Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Chocolate, By Request


Back in 2011 we took the Chocolate Walking Tour of San Francisco. Our tour guide Michelangelo had given us other suggestions of must-try chocolate places that weren't included in the itinerary and one of the spots was Dandelion Chocolate. We came across their stand in the Ferry Building, but that location didn't serve the cacao pulp smoothie. So, we went to their shop in the Mission District the following year, and it's been on our 'to-return- list for years.


When I was planning my Bay Area adventure with the Precise Kitchen Elf after his internship ended, at the beginning of this month, he only had two requests: bookstores and chocolate tastings. Done. So, after we completed three of the San Francisco stairway hikes, we headed over to Dandelion.


R ordered a chocolate cannelé. And after my successful foray into cannelé-making, he's asked me to try to recreate it. Hmmm...I'll consider it.


The cacao fruit smoothie and chocolate panna cotta were also amazing. I mean, I've made Salted Juniper-Dark Chocolate Panna Cotta, but I loved Dandelion's petal and seed-scattered version. They make everything seem effortless yet elegant.


Almost too rich to finish, their European drinking chocolate came with a small cookie and homemade marshmallows. You can tell why I love this place, right?


The drinking chocolate was so thick it was almost overwhelming! But R shared it with me and we weren't in a rush. While we enjoyed, we watched some of the chocolate makers at work. They roast, winnow, and grind the single-origin beans themselves. It makes for an incredible chocolate experience.


One of the chocolate makers came over and asked if we wanted to try what they were making. Of course! He dipped spoons into the bowl and came back with this.


And, on our way out, the shelf of chocolate bars closest to the entrance had self-serve samples that really demonstrate the wide range of flavors chocolate bars can have with varying places of origin. It's astounding that just a mixture of cacao beans and sugar can taste like everything from flowers to coffee. A word of warning: if you're a set-in-your-ways milk chocolate or white chocolate lover, Dandelion might not be the place for you. This is a haven for a chocolate adventurer. Truly.

We walked away with five different bars, ranging from 70% to 100% cacao. His favorite was a 70% from Tanzania. We actually bought two of those bars so he could share it with his best friend the next day. Chocolate, as requested. Check.

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