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marie-louise

See's Candy

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Has anyone been to their store on Polk St (in SF)? I think it is the original store. 

Not.

See's started in Los Angeles. First store was on Western Avenue in 1921. They didn't expand to SF until 1936. History

Thanks for the correction! I'm not trying to steal thunder from the southland... :raz:

I guess what I must have seen was that the store on Polk St was the first in SF. (rather than the first ever). There was a big article on it once in the paper where they showed a horse-drawn contraption used for delivering chocolates.

spelling edit


Edited by ludja (log)

"Under the dusty almond trees, ... stalls were set up which sold banana liquor, rolls, blood puddings, chopped fried meat, meat pies, sausage, yucca breads, crullers, buns, corn breads, puff pastes, longanizas, tripes, coconut nougats, rum toddies, along with all sorts of trifles, gewgaws, trinkets, and knickknacks, and cockfights and lottery tickets."

-- Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 1962 "Big Mama's Funeral"

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Just got back from the mall with two more canisters of Toffee-ettes. Heaven help me.

edit: spelling


Edited by hjshorter (log)

Heather Johnson

In Good Thyme

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Did you know that See's makes Hanukkah gelt? The chocolate is much better than most I've tasted, even though the coins are American!

I, too, was at a See's today (downtown Berkeley.) A 1-lb. box of coins, a 1-lb. assortment of California brittle, marizpan, ginger, and dark chocolate cherries, and just for fun, a chocolate-covered marshmellow Christmas tree.

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OK, the Consort the other day brought me some of the in-store-only dark-chocolate-covered crystalized ginger: Really really good. We're very lucky such a thing exists in the world.

I reiterate: I don't even like candy much. But there's something about See's, it's almost a savory experience. So much flavor, so many layers of flavor.

Also he brought something else really really really good, which a See's aficianado friend had suggested, I think it's called Chocolate Butterscotch but I could be wrong. It's like compressed golden brown sugar, all the way through, not as grainy as C&H out of the box but with a grainy element that is entirely wonderful.

And, something ELSE I'd not had before, not in all these years -- maybe I just wasn't ready -- and whose name I don't know, neither, but which was really really good: Marshmallow, all soft and home-made like, with soft caramel around it. This was wrapped in waxed paper twisted at each end, looking appealingly homely. What a flavor blast!

Of COURSE I've had the chocolate with the caramel and the marshmallow layer, and that is very very good too, but this is something else again in the world of See's Goodness.

Maybe I am adding "Try more See's" to my New Year's Resolutions, along with "Conquer choux paste".

Earlier on up there, I thank Ludja for the pointer to the See's store on Polk in SF, and the idea of pairing it with a visit to Swan Oyster Depot ... I usually combine my Swan visits with a stroll to Naomi's Antique to Go to test my Hall China resolve, but See's would not affect this exercise and indeed, would only add to it.


Priscilla

Writer, cook, & c. ● #TacoFriday observant ●  Twitter    Instagram

 

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Thanks for inviting us to talk about chocolate!

Don't usually like marzipan, but LOVE See's marzipan, followed by just about anything in the Nuts and Chews assortment (pecan w/ dark choc being the fave).

And lowbrow though this may seem, I will take 2 See's marzipans over a box of Godiva truffles any day.  :rolleyes:

I saw in interestin phenomenon on the Monday before Christmas regarding Sees and Godiva. At a nearby mall, in the midafternoon, I went into the Sees store to pick up some of their wonderful candies: 1 lb mollasses chips, 1 lb dark bordeaux, and 1 lb chocolat marzipan. The line for the "special selections" was about 18 persons long.............out the door and into the mall. There was about a 12 person line for those purchasing pre-packaged boxes. My wait was about 30 minutes..................and worth every second!

With my booty in hand, I wandered about the mall for a short time just looking around. I passed the Godiva store, which is larger and in a better location than the Sees store....................It was absolutely empty!! There were 3 employees talking to one another, but not a single customer. When I swung back by about 10 minutes later I observed one customer.


Bill Benge

Moab, Utah

"I like eggs", Leon Spinks

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My grandfather cherished full boxes of mollasses chips when I was younger. Alas, smoking took him too early, but I imagine he's out there somewhere, thoroughly enjoying a fine box of mollasses chips to his heart's delight.

Even though it's "mall chocolate", I still have a soft spot for their bordeaux. Sure, I only use Guittard and Scharffen Berger when I make ganache or pots de creme, but I can enjoy that classic white box of Sees too. :biggrin:

R. Jason Coulston


R. Jason Coulston

jason@popcling.com

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WHOOOHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO talk about a trip down memory lane! I was born in San Fransisco in '72. My mother used to make these things she called "Itzits" She would take two freshly baked chocolate chip cookies, and spread icecream in between. I have such happy memories of that, it was a treat indeed, when we had been good. Its interesting to see that it was not something she made up to amuse her kids!

And Sees!!! Our biggest delight was to get to go into the See's store and pick out which lollypop we wanted. Mother said that if we were going to have sweets, we would have the good stuff. I had all but thought they were figments of my overactive imagination, when I saw a store in Houston in the late 80's. Then a few years ago, a dear friend sent me a box of See's lolly's and my darling SO brought me another box of lollypops and an assortment of their candies. I didn't even realize they made candy other than the lollypops :shock:

So to this day, the butterscotch and chocolate lollypops are my favorite and always elicit a happy trip down memory lane as I lick every last bit of sitcky goodness off the stick!

