Sure, we're Valentine's Day-adjacent, when all thoughts, especially retail and commercial, turn to chocolate. And yes, when has chocolate not been trendy ... in my mouth? We can't help but notice, though, that fancy chocolate in San Francisco has reached a tipping point that threatens to jump the shark, if the shark were made of the finest sustainably-sourced cocoa nibs.
There's the recent return of Charles Chocolates with a 7,600-square-foot candy kitchen and retail space on Florida Street where $2 artisan chocolates rub shoulders with fudgesicles and something called a "Chocolate snacking cake". Then there's Valencia Street's Dandelion Chocolate, where a "bean to bar" philosophy means each bar is packaged by hand and a rare cacao fruit smoothie will run you $7. Then there's Recchiuti Chocolate Lab in the Dogpatch, where sweets, savories and drinks supplement the chocolately focus (and where you can order an "Asphalt Jungle Revolution" - Recchiuti's dragées of chocolate covered almonds, hazelnuts, cherries and dark chocolate malted milk balls).
And that's just places that have opened in the four months. There's Poco Dolce, Socola Chocolatier and dozens of other chocolate purveyors have been up and running in the city for a while. And we owe 1/3 [author estimate] of all our city's tourism revenue to out-of-towners spending yuan at Ghiradelli.
For any other food trend that takes the city by storm (ahem, cupcakes), there's an inevitable backlash. Do we really need all these sweet treats? Who buys this stuff anyway? But we're happy to see local chocolatiers bouncing back to fill the shoes of Joseph Schmidt and Scharffen Berger, both of which had Bay Area operations before being acquired by Hershey. The more chocolate, the merrier, as far as I'm concerned. Ain't no room for hate on my plate.