Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Nana Joes - Ocean Beach Granola Bar; San Francisco - Oct. 2, 2019

Chocolate(s) of the Day: 

Nana Joes
Ocean Beach Granola Bar - Almond Butter, Coffee and Cocoa Nibs bar
Good - Good +
Weight: 1.5 oz. (43 g.) in total bar
Calories: 190 calories in 1 bar
Cost: $3.99 for 1 bar
Purchased from: Piazza's Fine Foods, Palo Alto, CA

Welcome to Day #7 of Chocolate and Cowboy Country Theme Week.

Today's Ocean Beach Granola Bar Almond Butter, Coffee and Cocoa Nibs bar was from Nana Joes (San Francisco, CA).

Today's vegan, Certified Gluten Free, Non-GMO Project Verified granola bar was a light, crunchy and semi-sweet (sweetened only with maple syrup)—with subtle hints coffee (Organic decaf Equator coffee) and cacao (nibs). Almond butter helped hold these ingredients together and contributed a faint nutty note.

Ocean Beach is a long stretch of beach, where San Francisco meets the Pacific Ocean. It's truly inspirational and ruggedly beautiful, at sunset or anytime you want to feel sand between your feet and smell fresh sea air. Is San Francisco really cowboy country you may be asking? The short answer is yes.

Cowboys in San Francisco?
Ocean Beach alone has an interesting cowboy-related history. In 1769, the first Spanish explorers (with the Portola expedition) likely set foot on Ocean Beach with their horses. The Spanish soon established early ranches (ranchos) with cattle and horses in what is now California; and Spanish vaqueros (cowboys) contributed heavily to present day cowboy culture.

In 1902 Bill Cody (Buffalo Bill) lined up with his entire Wild West ensemble on horseback at Ocean Beach (with the original Cliff House in the distance on the right).

Today, Mar Vista Stables in Daly City, CA, still rents horses to riders who wish to ride near/on Ocean Beach and to exercise their inner cowboy and connect with nature. Inland a ways you'll find live bison and horses in Golden Gate Park. Traces of the old west live on.

Downtown San Francisco seems an unlikely setting for cowboys. But, a short stroll down Valencia Street in The Mission District, changed my mind. I spoke to a woman with a cowboy hat on who was getting ready to relocate to Bali. Then I saw the West of Pecos restaurant (complete with a set of swinging saloon doors), with a menu that included chocolate mousse with chipotle for dessert.

I thought this was a fluke, but then I saw two men with cowboy hats talking across the street where I was waiting to get into a movie at The Roxie theater ("Setting the Bar" about chocolate makers working with cacao farmers in South America).

And still more cowboy chocolates we missed...

Fondue Cowboy - Chocolate Fondue 
Unfortunately, I found out about Fondue Cowboy (in the SOMA district of San Francisco, CA) after it was too late to visit. In the future, I hope to try their "Happy Trails" Dark Chocolate Fondue with Cayenne.

Cowboy Toffee - Rose Toffee 
As we say goodbye to this cowboy country themed week today, I couldn't resist highlighting this special Texas Rose Dark Chocolate Toffee from Cowboy Toffee Co. (Ranger, Texas) (pictured at right).

Decorated with rose petals and sprinkled with bee pollen, this is one beautiful toffee. It's a shame I didn't discover this in time to feature this week. Definitely will seek this out next Cowboy or Cowgirl themed week. We should probably do a whole week on chocolate + cowboy/cowgirl theme + Texas.

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