Reason #1: The dessert I had just eaten at Blossom was small, unsatisfactory, and did not contain chocolate (thus negating it's categorization as dessert).
Reason #2: I was nearby and curious to see how popular the oft-written about media darling of the vegan chocolate world was really doing.
It was "dessert time" by my watch (literally: it was after dinnertime), but there was nary a soul inside except for one employee: both the store and the cafe were completely empty. Once again, the samples were miniscule, unlabeled, and un-offered; once again, I took it as an unspoken "Help yourself". Unfortunately, I wound up mistakenly trying a chocolate-covered crumb of crystallized ginger and almost gagged on the potency* until I was able to shove a shard of pumpkin seed bark in my mouth to counter the taste. Surprisingly, the counterperson politely acted like he didn't notice the incident and I will say that the bark seemed tasty, although the escapade prevents me from being able to sufficiently expound.
My eye was quickly drawn to a counter beyond the chocolate spread: filled with a large assortment of baked goodies in large, glass jars. Despite the obvious thievery of Lula's brilliance, I will say that the addition of these varied and fairly priced options was a good move on the part of Cocoa V for those of us who prefer baked goods over candy-- especially when said candy can run well upwards of $3 per morsel.
I ultimately chose four items, of which you see pathetic halfsies in the picture. Frankly, as a loyal fan of Vegan Treats, I did not expect to be impressed. But then I tasted one thing in the cab, and that turned into tasting another, and then another, and then all. By the time I was out of the moving vehicle this is what was left to photograph.
- My dining companion's favorite was the mini hazelnut chocolate chip scone: impressive scone texture with a subtle hazelnut flavor. Despite mistaking the flavor for vanilla (I told you it was subtle), it was her favorite of the dessert selections of the evening.
- chocolate chip cookie: although not the usual Blossom CCC (the one I enjoyed on my previous visit to Cocoa V), this one was good, but not sweet enough for my taste; I prefer their original version (which is also bigger).
- chocolate chip pistachio biscotti: a true biscotti, not your typical pansy vegan "biscotti"
- chocolate dipped chocolate shortbread sprinkled with espresso shavings: my favorite of the offerings, this "cookie" was so delectable that I'd dare put it on par with Back to Eden goods (my companion vehemenently disagrees this ridiculously high accolade). The shortbread was chocolatey, "buttery", and light: drenched in thick, dark chocolate & punched up with espresso crumbs. YUM.
- Despite the space being devoid of other customers, everything was completely fresh.
- Although I chose somewhat similar offerings, everything had a distinct taste.
- Chip generosity was prevalent throughout.
One more thing: Cocoa V was selling what seemed to be a handful of re-packaged Dandies in an unmarked bag for $4. A real bag of Dandies contains at least five times the amount for just about a $1 more; don't let yourself be taken.
*This is not necessarily a judgement on Cocoa V's crystallized ginger; I happen to simply abhor it in any form.