Whenever I walk through the San Francisco Ferry Building, I can always gauge the types of food people have affinity towards. Typically the sweet tooth variety will immediately will be attracted to Miette, a patisserie shop which always has three or four large jars stacked high with macarons to entice innocent passerbyers.
Reading the recent daring baker challenge, French macarons, and seeing fellow bloggers wistfully take on this task, made me truly appreciate the diligence and attention to detail needed to create such a delicacy. The attempt and achievement of producing a macaron from the comforts of your own kitchen deserves congratulatory praise. I'm still afraid of the impending disasters that may unravel in my kitchen if I tried. Instead I'll readily hand over my $1.50 to Miette for their macaron. Chewy, airy and delightfully sugary in two or three bites, which is all you need until the next visit.
As I write, it occurred to me that the bite-sized macaroons and cupcakes are the only items I've ever tasted from Miette, everything else I've purchased from here has been gifted to friends and family. And why not? Could you bear to slice into any one of these beauties? I may be confused, but it appears that perhaps a significant purpose of these cakes was to stun and dazzle you with its simple elegance.
If not the creation itself, Miette does a great job gift-wrapping every crumb that it produces, so that you can always rely on it to present a delicious surprise to loved-ones.
If beautiful French cookies weren't enough, there are two chocolate sources within the Ferry Building. Since we're on the subject of beautiful consumable luxuries, Recchiuti goes over the top with descriptions such as an 'intoxicating revelation' and a 'pleasure beyond words' all wrapped up in beautiful ribbons. Enticing, isn't it?
Wine pairing collection, 9 pieces ($25).This is a gourmet gift for chocolate and wine enthusiasts. This box contains chocolates selected by Michael Recchiuti to pair with suggested red wines. Included are star anise and pink peppercorn, spring jasmine tea, and force noir.
Burgundy Box, 32 pieces ($83) Notes: Alluring flavors and elegant indulgence. Three layers of inspired silky ganache chocolates and delicate pates de fruits.
Black box, 16 pieces ($44), This box includes Recchiuti's original 16 handmade pieces, including the signature burnt caramel.
And you've probably have already heard of the other chocolate shop, Scharffen Berger, whose products can be found in grocery stores across the country. It's hard for me to believe they have only been making chocolate since 1996. They've certainly succeeded in garnering a large fan base in the last decade. Scharffen Berger produces some of my favorite chocolate products to bake with and nibble on.
Scharffen Berger 3oz. chocolate bar ($5). I always enjoy reading these tasting notes to see if my palate is sophisticated enough to detect such nuances. Is there a career in chocolate tasting in my future? I'm afraid not.
Next door to Miette is Ciao Bella Gelato shop which features interesting gelato and sorbet flavors such as Valrhona chocolate, Rose Petal Champagne Sorbetto and the seasonal eggnog gelato. I split three scoops ($5) with my best friend from high school, Karina, while I was in town.