I grew up in California, learning about the Gold Rush and about the waves of immigration that it brought to our state. It wasn’t the prospectors who succeeded so much as the entrepreneurs who followed in their wake. The most famous of couse is Levi Strauss. But another important immigrant was Etienne Guittard who came from France in the 1800’s intending to mine for gold, but ended up in the family chocolate business instead. Fast forward 149 years and the company is being run by 4th and 5th generations of the Guittard family, supplying responsibly sourced high quality chocolate to the Bay Area and beyond.
I remember the first time I discovered Poco Dolce’s chocolate tiles, I had a sesame toffee one and then felt the need to try every flavor. Today I am particularly fond of Kathy's Burnt Caramel Tiles, which truly were created thanks to a happy accident. Not really burnt but just on the edge of burnt, they have a less sweet character that I particularly like and are hard and crisp not gooey. Also a must try are her olive oil bars, which now come in a great variety of flavors. The 81% and 68% Cacao Olive OIl with Sea Salt are both divine. The olive oil adds a bitter edge and a luciousness to the bars.