Ho ho ho SFBA 2017 Holiday thread

With visions of Dungeness and sufganiyot dancing in our heads, what do you plan to pick up for the holidays? Any bakery specials or food gifts others should check out?

I’ll be out of town for the holidays, but I raided the shelves at Chocolate Covered in Noe Valley a couple of weeks ago and stocked up heavily on their Chocolate Tree (UK) and Pump Street Bakery (UK) stock. I picked up a half dozen bars from each maker, which I’ll be packing in my luggage next week!

Edit: I should mention the impetus was learning (via Facebook) of Chocolate Tree’s recent Stateside visit, in which they drove from NorCal through the PacNW, visiting a number of artisan bean-to-bar manufacturers. They were already on my radar as I’d just placed an online order for their award winning “winterspice” hot chocolate, among other things, since I’ll be spending Xmas in the snowy Canadian north. I was excited to learn that they visited C.C. in Noe, as they’re the first to carry Choc Tree’s bars in the city. AFAIK, they didn’t have any prior distribution in Northern California. Not sure if C.C. will be stocking regularly as this was their very first order, although according to the owner, he hopes it will happen. Eitherway, now would be a good time to pay the shop a visit and sample what you can while supplies last. 'Tis the season to gorge on chocolate afterall!

Hey- there isn’t any season that’s not a good season to gorge on chocolate.

Speaking of bakery, is there any good local version of panettone that one should check out? Acme? How about the Italian places? I have been curious about them, but am somewhat weary about imported versions that have a shelf life of half a year. The SF panettone threads are all like 10 years old…

Our preschool has a lot of Jewish families. The holiday party is coming up- so maybe some sufganiyot is on the horizons. Where else do you get a good one? Grand Bakery is closing. Marla?


I’d just like to note that this Canadian Jew had to Google “sufganiyot” - first time I’ve ever heard of it, and I went to a Jewish school for years! Is this primarily an Israeli thing?

Sufganiyot is Israeli and the convenience of buying them at a store has made them more popular in Israel than at-home latke making. I’d never heard of the tradition before moving to the Bay Area either— I have friends who have a latke making party and supplement it with boxes of Krispy Kreme. It’s like a state fair in December.

I’ve enjoyed Marla’s sufganiyot in the past. But since Doughnut Dolly just opened a location in San Francisco, I may just pick up some of their donuts this year instead.

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The panettone I got last year from IL rulli was disappointedly dry. I picked up some panettone with glazed chestnut from Market on Market but there was almost zero chestnut inside, a ripoff. I see Rustic bakery sells a fruitcake but I haven’t tried it yet.

Is it only or mainly bought and sold around Chanuka? I’ve been to Israel a few times and I don’t think I’ve ever encountered it, AFAIK.

My Israeli roommates had told me it was a Hanukah thing (I haven’t been there and don’t know if they’re made other times during the year too)

Chowfun Derek emailed me today about Taboon Bakery in SF, they are apparently making sufgayinot!


Sure enough, a family brought some sufganiyot to the party. It was so sweeeeeeet.

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Ha, were those filled? They look like standard issue doughnut holes, which would still fulfill the symbolic role of oil associated with Hanukah, but (1) I understand that sufganiyot are typically filled and more importantly (2) a yeast doughnut without jelly or custard is a culinary sin :slight_smile:

For background, the story goes that sufganiyot were promoted in the 1920s to stimulate business in Israel— latkes were easy to make at home, and filled doughnuts were better left to professionals. The deep-fried foods associated with Hanukah represent a miraculously durable batch of lamp oil.

Speaking of which, my wife reminded me that we bought Brioche Doughnuts at Arlequin Cafe last year, the advantage of which is they make filled doughnuts all year round, don’t require a special order, and they know what they’re doing. I’m tempted by Taboon for this year though!

I tried the stollen from Ponsford’s Bakery in San Rafael. I’ve never had stollen before, and I really liked this. It’s pricey ($18) and delicious - subtle and not too sweet. I also saw that the Cheeseboard in Berkeley has it, but I didn’t buy any.

Panettone from Roy


I believe I saw it at Blue Bottle on Sansome.

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I think they had some custard inside. But both were so sweet that I had a hard time separating the two on my tongue.

Has anyone tried it? Hows it?

Those totally look like Dunkin’ Donuts (an East Coast chain) “Munchkins”; pretty standard at most fast food donut shops. We used to bring boxes to school on our birthdays and pass them around the class.

I’m intrigued. Never heard of them, but I can’t find a FB listing. Do they have a website or blog?

Was this in response to my post? Which one are you asking about?

Chocolate Tree can be found here:

They’ve won a bunch of awards for their bean to bar and hot chocs.

Pump Street Bakery:

Similarly, a small UK based producer which has garnered many awards for their bars.

And Chocolate Covered, which is the best of its kind in the city, can be found here:

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Thanks! I love reading roadtrips. If they’re about chocolate, all the better.

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I’m not sure if they have a blog, but Chocolate Tree posted a bunch of photos on their FB page last month, which clued me in to their presence in the city. You can find details by scrolling their timeline.

The proprietor at C.C. in Noe seemed really impressed by their bars. In fact, he polished off a bunch of them himself that I was hoping to pick up! I still haven’t opened any of mine as I’m waiting for the holidays.

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“Food is a pretty good prism through which to view humanity.”

― Jonathan Gold

Market stall in Lima
Credit: TXMX 2