Sunday, March 31, 2013

Chocolate Macadamia ice cream - March 31, 2013

Chocolate of the Day:

Lappert's Ice Cream
Chocolate Macadamia ice cream
Good + - Very Good
Weight: 1/4 cup serving / 1 Pint container
Calories: 265 calories (estimate) in 1/4 cup serving
Cost: $7.99 (estimate) for 1 pint
Purchased from: Lappert's Ice Cream, Sausalito, CA

Today was Day #6 of Chocolate and Hawaii Theme Week. It was also Easter Sunday, a holiday often celebrated with chocolate eggs, rabbits, and baby chickens.

However, instead of indulging in chocolate bunnies this year, my Easter egg (bowl) filled with Hawaiian chocolate ice cream. After a holiday meal with family and friends, I enjoyed a scoop of Chocolate Macadamia ice cream from Lappert's, a family owned business that started in Hawaii.

Like yesterday's Lappert's flavor (Kauai Pie), today's rich, creamy ice cream was chock full of good-sized macadamia nuts. Sometimes it's easy to forget, with so many exotic ice cream flavors available, just how good just plain chocolate ice cream can be. The soft crunch of the mac nuts complemented the chocolate nicely. No other additions were necessary.

Kauai Pie ice cream - March 30, 2013

Chocolate(s) of the Day:

Lappert's Ice Cream
Kauai Pie ice cream
Good + - Very Good
Weight: 1/4 cup in dish / 1 Pint container
Calories: 265 calories (estimate) in 1/4 cup
Cost: $7.99 (estimate)
Purchased from: Lappert's ice cream store, Sausalito, CA

Today was Day #5 of Chocolate and Hawaii Theme Week, and time for some Kauai Pie ice cream from Lappert's (Sausalito, CA, location).

What is Kauai Pie ice cream you ask? At Lappert's ice cream shops, it is one of their most popular flavors, made with Kona coffee ice cream, macadamia nuts, shredded and lightly roasted coconut, and chocolate fudge. A winning combination.

I enjoyed pairing a small scoop of Kauai Pie ice cream with a small, sweet banana that had a light floral flavor note. (I saw more than a dozen different banana varieties being grown on the Big Island of Hawaii during a recent visit. I should have done more banana tastings while I was there, with chocolates. We're more limited in our choices of bananas here on the mainland.)

On a Mission: San Francisco
From Hawaii to San Francisco...All in a day's work.

This afternoon I took a field trip to the Mission district of San Francisco with a friend. In addition to gawking at murals and street art, we made numerous stops to shops, galleries and a park. But, let's talk chocolate.

After a stop to ogle Bi-Rite Market's impressive chocolate selection (not to mention cheeses, deli items, produce and other artisan items), we crossed the street to sample ice cream at Bi-Rite Creamery (Hazelnut with Dandelion Chocolate Cocoa Nibs; Salted Caramel; Lemon Lavender; Chocolate; other). The Bi-Rite stops alone justified the entire trip, even though we arrived too early for the high-end, soft-serve ice cream. (Creme Fraiche + Chocolate anyone?)

Dandelion Chocolate
After walking off some of the sugar rush, we visited Dandelion Chocolate's new digs on Valencia Street. We appreciated samples of single origin Dandelion dark chocolate bars, cacao beans, and homemade marshmallows there and seeing glimpses of bean-to-bar chocolate making. It was also wonderful to try a smoothie made with the white pulpy cacao fruit -- difficult to find in the U.S.

Chocolate Skull Hunt
Later we stopped for a raclette and potato plate at Mission Cheese (we had to balance out some of that sugar with a salty, savory item). And we located a potential source of chocolate skulls (used to commemorate The Day of the Dead) in one of the traditional Latin shops in the neighborhood. Sugar candy skulls were out on display in another shop, as were candy skull molds. Perhaps I'll make some chocolate skeletons this fall.

San Francisco loves the off-beat. We missed the "hunky Jesus" contest by one day, but we did spot a unicorn, a jackalope and many odd little animal skeletons at one shop (Paxton Gate); vintage luggage made into boom boxes in another shop; and creatively recycled items in thrift shop windows. No sign of wooden molinillos (used to make hot chocolate). That will have to wait until next trip.

For a unique and interesting take on neighborhood information in the Mission District, check out this atlas/set of maps (e.g., "Mission: Gangs and Cupcakes") at

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