Tag Archives: gourmet chocolate

Three Gourmet Gifts For Friends, Family — Or Yourself

Rice crackers and cheese puffs are among the treats inside this Bokksu box.

Rice crackers and cheese puffs are among the treats inside this Bokksu box.

Elevated Snack Attack

Founder Danny Taing has elevated the snack box — big time — with his Bokksu subscription service.

Every month, he curates a selection of premium Japanese snacks, which — yes — can include such coveted treats as the newest Japanese Kit Kat flavor — that are mailed directly to you from Japan.

Recently, I had a chance to try a sample box. They come in two sizes, the $25 “Tasting” size and the larger $39 “Classic” size, which is the one I had sent to me.

Each month, there is a different theme for each box. For the November one, it was “Tea Story,” which meant everything inside — about 20 items — married well with Japanese tea. With every month’s box, there is always tea included, too.

Everything is tucked inside a custom box.

Everything is tucked inside a custom box.

Voila!

Voila!

The snacks arrived in a sturdy, custom logo box, which is a nice touch if you’re giving it as a gift. Inside, there’s a pamphlet with a primer on tea (apparently, it originated in Japan in the 9th century by Buddhist monks as a religious practice), as well as descriptions of the items inside. That’s a handy guide, too, since much of the information on the actual packages is in Japanese. It even identifies possible allergens in the various products.

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The Plumed Horse’s Trifecta

Chef Peter Armellino in his element at his new Pasta Armellino.

Chef Peter Armellino in his element at his new Pasta Armellino.

 

If you only know the Plumed Horse for being the chic Michelin one-starred restaurant in downtown Saratoga, wait until you hear what it’s been up to.

It’s added not one, but two sister properties just steps away.

The Plumed Horse Collection, as it’s now known, debuts today the casual Pasta Armellino across the street. I had a chance to check it out last week at a private media event.

It officially opens today.

It officially opens today.

San Francisco graffiti artist Chris Kondo's handiwork.

San Francisco graffiti artist Chris Kondo’s handiwork.

Executive Chef Peter Armellino, who’s headed the Plumed Horse for a decade, has expanded his reach with this 60-seat eatery that’s all about home-made pastas.

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Thomas Keller Debuts A Chocolate Bar

Four-star chocolate from a four-star chef.

Four-star chocolate from a four-star chef.

 

When Thomas Keller of the French Laundry makes a chocolate bar, you just know it’s not going to be your run-of-the-mill candy.

Not by a long-shot.

What makes this chocolate bar so different and special is that it contains extra virgin olive oil. And naturally, it’s olive oil by one of Italy’s most exclusive producers, Armando Manni. The Tuscan producer makes some of the most cherished and expensive olive oils around, beloved by illustrious chefs such as Keller and New York’s Jean-Georges Vongerichten.

Their collaboration is K+M Extravirgin Chocolate. The premium cocoa beans are processed in a way that maintains their antioxidants that are normally destroyed in the chocolate-making process. A small amount of Manni extra-virgin olive oil is added to boost the level of antioxidants even more.

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A Chocolate Bar With An Unusual Ingredient

A new chocolate bar that uses Coffee Flour. And yes, that's a mound of Coffee Flour on the plate.

A new chocolate bar that uses Coffee Flour. And yes, that’s a mound of Coffee Flour on the plate.

 

Jcoco’s newest chocolate bar tastes of cherries.

Yet there are no actual cherries in it.

Instead, its fruity taste comes from discarded coffee waste, otherwise known as the pulp leftover when a coffee bean is extracted from its fruit.

Canadian company Coffee Flour, which has offices in Redwood City, started working with coffee farmers five years ago to turn coffee waste into a type of gluten-free flour. Now, food manufacturers are starting to use coffee waste in new products like this chocolate bar.

Coffee flour has more iron per gram than spinach, more fiber than whole wheat flour, more protein than kale, and more potassium than a banana.

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Forget Black Friday; Make It A Brown One (As In Chocolate) Instead

Yes, this is pretty much how I ate this fantastic spread.

Yes, this is pretty much how I ate this fantastic spread.

 

See that hazelnut spread above?

I’d like to tell you that I came up with all sorts of inventive ways to use it in baking. But the truth is that I ate that entire jar of Nuubia Hazelnut Spread simply by the languid spoonful, day after day, until it was emptied.

I’m not ashamed. Because it was that irresistible.

So forget braving the malls today. Just do yourself a favor and go Nuubia’s online site to order a jar instead — for yourself or your chocoholic friends. Or take a trip to the Nuubia store/cafe, which just opened this year in the lobby of the Twitter building in San Francisco, or to its Pleasanton headquarters that has an artisan kitchen.

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