After a wonderful family filled weekend in Santa Cruz, attending my first Bat Mitzvah, discovering further joys in my uncle’s lemon tree, and riding the wooden roller coaster on the Boardwalk until my voice was horse from screaming, Russell and I headed north. A short and scenic drive up the coast took us into San Fransisco to spend the remaining 36 hours of our short vacation.
We didn’t have any touristy plans per se, but I had big plans for us, and our stomach’s.
Our first stop was, well, 5 minutes into town. I made Russell go to first In-n-out we could find. For years now, I have heard the buzz about the one fast food chain who was doing it right, and I was ready to experience this. I had a cheeseburger, and some fries, and it was good. It wasn’t mind blowing, but it was good. However, what really did blow my mind, was how far fast food has sunk away from this simple, good burger, to make In-n-Out such an anomaly. It’s true, In-N-Out is leagues above it’s competition, McDonald’s, Burger King, Jack in the box, etc. But nothing I tasted blew me away. It tasted like what your average, standard burger/fries should, nothing more, nothing less. A little shocking to realize that this simple standard is so hard to find. My burger award still goes to the local chain out of Oregon, Burgerville for their Tillimook Burger.
The first morning we were there, I took tips from every foodie website written in the bay area and headed strait for the Ferry Building. I don’t know what I expected to find. A food court, maybe a farmers market, but with every step I took further into the cavernous mall, my delight grew.
“OOH, this bakery is the cutest thing I have ever seen!” I gushed as I passed Miette
But I stopped dead in my tracks when I saw the sign for Micheal Rechutti.
“No way. I didn’t even know he had a retail outlet.”
I approached the tiny store front with caution, slipping in the back side, looking at the jars of sauce and books, shuffling slowly up to the counter. I took my place, looking at each small chocolate under the glass as if it were a jewelery counter. The names alone took my breath away.
Star Anise and Pink Peppercorn
Spring Jasmine Tea
And then there were sparkling Pates de fruits, glistening like diamonds.
I purchased 6 different bites, and with Russell began to stroll the corridor, nibbling as we went. It was a mere 5 minutes before the uncontrollable desire for more had me standing at the counter again, ready to try everything else. The flavors were perfect. Rarely do I use absolute statements, but these chocolates here have made me do unexpected things. Like call them perfect, and revisit the shop 3 more times, once on the way out of town to purchase the complete collection “for the road”.
What makes these chocolate perfect to me? Balance. Each flavor was infused in perfect harmony with the chocolate. Not just any chocolate, but a carefully selected percentage of cocoa mass to best present the flavor.
Those fleeting tastes have left indelible flavor memories in me, and are something I will strive to replicate my entire journey through pastry. To recreate a singular taste that is nothing short of perfect.