Sunday, March 17, 2013

Dandelion Chocolates

Living in the bountiful East Bay gives me few reasons to be in SF, but I found myself curiously crossing the bay on three occasions this week.  Yesterday was my husband's art opening where I was conducting a chocolate tasting in the back rooms as well as a puerh introduction without brewing. I met a Russian who loves shu through his Moldovan roommate but I save this story for another time.  It's been a full week as my husband's awesome 52 foot commission was finally unveiled.   (Now I can finally start hinting to husband about a new tea cabinet...)

Today I was privy to a leprechaun party thrown by Pinky McDougal in the Mission which gave me cause to finally check out Dandelion Chocolate- a cafe/bakery in a bean-to-bar chocolate mini-factory. I had started the day with a filled-to-order cream donut and since I went to bed yesterday without dessert, I continued on with two more desserts to warm up before the party. You never know what the dessert situation is at a party.

At Dandelion, they serve up a fresh fruit smoothie of the white pulp surrounding the cacao bean. It's refreshing and slightly sour- very much like the juice of the cashew apple. My husband felt it was unremarkable if it weren't for the fact that it was from a cacao. I prefer white sapote or soursop but it's fun to try it at least once.

They also serve one of the best flourless chocolate cakes in the Americas.  They wouldn't sell me an entire cake so I had to bring a measly four slices to the party. I may flash mob them with my girl friends next week and buy up all their cake.  Mouawahaaha. I have many evil plans in my note book.

You can see the sacks of beans, the winnower and the roaster in the back ground.  It's an all very romantic cafe where you can hold hands, enjoy delicious cacao products while watching chocolate being made. 

In Hawaii, I saw cacao beans at the farmer's markets- only a dollar each. But the pulp had dried too much on the ones I bought.  I thought I would ferment, dry and roast them but it was mighty humid and I was much too indolent for such laborious activity.


  1. I was at the soft opening enjoying their thick hot chocolate, waiting for a friend, when an enormous homeless guy with a big clear bottle of..something..plopped down in the chair opposite me, nearly knocking over the table.

    It was a very good hot chocolate.

    When they were soliciting comments I wrote that it would be nice if they would include a flourless/gluten-free option in their desserts, as they did not have one during this time--I was also pleasantly surprised on a more recent visit to see that I was apparently not the only one who had requested this option!

    Your husband's art is fascinating. I also like how he has the combination of science/art background. Man after my own heart. I think he is younger than you, yes? :)

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    2. I know, but I still do it. Living and spending time in a variety of cultures, as well as a lifetime of being an iconoclast in "my own," has caused me to both be more sensitive and more irreverent towards such things. Sorry :)

    3. Thanks for providing the link to your husband's exhibition. Such keen and interesting work! I must admit I'm partial to the 22 foot flying/falling squirrel. I love seeing squirrels trip-up. There's a particularly corpulent bunch in the backyard that feed off the compost pile. For all their graceful acrobatics, they really do dunce-around a lot.

      I really wish I could visit the gallery. That's a great piece by Renny Pritkin, too.


    4. Dear Israel,

      I'm of half minds about squirrels. I love their playfulness and they really do look like they have a lot of fun. But as a serious edible gardener, I'd rather they go elsewhere and stop harassing my poor seedlings. My face does really look like Farmer McGregor.

      The giant squirrel was something to behold. If you ever visit the Bay Area, I'll ask my husband to give you a studio tour. The squirrel is boxed up in storage currently but there is always art being continuously made.