Imagine chocolates that taste exactly like Doritos dipped in queso.
Is your mind reeling yet?
Mine certainly was when I popped a sample of the new limited-edition TCHO Natchos into my mouth.
Yes, just in time for the Super Bowl, the zany minds at Berkeley’s bean-to-bar maker have outdone themselves with this latest creation.
Chief Chocolate Maker Brad Kintzer is a Philadelphia Eagles fan (don’t hold that against him), who started playing around with crafting a nacho-flavored chocolate bar in 2018 when his beloved team competed in (and won) the Super Bowl.
I had the opportunity to experience night #3 when Dandelion’s pastry chef, Stephen Durfee, kindly invited me as his guest.
From the moment you open the door of the 16th Street factory, you are enveloped in the hedonistic aroma of chocolate everywhere. If only my house could smell this way all the time.
The factory’s loading dock was transformed into a wonderland for the event with chandeliers hanging over three long tables set with a line of illuminated candles. A piano player provided welcoming cheer next to decorated holiday trees.
With twinkling, decorated-to-the-hilt trees everywhere at this time of year, why not add a bit of that festive green to your cookie plate, too?
“Grey Salt, White Chocolate Matcha Blondies” will do the job deliciously.
These bar cookies get their hue, of course, from Japanese powdered ceremonial green tea. The matcha also adds a nice grassy astringency from its natural tannins to balance out the sweetness of the white chocolate chunks.
It’s been a banner time for chef and chocolatier, Shekoh Moossavi, who not only opened her Shekoh Confections, 2305 El Camino Real near California Avenue in Palo Alto last March, but added a second location in downtown Palo Alto last month.
Now, starting this Thursday at the downtown outpost, 444 University Ave., she’s upping her offerings to include lunch (11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.) and dinner (5 p.m. to 9 p.m.) six nights a week (except Mondays, when the shop is closed).
At lunch, look for salads, sandwiches, and her heartfelt wild mushroom soup with mint — her mom’s recipe that she has featured at every restaurant she’s ever opened. At dinner, the fare will be simple yet satisfying with the likes of risotto, polenta, and lamb shanks. With a liquor license recently approved, look for wines coming soon to complement the meals.
Like all the chocolate bonbons, marshmallows, nougats, madeleines, and other confections, Moossavi will be making all of the savory items, too.
Like a Supreme drop, these are small-batch productions that wait for no one, meaning once they sell out, you’re out of luck.
I had a chance to sample these creations that sell for $9.99 per bar on the TCHO web site. The respective bars are also sold at the three partnering businesses: Third Culture Bakery’s Bay Area locations, Oakland Zoo, and Fieldwork Brewing Co.
The Perfect Matcha was inspired by Third Culture Bakery’s popular strawberry, lychee and matcha latte.