Among Oakland's many wonders is Nuttyness, a small artisan company bending the notion of marzipan. The almond paste based candy is a great divider in the confectionery world, a taste that always seems to polarize people into debates on whether it's delicious or dismal. If you tend toward the latter, this might be the brand to change your mind.
Company founder Kristian Salvesen, who calls himself the "Chief Nuttyness Officer," grew up in Norway and settled in the Bay Area after falling in love in Monterey. His idea strikes a nice balance between the European tradition of the dark chocolate-covered almond paste candy and the local bounty of flavor inspiration.
Instead of packaging them in big logs, as you tend to find internationally, Nuttyness comes in small 35-gram bars. There's a pure almond flavor available, but there's also coffee vanilla, lemon ginger, and orange cayenne. We cut a sliver of the latter to taste and the whole bar magically disappeared a little while later, leaving only some faint heat up to the eyeballs and a lingering citrus sweetness.
Nuttyness made its retail debut earlier this year thanks to The Pasta Shop in Oakland and Berkeley is now available in San Francisco at Chocolate Covered. Bars can also be ordered online.