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The Big Sweet R & D: Is a Doctor in the House?

I love finding things like this. Yesterday, on the RichmondSF blog, a post went up announcing yet another house party organized around our Big Eat. This time it's a fundraiser for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

I'm not sure, however, that there will be as many parties organized around the upcoming Big Sweet (we've decided to save it for the launch of our August food issue so you're going to have to wait a few weeks more). If anyone does try to host a party around this, I'd recommend donations to a diabetes research foundation.

I've been on a tasting mission for the past few weeks and I can't say my butt is the better for it. I currently have TCHO's beautiful chocolate bars on my desk all packaged specifically for the de Young Museum's current exhibit, with different works from the Masterpieces from the Musee d'Orsay. I plowed through See's Candies lollipops, declaring the café latté flavor my favorite (but then recalling how great a box of classic "Nuts n' Chews" is while Jessica is voting hard for the peanut brittle). It seems we've gone through Charles Chocolates whole line: the new salty-sweet bars (mmmm, the cashew), the always excellent triple-chocolate-covered almonds dusted in cocoa, the tea-infused truffles. As I write, I'm letting the last of my horded Sweet Revolution caramels (made more perfect with salt, honey and maple syrup) sink into every crevice of my teeth, and last night I gave my kids some of the leftover Kika's Treats rich dark chocolate-covered graham crackers. We've had so many sweets in the office that I can't even convince anyone to try them any more.

I've also had the Mission Minis cupcake roundup, which of course include the latest darling flavor: Red Velvet. (I have to admit, as good as they are, cupcakes have become a bit of a blur of buttercream these days.) Jessica was out at Mr. and Mrs. Miscellaneous doing due diligence on the ice cream research, proclaiming it sweeter than some, but equally delicious. We've had philisophical discussions about city institutions such as Swensen's and Mitchell's, that, while perhaps not technically as good/fancy as somewhere like Bi-Rite, hold more than their own in the nostalgia and civic pride category.

To narrow down the list, I've decided to keep it strictly to desserts and sweets, which has caused great angst in some categories such as donuts, which technically, to my mind, is a breakfast item. I can already hear the Dynamo Donut fanatics howling in protest. I'm also trying to make sure we strike a balance of different ethnic categories which has had me thinking a lot about the best tres leches cake (I had a great one not long ago at Lelenita's). But then, in a panic, I realize we don't have any mochi! So now I've got mochi on the mind. And I had some delicious housemade mochi filled with a sweet custard at Betelnut the other day, but are they better than the traditional mochi at Benkyodo?

Filled with the stress of doing the right thing, I reach for some more TCHO chocolate. And the decision process begins again.