Friday, August 26, 2016

Z. Cioccolato

If you've walked through North Beach, you've likely passed by Z.Cioccolato.  And if you were me, you'd obviously be drawn in.  Why?  Well, for one, the smell of fresh caramel corn floats out onto the side.  Second, also out on that sidewalk is a big sign saying "Free Fudge Samples!"  And third, if you peak inside, all you see is candy and sweets.  Oh yes.

Z. Cioccolato is a candy shop, self proclaimed "The Sweetest Spot in North Beach", which is likely true.  They have a vast array of candy, bins and bins of candy, mostly priced by the pound.  They also have bins and bins of taffy, that they make in house, in more varieties than you can imagine.  The front counter also includes an assortment of chocolate items, like giant peanut butter cups and many varieties of chocolate bark, and of course, the fudge with samples.  Oh, and gelato.

I've visited many times to pick up candy, and to uh, try some fudge samples (I mean, how do you not?)  They also used to encourage you to try all the taffy you wanted while in the store, a very dangerous offer given how long I'd spend browsing.  I always left with a ridiculous sugar high.

Anyway, the fudge is all fine, as is the taffy, but, I don't think I ever took notes on that stuff.  Its just candy.  But ... the caramel corn, that is another story.  You know how much I love snacks, and, popcorn in particular!
Caramel Corn.  Free!
When you enter Z. Cioccolato, there is an amazing aroma.  It is what drew me in the first time, as it wafted down the street outside.  Caramel corn.  Fresh popped caramel corn.  ZOMG.

I was really tempted to purchase a bag of it, as they had sealed bags of caramel corn displayed all around the shop, $3 each.  But I know that I'm a complete caramel corn snob, and I figured it wouldn't live up to my desires, and there were too many other sweets that I wanted instead.

But, luckily for me, it turns out, they give you a free small bag of fresh popped caramel corn with a $5 purchase.  Yes!

It was totally hot and fresh, literally right out of the popper.  Which, wasn't just lucky timing on my part, they actually pop it fresh every 15 minutes.  Clearly they realized the smell draws people in, and whatever isn't purchased immediately, they bag up, forming the bags I saw all over the place.  So, protip, don't ever get one of the pre-bagged ones, you can always get it fresher if you want it.

Anyway, it was decent caramel corn.  The caramel was a bit more on the burnt tasting side than I prefer, and it didn't have that strong of a buttery flavor, but the kernels were well coated, and it was hot, fresh, and free.  Hard to disagree with that.  I'm glad I decided not to splurge and get the $3 bag though, I would have been disappointed.  I won't buy it again, but if I'm offered a free bag again in the future, I'd obviously take it.
Z Cioccolato Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
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