Countdown to Christmas: Obligatory Gourmet Crap

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:

alice-chocolate

Chocolaté

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.

Macarons

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.)

  • La Maison du Chocolat
  • Bouchon Bakery
  • Bouley Bakery
  • Payard
  • 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

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