Hostess Is Back: Taste-Testing the New Twinkies and CupCakes

Categories: Palmer, Taste Test

Tamara Palmer
Twinkies: Call it a comeback.
After Hostess Brands went into liquidation at the end of 2012, we despaired that we'd never again know the taste of Twinkies. But now that the rights have been purchased by private equity companies, the treats are starting to return (here's the full list of what's coming back). We bumrushed some Twinkies and Chocolate CupCakes at our local Walgreens as a public service to you to let you know if they've retained their junky tastiness.

See also: Hostess: Remembering Forgotten Products and How to Cope With The Loss in the Bay Area
Chocolate-Espresso Twinkie, a Hostess Mashup from Bette's Oceanview Diner

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Malt Is The Flavor of Sweet Summer

Recchiuti Confections
We've noticed a few things while out in the field doing copious amounts of confectionery research (strictly for the people) this summer. We've been getting serious Eighties Ovaltine flashbacks because dessert vixens are using malt a lot right now. A few of these fine specimens that we're going to recommend to you will disappear before Labor Day, so we suggest you start planning a malt mission immediately.

But what is malt, anyway?

See also: Chocolate Lab Is An Elegant Extension of Recchiuti Brand

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Got PMS? Overrule It With Chocolate and Gourmet Treats

A sample monthly box from Juniper.
A woman-owned, San Francisco-based company called Juniper offers a subscription of monthly deliveries of chocolate, gourmet snacks, and the recipient's feminine product of choice from major brands for the clever amount of $28 per month. Listen up, ladies and the men who empathize with them -- that's not even the only cool package you can arrange to have shipped to your house or office at the correct time when you need such necessities the most.

See also: Dandelion Chocolate Smoothies Contain Real Cacao Fruit

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Discover Three Croissants You Can Trust

Tamara Palmer/Craftsman + Wolves
Croissants from Arlequin, Craftsman + Wolves and Arizmendi.
We've all heard about cronuts until we're blue in the face, especially since we can't get them out here yet and there are no worthy knockoffs to speak of, but the New York craze of the summer has thrown some light back on the value of the simple croissant. Of course, we tend to throw traditional out the window here, too, so these simple croissants are definitely anything but plain. Read on to discover our current favorites that you won't have to get up at the crack of dawn to try.

See also: Kouign Amann Remixes Reign at B. Patisserie

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Kouign-Amann Remixes Reign at B. Patisserie

Categories: Palmer, Sweet Beat

Missy Buchanan
Blueberry Kouign-Amann at b. patisserie.
Belinda Leong's kouign-amann, a Breton cake made of layers of butter and sugar-slathered pastry dough baked up into a delicate celebration of caramelization and custard, had potential to be this city's version of the cronut. When she opened b. patisserie in February, the kouign-amann routinely disappeared in a few hours, but she got the amount on lock before huge lines had a chance to form and you should be able to find one there for most of the day. And now, you can even find at least two additional kouign-related products.

See also: B. Patisserie: New French Bakery in Pacific Heights Traffics in Everything Nice
B. Patisserie Confronts Early Success

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Class Alert! Free SF Chefs Demos and More

Categories: Classes, Palmer

SF Chefs
Fifth Floor chef David Bazirgan teaches a basil class on July 27.
There are two classes left in the free demonstration series presented by SF Chefs and CUESA at the Ferry Building. AQ pastry chef Maya Erickson leads a session on using herbs in desserts on July 20, and Fifth Floor executive chef David Bazirgan dives deep into basil on July 27. Both start at 11 a.m. and feature light sample tastes to bring the talks to life.

See also:
Learn All About Japanese Pickles With Matthew Amster-Burton and Karen Solomon

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Xiao Long Bao Shop Arrives on Clement Dim Sum Scene

Categories: Dim Sum, Palmer

Tamara Palmer
Xiao Long Bao Shop's namesake soup dumplings.
Xiao Long Bao Shop (635 Clement) is a new addition to the crowd of dim sum options on Clement Street in the Richmond District. It's strictly no-frills, with no profound whiff of newness outside of the "Grand Opening" banner outside. There are tables to sit and eat in, but you'll probably just want to pick up some snacks to go. Despite its name, though, xiao long bao (pork soup dumplings) are not the best item here -- they've got a nice, soft wrapper and clean-tasting pork, but very little liquid inside, so they're a little fraudulent. But they do amount to about 66 cents apiece!

See also: M.Y. China Has San Francisco's Most Expensive Dim Sum

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Soul Cocina and Magic Curry Kart Host a Back Alley Affair

Soul Cocina's Roger Feely in deep concentration.
Brian Kimball of Magic Curry Kart and Roger Feely of Soul Cocina are bonded by more than the love of good street food; they were also born on the same day. The two have pushed the boundaries of what chefs without restaurants can do. Kimball teaches cooking classes and has his own line of curry pastes and chili sauces that are distributed throughout Northern California, while Feely cooks up elaborate meals for home delivery via Luke's Local and organizes events that mingle food and music. Next Friday (June 21), they'll host Back Alley Jubilee on June 21, a Burmese-centric street food meal held in a secret location somewhere between the Bay Bridge and Sutro Tower.

See also: Soul Cocina's Roger Feely: The SFoodie Interview
Magic Curry Kart's Latest Special: Panties

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Oakland's Nuttyness Rethinks Marzipan

Categories: Palmer, Sweet Beat

Tamara Palmer
Nuttyness at Chocolate Covered in SF.
Among Oakland's many wonders is Nuttyness, a small artisan company bending the notion of marzipan. The almond paste based candy is a great divider in the confectionery world, a taste that always seems to polarize people into debates on whether it's delicious or dismal. If you tend toward the latter, this might be the brand to change your mind.

See also: Chocolate Lab Is an Elegant Extension of Recchiuti Brand

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Class Alert! Master The Art of Fermentation, Indian Dosas and More

Categories: Classes, Palmer

Learn the secrets of sauerkraut this month.
If you're a parent looking for an alternative to a summer camp, the Junior Chefs intensive workshop ($325) at Draeger's in San Mateo on the week of June 24 might be up your alley. The hands on class takes place each day from 9 a.m. to noon, covering different themes such as breakfast, pasta, Asian flavors, Latin fusion, and comfort classics. By the end of the week, your kid might have a broader palette of dishes at their arsenal than you do.

See Also: Top 5 Cooking With Dog Episodes

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