Skip to main content

Walking Chocolate Tour of San Francisco

As a pre-birthday celebration, I booked a chocolate tour for the littlest foodie in the family. So, on Sunday we drove up to the City for some sweet family time...


The Good
Our tour guide, Michelangelo, was very funny and very well-informed about chocolate history. And - best part! - he let me know about some other chocolate must-trys in the City that weren't included in the walk. I love locals' tips. We'll definitely head back up and check out those other spots another time.

The Not-So-Good
The first two stops on the tour itinerary were actually closed. I wasn't sure if it was because of the holiday - or because it was Sunday (and, perhaps, Michelangelo doesn't usually do Sundays), but our guide seemed genuinely surprised.

Chocolate Tour of San Francisco Itinerary

Fog City News: This was closed.

NewTree: This was also closed.


Spicely Organic Spices: This was our absolute favorite stop on the tour - so much so that D changed his planned dessert course for his birthday dinner party. He curated a 12-chocolate tasting with deliciousness from here. Can you say "saffron white chocolate"? "Sage-Lavender-Orange"? Yep. Those are just two of his choices.

Ghirardelli's: A San Francisco institution not to be missed. However, no real tasting here except for the standard seasonal square that anyone would get if they walked in to the store.


Minamoto Kitchoan: A boutique full of Japanese-style sweets for tea ceremonies. I would never have walked into that store on my own. So, it was good to be introduced to it this way. D loved the texture of the treat; R and Jake were fascinated by the lacquered foods on display.


Chocolatier Blue: Berkeley-based chocolatier sells his gorgeous confections out of an old Tiffany store. They look like jewelry...sort of. We tried a gingerbread (that's the heart) and sugar plum (looks like a sapphire). Gotta say - gorgeous but way too sweet for my tastes. I prefer my chocolate unadorned, or - at the very least - subtly infused.

CocoaBella: We were all chocolated-out by the time we got to the last stop. Again, this was a boutique with some very pretty chocolates and confections. I love that they were arranged geographically. You could buy chocolates from around the world!

We had a good time and, I think, it was well worth the Groupon price I paid for it. But I do not think it would be worth the retail price of the tickets. But I was inspired to do my own chocolate tasting tour with some of those other stops Michelangelo mentioned. Cannot wait to try the cacao pulp smoothie at Dandelion. Maybe for Jake's 40th. Coming soon...

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Quick Pickled Red Onions and Radishes

If you've been reading my blog for even a short amount of time, you probably know how much I love to pickle things. I was just telling a friend you can pickle - with vinegar - or you can ferment - with salt - for similar delicious effect. The latter has digestive benefits and I love to do that, but when I need that pop of sour flavor quickly, I whip up quick pickles that are ready in as little as a day or two. I've Pickled Blueberries , Pickled Asparagus , Pickled Cranberries , Pickled Pumpkin , and even Pickled Chard Stems ! This I did last night for an upcoming recipe challenge that requires I include radishes. Ummmm...of course I'm pickling them! Ingredients  makes 1 quart jar radishes, trimmed and sliced organic red onions, peeled and thinly sliced (I used a mandolin slicer) 3/4 C vinegar (I used white distilled vinegar) 3/4 C water 3 T organic granulated sugar 1 T salt (I used some grey sea salt) 6 to 8 grinds of black pepper Proce

Aloo Tiki {Pakistan}

To start off our Pakistani culinary adventure, I started us off with aloo tiki - potato cutlets. I'm always game for tasty street food. I found a couple of different recipes and incorporated those together for this version. Ingredients 6-8 small red potatoes, scrubbed 1 T cumin seeds 1 T fresh chopped parsley 1/2 t ground coriander 1 t minced garlic Procedure Boil the potatoes until they are tender. Drain and let cool. Mash the potatoes. Traditionally they are mashed without their skins. I left the skins on. In a small pan, toast the cumin seeds on high heat until the begin to give off an aroma and begin to darken. Remove from heat and transfer to a plate to keep them from cooking any more. Blend all of the spices into the mashed potatoes, then shape into small patties. If you wet your hands, the potato mixture won't stick to them. Heat a splash of oil in a large, flat-bottom pan. Dip each patty into beaten egg and carefully place in the oil. P

Hot Chocolate Agasajo-Style {Spice It Up!}

photo by D For my Spice It Up! kiddos this week, I was looking for an exotic drink to serve while we learned about saffron. I found a recipe from food historian Maricel Presilla that mimicked traditional Spanish hot chocolate from the 17th century where it was served at lavish receptions called agasajos . When I teach, I don't always get to shoot photos. Thankfully, D grabbed my camera and snapped a few. Ingredients serves 14-16 1 gallon organic whole milk 3 T dried rosebuds - or 2 t rosewater 2 t saffron threads, lightly crushed 3 T ground cinnamon 3 whole tepin chiles, crushed 2 vanilla beans, split lengthwise 1 C organic granulated sugar 1 lb. bittersweet chocolate Procedure In a large soup pot that can hold a gallon plus, combine milk, dried rosebuds (or rosewater, if you are using that), saffron threads, ground cinnamon, chiles, vanilla beans, and sugar and warm over medium heat till it steams. Whisk to dissolve sugar, then lower heat an