Category Archives: New Products

Snackoo — For the Adventurous Snacker

The October Snackoo box.

The October Snackoo box.

 

If you have a global palate and are a serious snacker, then Snackoo is for you.

The Hayward start-up curates cookies, chips, candies, and other noshes from around the world, and sends out an assortment in subscription boxes.

It was founded by Baylor Wei, who has a master’s of science degree from Stanford University. Wei hit on the idea for the company after discovering favorite new snacks abroad, only to be disappointed when they weren’t available in the States.

Snackoo sources from seven countries in Asia right now, but has plans to expand geographically in the future.

I had a chance to sample the October box. It’s a true treasure trove — a box packed with about 20 mini sweet and savory snacks from Asia. Almost all of them were new to me.

Would you believe this snack box even included this creamy flan-like dessert?

Would you believe this snack box even included this creamy flan-like dessert?

The packaging for the most part is not in English. So, it’s helpful that Snackoo includes a note outlining what the box contains. The company also takes pains to translate the ingredients of each product, in case any buyers have allergies or an ingredient intolerance. That info for each product can be found on Snackoo’s web site. Read more

High Praise for Coletta Gelato

Mediterane (pistachio and almond) at Coletta Gelato.

Mediterane (pistachio and almond) at Coletta Gelato.

 

It’s a familiar Bay Area story: Two guys in business school meet, hatch an idea, then launch the next big thing.

Only this time, it’s not the latest whiz-bang tech invention.

It’s dreamy gelato.

Antonio Massimini, 31, and Henri Waltenspühl, 28, met in business school in Milan, and soon realized they shared a passion for gelato. The next thing you know, both enrolled at Gelato University in Bologna. (Now, that’s where I’d like to get a PhD.)

After doing their research, they decided to open in San Francisco because they figured the city’s discriminating, gourmet palates would appreciate it. It also helped that Antonio had family in the Bay Area, and was familiar with the area.

Founders Antonio Massimini and Henri Waltenspühl beside a mural of Henri's grandmother, for whom the shop is named.

Founders Antonio Massimini and Henri Waltenspühl beside a mural of Henri’s grandmother, for whom the shop is named.

The sweet mural on the garage.

The sweet mural on the garage.

In January, they opened their Coletta Gelato, a production plant and a retail shop on Harrison Street, where Ciao Bella used to make its gelato.

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Eating My Way Through New York: Sweets and Snacks

Behold the Triple Black Donut at the new SuperMoon Bakehouse.

Behold the Triple Black Donut at the new Supermoon Bakehouse.

Supermoon Bakehouse

Wacky. Weird. Wild.

At Supermoon Bakehouse, you’ll find some of the most mind-blowing baked goods you’ve ever laid eyes upon.

But then again, they are the the handiwork of baker extraordinaire Ry Stephen, the creator of the Cruffin and co-founder of Mr. Holmes Bakehouse in San Francisco.

What luck to have it open its doors in the Lower East Side the week we were in New York, too.

At this place, there's a sense of fun in everything they do.

At this place, there’s a sense of fun in everything they do.

Pastries displayed on a long counter make photo-taking easy.

Pastries displayed on a long counter make photo-taking easy.

You’ll find Cruffins here, and a whole lot of other unique pastries that sport a strong foundation of crisp, buttery, airy layers — then go wild with imaginative fillings, colors and designs.

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Butterscotch and Fudge Brownie Bars — For Times When You Can’t Decide

A chocolate brownie and a butterscotch blondie all in one bite.

A chocolate brownie and a butterscotch blondie all in one bite.

 

When it comes to switching jobs, breaking up with a significant other, moving to a new city or other countless life decisions we hesitate to make, how many of us have gotten out pencil and paper to make the proverbial pros and cons list?

Hands, please.

I know I have. Plenty of times.

It always helps. Even if I’m often startled to see how lopsided the count ends up being.

Thankfully, there are times when you don’t have to choose one over another. It’s rare. But occasionally, you can enjoy the best of both worlds without having to wrack your brain to take a side.

“Butterscotch and Fudge Brownie Bars” is just such a case.

Do I want a brownie? Or do I want a butterscotch blondie?

Hmm. Why not indulge in both?

With this recipe, you get exactly that. It’s a fudgy brownie on top of a sweet blondie. It’s two treats in one — in every single bite.

The recipe is from the oldie but goodie cookbook, “The Essential Chocolate Chip Cookbook” (Chronicle Books, 2008), of which I received a review copy when it was first published, and has since had a prominent place on my bookshelf.

essential chocolate chip cookbook

It’s by longtime food writer and cookbook author Elinor Klivans. And it includes every type of chocolate chip treat under the sun — from “Kitchen-Sink Chocolate Chip Cookies” to “Chocolate Chip Cookie and Cream Tart” to “Hot Chocolate Chip Brownie Sundae Cake.” Is it any wonder that I’ve kept this book so long?

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A Visit to Jacobsen Salt Co.

Jacobsen Zinfandel salt, made with Clif Family wine.

Jacobsen Zinfandel salt, made with Clif Family wine.

 

Netart, OR. — Would you believe the artisan salts that have taken the chef world by storm are made in this bare-bones facility?

Jacobsen Salt, the first company thought to harvest salt in the Pacific Northwest since Lewis & Clark, is beloved by such acclaimed chefs as Matthew Accarrino of SPQR in San Francisco, April Bloomfield of New York’s The Spotted Pig and The Breslin, and Chris Cosentino of Cockscomb in San Francisco, Acacia House in St. Helena, and Jackrabbit in Portland.

They love its big, light, crunchy flakes that have a clean, pureness of flavor.

The shed where the salt water from the bay is boiled.

The shed where the salt water from the bay is boiled.

Netarts Bay is just steps away.

Netarts Bay is just steps away.

Twelve employees run this operation 24-7 to produce 16,000 pounds of salt a month.

Although Jacobsen’s facility is not usually open to the public, Tom Gibson, director of coast operations for the company, was happy to give a tour to our small group of media a few weeks ago.

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