Monday, August 24, 2009

The rest of Napa

After we went to Bouchon, we stopped at a non-food related stop. The Calistoga geyser Old Faithful. I went here with my parents as a kid and thought my kids should have the same torture, I mean experience. It is a very cheesy mud pond surrounded by picnic tables. Every 30 minutes the geyser erupts like a hose 60 feet in the air for maybe 3 minutes. That's it, all done that's what you see. Sorry kids, but its now a tradition, you will have to take your kids there too.

My husband joined in on the silly family sightseeing fun and suggested we stop at the petrified forest. Well, coming from the family I did, I already have seen the petrified forest and knew it was along the same lines as the geyser. So with a smirk I agreed. Basically it's like walking thought the foothills and every so often there is a fallen tree with a fence around it. The history behind it is interesting but once you see one petrified tree you have seen them all.

So now for the good stuff. Our next delicious stop was Woodhouse Chocolate. It's on a cute little street in St Helena. From the outside it looks like a chic jewelry boutique, and when you get inside the theme continues. Their walls are decorated with tapestries and glass shelves of china, with the beautiful chocolates displayed under glass cases. I felt like I was inside a beautiful candy box. I didn't eat any of the chocolates until a few days after we got home and here are the results. I am ruined. I have never had chocolates this good. They are so delicate and melt in your mouth, covering each taste bud with creamy chocolateness. In order from favorite to favorite is: Sur del Lago - dark chocolate, Fresh Mint - really fresh mint flavored chocolate, Champagne Truffle - white chocolate with Grande Champagne Cognac, Toasted Coconut - white chocolate and coconut filling, Heart of Darkness - dark chocolate with cocoa nibs, Milk Chocolate Caramel Mousse - caramel mousse, Brown Butter Ganache - browned butter chocolate covered in white chocolate, Honey - honey butter mousse. They were sooooo good. I am going to try a few more next time, Passion Fruit, Thai Ginger, Raspberry Chambord, Quatre Epices, and Fiori di Sicilia. I also had their Fluer de Sel, which are chocolate covered caramels sprinkled with sea salt. They were delicious and inspired me to make my own variations.

After eating lunch at Mary's Pizza Shack, we went to Annette's Chocolates. They were good but like I said I am now ruined by Woodhouse. We ordered Chocolate Covered Honey Combs, they were OK. My kids ordered giant Peanut Butter Cups, which they liked,but I just found out Bouchon has some so we will try theirs next time. Then we ordered the usual truffles peanut butter, coconut, dark chocolate, etc, but it just doesn't compare.

Our last stop was for dessert. I am not kidding. We went to The Chocolate Cow in Sonoma. We did not order any chocolate though, we were there for something else. SHAVE ICE. Yes, we went to Sonoma for Shave Ice and I will do it again. It is the closest thing to Hawaiian Shave Ice there is. You can even get it Hawaiian style with ice cream at the bottom. It is light and fluffy ice drenched in syrup, possibly too much syrup. Sorry no pictures of the Shave Ice but when I go back I will.

I am really considering going back this weekend, and by next year I will be as big as a house.

No comments: