Fruity, Chocolate-Dunked Meringues

Blueberry CocoaBerries.

Sound pretty good? 

Then, meet CocoaBerries — the newest treat from Rubicon Bakery.

If you don’t know Rubicon Bakery, you should. For more than a dozen years, it has created baked treats that are sold at many Bay Area stores, including Andronico’s, Costco, Zanotto’s, and Whole Foods, as well as Rubicon’s online site. 

It is part of Rubicon Programs, Inc., a non-profit that provides training, employment, and housing to those in need. The bakery offers work-skill training and entry-level jobs for those who are homeless, or suffer from mental disabilities or addictions. All revenue from the bakery, minus costs, are donated to the agency. 

The CocoaBerries are available in two flavors: Strawberry and Blueberry. Each 2.7-ounce box is about $5.50. 

I’ll use my patented scale of 1 to 10 lip-smackers, with 1 being the “Bleh, save your money” far end of the spectrum; 5 being the “I’m not sure I’d buy it, but if it was just there, I might nibble some” middle-of-the-road response; and 10 being the “My gawd, I could die now and never be happier, because this is the best thing I’ve ever put in my mouth” supreme ranking.

Rubicon Bakery CocoaBerries (Strawberry): You have to love a chocolate treat that’s less than 25 calories. And these are handcrafted with all natural ingredients, including freeze-dried fruit. At first bite, the high quality of the chocolate really hits you. No wonder, as it is Guittard. The deep, satisfying chocolate gives way to a delightful crunch of meringue, then the flavor of strawberry. But it’s strawberry that tastes like a Starburst candy. Sort of too sweet and one-dimensional. That’s fine for a tiny piece of candy. Not so much for a larger treat. Rating: 5 lip-smackers. 

Rubicon Bakery CocoaBerries (Blueberry): The blueberry flavor does indeed taste like freeze-dried fruit. But somehow, that fares better here than with the strawberry. The blueberry has a rounder, fuller flavor, and a slight pucker that makes it far more interesting. Rating: 7 lip-smackers.

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