Michelle Crochet was born in the Bay Area and founded Droga Confections in the city. She started the company with her mother's recipe for Rocky Road and has been gradually adding to the collection, most recently with the release of some new September sweets that similarly take upscale classics that we knew as kids.
It had been a while since I last tasted Droga's wares, but the pleasant aesthetic of the packaging triggered an immediate taste memory. The distinctive names are also enough to bring a memory to the mouth.
The newest addition, released this month, is the Lovelies: effectively grown-up Raisinettes. They're nice, mid-rich, chewy, grainy, organic, sun-dried raisins with the great contrast of dark chocolate. These would make a perfect addition, or neighbor, to our recently covered local artisan bridge mixes. The Lovelies are $18 for a 14 oz. tub.
Put Your Money on Honey is a chocolate-covered caramel with a pinch of fleur de sel. That salt would have been new five years ago, but what stands out here is the use of honey instead of corn syrup (the typical caramel ingredient). Beyond being a healthier ingredient, honey adds another flavor dimension: think Bit-O-Honey writ large. Like chewing a honeycomb to release the nectar, the longer you chew, the more honey flavor presents. They're $9.95 for a box of four.
It's hard to talk about Droga without mentioning its signature Rebel Rocky Road, for which Crochet can thank her mom. This confection delivers a firm bite-crunch-crack of chocolate before yielding the gelatinous spongy chew of marshmallow and the crisp pebble of roasted peanuts within. It's $28 for a 12 piece box, $4.95 for 2 pieces.
We have a request: since Crochet already has peanuts and chocolate, can she make us some grown-up Goobers?
Droga's small-batch, hand-crafted treats are available at Bi-Rite Market, Rainbow Grocery, Other Avenues and Cheese Plus in San Francisco (not all locations carry all products) and directly online at DrogaConfections.com.