel and candied citrus. (photo courtesy of Humphrey Slocombe)
Humphry Slocombe’s The Glenlivet Ice Cream
Some folks may have pledged to a dry January following the over-indulgent holidays. But you may find yourself falling off the wagon with Humphry Slocombe’s new The Glenlivet flavor.
Yes, the famed 12-year-old single malt scotch stars in this new flavor by the artisan San Francisco ice creamery known for its creative rebelliousness.
Throughout the end of January, The Glenlivet will be available at all three Bay Area Humphry Slocombe locales.
But head to the original Mission District scoop shop, 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Jan. 25, for a real treat. That’s when that location will be offering free scoops of the Hot Toddy Sundae, which features The Glenlivet ice cream drizzled with clove caramel and topped with candied lemon.
The lavish display of gleaming copper molds at the Chuck Williams Culinary Art Museum.
You don’t often get to meet a legend. But I did in 2005.
I remember climbing the stairs to the top floor of the flagship Union Square San Francisco Williams-Sonoma to meet for the first time, its revolutionary company founder who single-handedly changed so much about the way we now cook.
Chuck Williams was about to turn 90 and his cookware company about to celebrate half a century.
A genteel, elegant figure, dapper in a sports jacket, tie and sweater vest, he was still editing every cookbook Williams-Sonoma published then. And his appearance anywhere in the store would provoke a rock star’s reaction, with starry-eyed shoppers coming up to pay their respects.
The new museum is on the second floor of the CIA at Copia.
He started the original Williams-Sonoma in, yes, Sonoma. He filled it with French cookware he found on his travels, items that were well made and served a real purpose: hammered copper pots, gleaming molds of all kinds, coffee makers built to last a lifetime, and the first food processors. In so doing, he introduced to us all sorts of marvels we never knew we needed but now can scarce live without.
Chocolate (left) and halva (right) babkas by Babka by Ayelet.
If you think babka is just a sweet yeasted bread swirled with chocolate or cinnamon, then get ready to have your mind — and palate — blown.
After months of delays, Babka by Ayelet finally opened its doors two weeks ago at Palo Alto’s Town & Country Village to serve up babka in a variety of flavors, both sweet and savory.
Made by Israeli-born Ayelet Turgeman Nuchi, a former private chef on the Peninsula, this Eastern European specialty bread has been transformed.