The SF Chocolate Salon: The Good, the Bad and the Guy in the Top Hat
The SF Chocolate Salon is coming up this Saturday. I know this because a month before the salon, we are literally deluged with chocolate samples sent to us, from bars to truffles to chocolate-dipped pretzels covered in toffee chips. (We're on the fence about these. They taste better the hungrier you are and the longer you've been chained to your desk—after dark).
The standouts so far (for better and for worse):
• Kallari 70 percent Cacao single source organic chocolate bar: Very light, delicate, creamy with the odd ability to absolutely dissapate on your tongue like cotton candy, which is cool but strange. Slightly cinnamony. Very good cause: One hundred percent of the profits go to the cooperative of 850 indigenous Kichaw farmers in the Ecuadoran Amazon. Have your chocolate and eat it too, is what I'm saying.
• Neo Cocoa truffles: Made from ganache only (no enrobing), these are my new favorite truffles "handcrafted in San Francisco." Christine Doerr started out in at the Stanford Shopping Center at the Cocolat retail shop (all hail Alice Medrich), went on to the CCA, became a pastry chef, went to design school, worked as a graphic designer and of course! Chocolate called her back. Good thing it did. She now works from La Cocina and has been selling her truffles since November of last year. Her truffles, made with Guittard chocolate and Straus butter (I've tasted the "almond butter with smoked sea salt" and "freshly zested lime"—both great) are subtle and sophistciated in a world of overly floral, spicy and sweet and often just plain weird. Go Neo.
• Edible Love Chocolates: I hate to judge a chocolate maker by his hat, but I'm having a hard time not doing just that. (And then there's this appetizing testimonial on the website: "There are only two things I will eat that isn't both raw and vegan", says raw foodist Jillian Love, “One of them is Philippe’s chocolate truffles. The other… I’ll leave to your imagination!")
Which leads me to …
• Chocoholics Divine Desserts' "Quickies Body Frosting." Directions: 1. Light candles 2. Dim the lights. 3. Open quickies (.40 oz) packet. 4. Announce softly "Dessert's on me tonight." I didn't make this up. Go to bodyfrosting.com. (I had to write out the url, in this case, for full effect.) My question: How much body can you frost with .40 ounces?