No I didn’t. I never leave my chocolate anywhere. But someday I will leave my chocolate in San Francisco so I can go back and get it. You probably already know that that this is the ultimate food town because of the local farmers who populate thriving markets like the famous one at the waterfront Ferry Building. Or you know the touristy restaurants and tacky shops on Fisherman’s Wharf that make you crave linguine with clams by candlelight even though you don’t like clams, and Boudin Bakery that takes your chill off with chowder and sourdough loaves in the shape of big crab claws you can take home as souvenirs. But you may not know that that same stretch of waterfront was home to one of the best chocolate makers in the country and (sorry) I don’t mean Ghiradelli. Of course I mean TCHO, the factory whose iconic flavor wheel represents the merger of San Francisco’s high tech & food cultures. While their factory has moved to Oakland (once home to another American bean-to-bar pioneer Scharffen Berger) they are still very much a part of the San Francisco Bay chocolate scene.
My friend on the chocolate beat, Jessica Ferraro of Bar Cacao, knows the road from Los Angeles to San Francisco. She is a specialist in craft chocolate in both cities as well as the growing regions and follows all the developments as chocolatiers go bean-to-bar in search of winning flavors. I asked what events she had coming up, and she’s a busy lady. She reports:
Back to Ghiradelli, they offer a sprawling factory tour and endless chocolate kiosks, retail products and big red letters above the bay. Where would San Francisco be without it? This historic company’s retail chocolate and visibility helped make San Francisco the culinary mecca that it is.