Rave: Miette Confiserie

One of my very favorite places in SF is Miette Confiserie. It’s Willy Wonka for adults. The Hayes Valley candy store has a sweet vintage feel: there are glass jars of gummy candies, hard candies and licorices reaching all the way to the ceiling. A table in the center is dedicated to chocolate and they carry many brands that you just won’t find anywhere else in SF. And they carry nougat – when was the last time you saw nougat?! (It’s magically delicious, by the way.).

To top it all off, they also have Miette’s own treats – their cookies, cupcakes, those wickedly good salted caramels and their Parisian style macaroons.

Image from http://www.miettecakes.com

Before Miette, my last licorice encounter was either the all-natural Panda brand that my mom would buy at the health food store or the junky black licorice sticks that you can buy just about anywhere. I liked licorice before, but now I LOVE licorice.

As it turns out, there is some seriously cool licorice out there and Miette is a great guide to all the impossible-to-pronounce varieties. You can get super chewy ones that threaten every filling in your teeth or super soft squares that practically melt in your mouth. You can get classic black licorice in the shape of Scotty Dog’s (made by SF’s Gimbels!) or you can get complex flavored bites like one that has a delicate molasses flavor to it.

My very favorite, though, is a salted licorice. I knew I loved chocolate with salt and caramel with salt, so I was willing to try licorice with salt. I should warn you that I find it totally addictive. My favorite, so far, are salted on the outside and shaped as fish but we’re trying different kinds nearly each time we drop by.

I like to go to Miette nearly any time, although I must admit that I hate most of the public transit options to Hayes Valley. The underground is easiest for me but then I have to walk those skanky blocks of Market and Franklin. (This morning was especially ugly – redolent of urine and packed with sleeping vagrants, their belongings, wheelchairs and/or walkers). Regardless, you should go. Licorice travels well so I try to go before a trip. Or if you need further reason to visit, it’s less than a block from Blue Bottle.

I personally think an ideal trip to Hayes Valley includes a visit to Miette, a Blue Bottle macchiato and popping into Lavish, Flight 001 and/or Rag.


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