Finally, a tasting event that didn’t leave me disappointed!

September 13, 2008 at 10:48 pm (dessert, food, recipes, restaurants, san francisco)

I often get lured into going to these tasting events.  Like Ghirardelli Square’s annual festival.  Or the chocolate festival.  There have been others.  I wind up thinking that I paid too much to enter and the things that I tasted weren’t worth the money.  I finally went to one that turned out to be as great as the tasting events of my imagination.

Last night, I went to an event by La Cocina, a SF organization to help low-income women start up food-related businesses.  Great goal – supporting people AND yumminess.  And they have a really cute logo – it’s a bird with a whisk in its beak.  It was a $5 donation to enter.  And we got to taste lots of yummy food.  The highlights included:

  • a really tasty tamal from El Buen Comer – the mole was really flavorful and chocolatey.  You can find them at the Noe Valley farmers market.
  • Embrace Sweets had nearly perfect brownies.  It was perfectly cakey and fudgey.  Chocolate flavor was pretty good.  Sweetness was slightly too sweet for me, but it was close.  Viva La Brownie!

  • Sabores del Sur!  They are the ones that make the delicious alfajores and they are the ones that gave me a cookie for free last week!  And they make delicious empanadas.  I had a veggie one.  The crust by itself is really flavorful – unusually so.  And the filling was pure yumminess.  They can be found at the Alemany farmers market.
  • Claire’s Squares – these are bars with a crust, caramel, and chocolate.  Quite yummy.  But they didn’t seem to want to sell any.  Christina waited for several minutes, money in hand, to buy stuff, but the woman at that table didn’t want to take her attention away from the really chatty man talking to her.  But they are still really delicious treats.

  • CMB Sweets has really yummy jams and preserves with really interesting flavors.  I got one small jar of kiwi-lime-ginger, and one small jar of pomegranate.  I love the small jars of jam… they are perfect for me!
  • They had wine and a couple of different punches.  The wine that I tried was a Malbec, which was the first one of this variety that I’ve tasted.  It went really well with the spicy foods.  One of the punches was spectacular and ingenious.  It was chai (specifically, Morning Glory Chai), vodka, simple syrup, and peppercorns.  Maybe there were other ingredients.  It was yummy.

Another thing that made this event so great was that everyone was friendly.  We were packed like sardines.  Or like the filling of an empanada or a tamal.  But everyone was smiling, joking with each other, and talking to each other to coordinate their movement.  There was one group of people who wanted to take a picture of themselves and stuck their arm out with camera in hand.  Some other person was looking at their camera LCD screen to help them to all fit in the screen.  They eventually realized that it was just easier to for the other guy to take the picture, but I like the sentiment.  All the people at the various tables were also really friendly and generous and helpful.  I don’t feel like we got scammed like with other events, so it makes me want to buy more stuff from these businesses.  And it definitely makes me want to spread the info about how delicious their stuff was.  The stuff was delicious.

On an unrelated note, I think that the thing I will miss most about San Francisco is how the city collects compost.  What will I do with all my food scraps and other compostable items?  It will kill me to have to toss them into the trash.  It already kills me when I have to do that at my parents’ house.  Maybe I can find a convenient place for me to drop compostable items off in New York City?

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