Dandelion Chocolate

I was in the Mission last Thursday and stopped off on Valencia to see if Dandelion Chocolate, a new small-batch, “bean-to-bar” chocolate maker, had opened its doors yet. I was in luck.

There was no question what their trade was–the smell of chocolate engulfed me as I stepped inside the lofty retail, factory, and soon-to-open cafe space (they operate in a former auto body shop)–but their cafe cases were empty. Turned out that their cafe will be opening after the holidays, but their pastry chef was sampling some test-recipes that day. Twist my arm.

In addition to a rich shot of chocolate pudding and a plate of tart, complex chocolate chip cookies, I took their chocolate tour, wherein I got to taste their three bars and learn a little bit more about Cacao beans (and from where they source theirs).

Dandelion currently sell three single-origin, 70% cacao, tasting bars that contain only two ingredients: cocoa beans and cane sugar: one from Madagascar, with beans they say are dried to retain acidity (and it was fruity, almost tart, as well as rich–the secret behind those cookies); one from Venezuela that they described as a “nostalgic, comfort chocolate” like “brownie batter” (yum); and one from the Dominican Republic which, well, I’m afraid I simply enjoyed with no notes to share.

It’s a beautiful space and I enjoyed the sort of science/history nerd aspect of getting a factory tour–as well as, of course, that pretty, shiny packaging and the free chocolate pudding. Their online store will be up in January, but until then you might have to know somebody local.

P.S. Churros con chocolate.

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