Mk. I am slacking on the Countdown to Christmas series, but OH WELL. Anyway not a fan of giving gourmet shit as gifts – especially since it kinda feels impersonal. But since people around me must feel the need to show off (kidding!) all the gourmet, fancy schmancy crap is going to be listed. I mean – what is there to explain, right? So here we go:
I am no chocolate expert.
All I know are my favorite places. Hope it helps:
- Alice I love love LOVE their packaging. So ultra feminine. It is the little things that count.
- Marie Belle Their solid chocolates are not out of this world amazing, but their hot chocolate = WIN
- Vosges Haut-Chocolat Not only do they use unique ingredients (bacon, wasabi, etc.), the packaging, presentation… the details are phenomenal. One of my favorite chocolatiers. EVER
- SF Truffle Dude The actual establishment name is Five Star Truffles, but I call it the SF Truffle Dude, since I keep forgetting the name. ANYway, run by one man, this quaint store in SF is seriously OFF THE HOOK. Possibly the best truffle shop in SF. And that is quite a bold statement.
- Chocolate Sushi It is a novelty but gourmet – rare in the world of the bizarre and oddities. The details are so amazing I couldn’t help but add it to the list. Fun, fun, fun!
- Chocolate Bar NYC I am in love with the package art and the chocolate is good – not phenomenal, but almost every person I give these to immediately fall in love with them.
- La Maison du Chocolat Their name is in French. Enough said.
Then there are the “regulars”: Godiva (yuck), Jacques Torres, Kee’s, Martine’s, etc., but the ones I listed are my recommendations. Enjoy.
Nothing. And I mean NOTHING beats authentic Parisan macarons or even the macarons I get in Tokyo (trust me, Japan’s macarons = notch). The list is similar to Robyn’s but I’ve tried all of the ones listed below. (That lovely macaron on a stand is from Robyn’s Flickr. If you’re a foodie, you need to add her stream. I love her food pictures.)
To be frank, macarons in the US are chewy and overly sweet, but if you insist on purchasing macarons, the above are the best choices. Sometimes, the Japanese bake shops carry them but I think you have to be Japanese in order for those assholes them to tell you they have some in stock. Serious Eats has a comprehensive list here but save your money.
Cheese, wine, and other artisan junk coming up in a bit. For now, I am tired of linking, uploading images and stuff. :P