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Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Sipping Chocolate the Highlight of Pure Dark Pop-Up on Union

Posted By on Wed, Jan 12, 2011 at 4:42 PM

click to enlarge TAMARA PALMER
  • Tamara Palmer

SFoodie's Jonathan Kauffman first broke news of Pure Dark, a chocolate shop popping up on Union Street through February. Launched by candy manufacturer Mars to showcase its artisan chocolate line (and attract wholesale clients), the shop features comfy places to sit and sip its best product, high-octane drinking chocolate. It's lighter and more drinkable than the one a few blocks away at Cocoa Bella; we enjoyed ours flavored with hints of cardamom and allspice.

The rest of Pure Dark's product line is focused and simple, featuring three varieties of dark chocolate (60, 70, and 80 percent). For a mass-market chocolate posing as a boutique one, it's passable, but the spiced dark chocolate rounds and bark embedded with various spices, fruit, and nuts (our favorite is the ginger and pecan) are better applications of this cacao, which is largely sourced from Brazil and West Africa. Bark comes prepackaged or weighed to your specifications (and is priced at $2.75/ounce). A tempering machine sits on the counter, with plans to make a different kind of bark each day, right in front of customers. Though the original Pure Dark pop-up experiment in New York lasted for two years instead of a few months, this one will almost certainly be gone by March.

Pure Dark: 1775 Union (at Octavia). Open Mon.-Sat. noon-7 p.m., Sun. 11 a.m.-6 p.m.

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Tamara Palmer

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