Eat Local: Celebrating National Chocolate Day in the 650

Here at 650Food we’re keepin’ it local for National Chocolate Day. Looking for a  chocolate indulgence made right here in the 650 to celebrate this essential food holiday? We’ve gotcha covered! (And pssst: most of the treat-makers listed below use locally and regionally produced ingredients to craft their chocolate indulgences.)

Chocolate Confections

Her Coconess Confections (Belmont): Are you a caramel lover? Then award-winning, Belmont-based Her Coconess Confections are for you! Owner Shelly Seward handmakes her elegant caramels (infused with vanilla, espresso, or chipotle), enrobes them in dark chocolate, and finishes each one with a sprinkle of flavorful salt.

Trio of Her Coconess salted caramels (left to right: Vanilla, Chipotle, Espresso)
Trio of Her Coconess salted caramels (left to right: Vanilla, Chipotle, Espresso)

If an assortment of handmade, buttery caramels weren’t enough, she also makes a Bittersweet Nibby Rocky Road that nestles roasted almonds and cocoa nibs against handmade vanilla marshmallows and covers them in a blanket of Guittard chocolate. Indulge away!
Where to Buy:
You can find Her Coconess confections at the Downtown Palo Alto Farmer’s Market and the Menlo Park Farmer’s Market (November to May) or order through the website for pickup at the commercial kitchen in Belmont.

Neo Cocoa (Belmont): If rich, fudgy chocolate ganache is your thing, then try Neo Cocoa’s “Hearts of Chocolate Truffles.”

Neo Cocoa's "hearts of chocolate truffles";
Neo Cocoa’s “hearts of chocolate truffles” (shown: Crushed Cocoa Nib and Toasted Coconut)

Eliminating the truffle’s chocolate shell, owner/chocolatier Christine Doerr has opted to focus on the inside of the truffle, by creating smooth, flavorful ganaches infused with real coffee, spices, or citrus zest. With plenty of accolades behind her — including a slew of awards and outstanding reviews — Christine is definitely getting to the hearts of chocolate lovers! The Neo Cocoa line includes 10 different flavors of infused ganaches, and there’s something for everyone. Flavors to try: Zested Lime, Almond with Smoked Sea Salt, and Toasted Coconut. Like Her Coconess, Neo Cocoa keeps it local by using Guittard Chocolate, which is made right here in the 650 (in Burlingame).
Where to Buy: Various Bay Area retailers or online. See the website for more information.

Timothy Adams (Palo Alto): Timothy Adams Chocolates is a newcomer to the 650, taking over the Bryant Avenue spot previously occupied by Monique’s Chocolates. The shop’s name is a combination of the names of its two co-owners: Timothy Woods and Adams Holland. Timothy Adams relies on local and seasonal ingredients to make their fresh, hand-rolled truffles. Truffle flavors change often, so call ahead if you’re looking for something specific. Seasonal flavors you might want to try: Apple (white-chocolate, spiced-apple ganache), Quince (housemade quince marmalade) and Pecan (housemade dark-chocolate pecan praline); all are hand-coated in rich, dark chocolate.

Timothy Adams' handmade truffles (clockwise, from upper left: Pecan, Cinnamon, Quince, Apple)
Timothy Adams’ handmade truffles (clockwise, from upper left: Pecan, Cinnamon, Quince, Apple)

If you prefer your chocolate in liquid form, Timothy Adams offers Sipping Chocolate for all tastes, from the milkiest milk (31% cacao) to middle-of-the-road dark (58% cacao) to darkest-of-dark (99% cacao).

Chocolate Ice Cream

Gelataio (Palo Alto): Craving a less-fat, creamy, dark-chocolate indulgence? Then Gelataio has what you need! Their locally made, authentic-tasting gelato has a rich, dark, cocoa flavor that isn’t cloying or powdery.

Just some of the gelati at Gelataio in Palo Alto: Chocolate, Vanilla, Stracciatella (chocolate chip)
Gelati at Gelataio in Palo Alto: Chocolate, Vanilla, Stracciatella (chocolate chip)

Prefer the chocolate in your gelato to come in chip format? Then try the Stracciatella, a rich-tasting vanilla gelato studded with chocolate chips. Or, try the chocolate-hazelnut combination, Bacio (think: Nutella meets gelato). If you need to bump up your chocolate-gelato experience, then try the chocolate-dipped gelato “pops” on a stick.

Tin Pot Creamery (Palo Alto): I’ve written previously about Palo Alto’s small-batch ice creamery, Tin Pot. Not only do they make their own ice cream at their Town & Country location — using local, organic ingredients — they also make their own sauces, cookies, and brownies! Want to indulge in a pure rich, dark-chocolate ice cream? Then go for the Rich Chocolate with TCHO Shards.

Rich Chocolate with TCHO Shards (shown with Sweet Cream with Honey Balsamic Swirl)
Rich Chocolate with TCHO Shards (shown with Sweet Cream with Honey Balsamic Swirl)

More of a milk chocolate fan? The Malted Milk with Milk Chocolate Pieces might be for you. Vegans aren’t left out either — there’s a dairy-free ChocoCoco ice cream made with coconut milk.

And if it’s baked goods you’re craving, try the Chocolate Chunk Cookies with Sea Salt, Gooey Brownies, or Chocolate Walnut Cookies (gluten- and diary-free).

Speaking of baked goods… I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention one of my favorite chocolate addictions indulgences, even thought it’s actually made in San Francisco and transported down the peninsula.

Chantal Guillon Macarons (Palo Alto): Oooh, my little macaron, how I adore you! Crispy, chewy, creamy, and chocolately — what more could a girl want from a chocolate indulgence? What I love about well-made macarons, such as Chantal Guillon’s, is the combination of flavors and textures. Back on National Macaron Day, I wrote a detailed post about macarons and why I love them. If you haven’t tried these sweet babies yet — get on over to CG!

Chocolate macarons from Chantal Guillon in Palo Alto
Chocolate macarons from Chantal Guillon in Palo Alto

Phew! I’m gonna need a chocolate detox tomorrow. What’s your favorite local chocolate indulgence? Post it here in the replies or on our Facebook page.

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