Friday, October 9, 2015

Seattle candy essentials

Welcome back for the second stop on my trip out west.  If you would like to read about the first stop in San Francisco (and you should, there's some good stuff in there!) catch up here

Seattle is a cool city and I'm there fairly often for work.  It's got a great restaurant/food scene along with active, outdoorsy, nerds (jk jk jk) and surprisingly good candy options.  There's a lot of candy in Seattle that I need to tell you about (yes need) so I'll cover the essentials in this post and a favorite new Seattle candy store in the next.

So essential candy to buy in Seattle.  The following items are deemed essential because every single time I go to Seattle they must be in my luggage back.  MUST.  They're also sold in the airport which tells me that other people find them essential too.  Based on no scientific evidence whatsoever, if it's sold in the airport then that means it's essential.  These are things that you need for the flight or want to take home as a souvenir or didn't have enough time to buy in the city and would make you sad to take off without.  Or things that are so necessary that you've actually gotten up even EARLIER for your 7am flight to allow enough time to browse and buy them (just me?)  Ok, so here they are:

Every time I touch down in Seattle the first stop I make is to a Hudson News store in the airport to buy a bag of Chukar's chocolate covered cherries, specifically their "cherry bings".  Normally I'm not a fan of chocolate covered cherries but Chukar's are outstanding and unique.  Their chocolate covered cherries come in a variety of flavors in milk or dark chocolate and they use real, meaty (didn't expect that adjective did you?), chewy, not-too-sweet cherries.  I've tried almost all of their variations (dark, amaretto, milk,  cabernet, black forest) but my favorites are the cherry bings because they add a little "cherry essence" to the milk chocolate which makes the whole thing taste better.  Like one cohesive chocolate-cherry bite rather than just a dried cherry covered in chocolate.  You can even see the red tint in the cherry bing below versus their milk chocolate cherry:
see the red "cherry essence?"
chocolate cherry bing bite
No matter how many times I try a new Chukar cherry flavor (the truffle, pinot noir and tangerine are next on my hit list) I still come back to the cherry bing.  Excited yet?  Just me again?  Where can you buy these?  Well if you're not headed to Seattle, don't worry.  You can buy them from the Chukar website.  Here's what you're looking for:

Next up are my favorite Seattle chocolate bars.  There's always room for more chocolate (bars) and we don't even have to leave the airport!  These "truffle" bars from Seattle Chocolates are also available at all of the Hudson News stores in the airport.  You can also find them (and Chukar cherries) at the Made in Washington store in the main terminal.

Seattle Chocolates makes so many great truffle bar flavors (peanut butter! s'mores! I didn't even get to try the seasonal pumpkin spice or devil's delight!) but I'll sum up 3 of my favorites here:

San Juan Sea Salt is a fav because it's a smooth, soft, truffled, milk chocolate with toffee and sea salt.  A perfect trifecta.  I feel like at this point sea salt is essential to toffee.  Once sea salt+toffee became a thing there was no going back.  Thankfully this bar gets that, the flavors are perfectly balanced, and I never, ever leave Seattle without one.

Next up is Rainier Cherry because it offers a quintessential Seattle combo: dried cherries, pecans, and dark chocolate.  This bar is kind of healthyyyy... (ish?) and so good because they incorporate praline pecans, Washington Rainier cherries and dark chocolate (to keep it from being too sweet).   When you bite into it, you first taste the slightly bitter dark chocolate but then you get the chewy, sweet cherries and crunchy, sugary, praline pecans and the whole thing evens out in your mouth while you chew and just works.  Healthy and hiking!

Saving my newest favorite for last is the Birthday Cake bar.  This thing is ADDICTIVE.  I mentioned my obsession with all things bday cake flavored in last week's post so it should come as no surprise that this bday cake bar is a new favorite.  The bday cake flavored obsession is a double edged sword because bday cake flavored things can be on point or go horribly, way-too-sweet wrong.  Luckily, Seattle Chocolates nailed it.  This bar has the best consistency (best!) and a great bday cake flavor.  It's milk chocolate on the outside with a smooth, truffled but textured bday cake center inside.  How do they make it both smooth and textured?  I have no idea but it is.  It perfectly mimics buttercream frosting and it even has bits of sprinkles.  See for yourself:
creamy but textured inside
Yum!  I could not stop eating this bar after buying it and finished it standing outside of the store slowly, like a lady, throughout my afternoon.  Here's some more good news for you: I've seen Seattle Chocolates truffle bars at my Bed, Bath, and Beyond in the food section (I guess qualifying as the "beyond" merchandise?) so if you're too impatient to order these online, check your local BB&B.

So those are my Emerald City essentials, I hope they've been helpful.  If you're flying to Seattle, head straight to the stores in the airport to discover your favorite Chukar chocolate cherry and Seattle Chocolates truffle bar.   If you're not flying to Seattle then order them online and share your favorites on Instagram.  Tag me @thecandyquestblog so I can see what you're loving.   

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