I bought my darling a box this year for Christmas, and I'm afraid I stole the marzipan one. FANtabulous!!!!

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Sure, I only use Guittard and Scharffen Berger when I make ganache or pots de creme, but I can enjoy that classic white box of Sees too. 

See's uses Guittard chocolate.

Decades before the very fine Sharffen Berger was even a nascent twinkle in Sharffen OR Berger's eye.


Priscilla

Writer, cook, & c. ● #TacoFriday observant ●  Twitter    Instagram

 

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Earlier on up there, I thank Ludja for the pointer to the See's store on Polk in SF, and the idea of pairing it with a visit to Swan Oyster Depot ... I usually combine my Swan visits with a stroll to Naomi's Antique to Go to test my Hall China resolve, but See's would not affect this exercise and indeed, would only add to it.

Likewise, thanks for the tip on Naomi's Antiques... Sounds like a fun afternoon, especially since it's best to hit Swan's on off hours to minimize the wait..

thanks for all the other great See's treat descriptions on this post too; I have a lot of new things to try!


"Under the dusty almond trees, ... stalls were set up which sold banana liquor, rolls, blood puddings, chopped fried meat, meat pies, sausage, yucca breads, crullers, buns, corn breads, puff pastes, longanizas, tripes, coconut nougats, rum toddies, along with all sorts of trifles, gewgaws, trinkets, and knickknacks, and cockfights and lottery tickets."

-- Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 1962 "Big Mama's Funeral"

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oh my friends, my dark chocolate bordeaux-loving friends, i am not alone! I LOVE bordeaux, dark choc please.

with dark choc california brittle, or light milky choc california brittle, a second in line........

but now that i know about candied chocolate covered ginger...........

by the way, am i the only one who loves to sniff and smell the box after all the chocolate has been eaten? mmmmmmmmmm


Marlena the spieler

www.marlenaspieler.com

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OK, the otherworldly marshmallow-caramel treat in the homely waxed-paper wrap is called a Scotch Kiss. Wowee what a flavor blast.


Priscilla

Writer, cook, & c. ● #TacoFriday observant ●  Twitter    Instagram

 

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And, the Consort brought me another new one: coconut filling enrobed in the most beautiful pearlescent pink fondant ... the delicacy of which is quite nearly ineffable. Non-chocolate See's, what a concept.


Priscilla

Writer, cook, & c. ● #TacoFriday observant ●  Twitter    Instagram

 

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A nice little story about See's in today's (02/11/2004) L.A. Times...

http://www.latimes.com/features/food/la-fo...ll=la-home-food (free reg. req.)


So we finish the eighteenth and he's gonna stiff me. And I say, "Hey, Lama, hey, how about a little something, you know, for the effort, you know." And he says, "Oh, uh, there won't be any money. But when you die, on your deathbed, you will receive total consciousness."

So I got that goin' for me, which is nice.

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See's uses Guittard chocolate.

I didn't know that! :shock: How did you ever find that out?

I'll take the Bordeaux, anyday.

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See's uses Guittard chocolate.

I didn't know that! :shock: How did you ever find that out?

I'll take the Bordeaux, anyday.

I think it was earlier on in this very discussion -- perhaps WAY earlier on. Who was it pointed it out, was it Carolyn Tillie? Was it another See's discussion entirely? If I have the chance I will try to hunt down the citation.

Quite as exciting as See's using Guittard, I think, is reading (in the excellent Charles Perry article referenced above) that C&H makes a SPECIAL brown sugar for See's, for See's to use in Bordeaux. Deep Californianiana. Not unlike Joan Didion going to Hawaii on the Lurline.


Priscilla

Writer, cook, & c. ● #TacoFriday observant ●  Twitter    Instagram

 

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A nice little story about See's in today's (02/11/2004) L.A. Times...

http://www.latimes.com/features/food/la-fo...ll=la-home-food  (free reg. req.)

Thanks for posting-they captured them perfectly (although I DO still think of them as San Francisco stores, since there are so many here.)

Well, they ARE headquartered in South San Francisco. And get their chocolate from Guittard's factory in Burlingame.

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Well, they ARE headquartered in South San Francisco. And get their chocolate from Guittard's factory in Burlingame.

And, hooray hooray,

at the south san francisco headquarters they have a shop, and they sell discount sees candies. nothing quite so delicious as a discount.


Marlena the spieler

www.marlenaspieler.com

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Definitely Bordeaux, absolute heaven. Second, Butterscoth Squares and third ....

Reverse that order for me.

, I've frequently heard people opine that See's marzipan is the best in the US at any price.

According to my favorite marzipan afficianado, See's dark chocolate marzipan is second only to the now closed Elk Chocolates in NYC. I think its got a lovely texture, good strong almond flavor and isnt too sweet. Good stuff!

Found in the stores but NEVER in a pre-packaged box, is Dark Chocolate-covered Candied Ginger.

I love the dark chocolate ginger. Its not all that sweet, its delightfully strong and gingery. I always thought it was not in the box because it might share too much of itself with other flavors. The 'sharing' is why the mint flavors are not included in any of the prepackaged assortments.

OK, the Consort the other day brought me some of the in-store-only dark-chocolate-covered crystalized ginger:  Really really good.  We're very lucky such a thing exists in the world.

...

Also he brought something else really really really good, which a See's aficianado friend had suggested, I think it's called Chocolate Butterscotch but I could be wrong.  It's like compressed golden brown sugar, all the way through, not as grainy as C&H out of the box but with a grainy element that is entirely wonderful.

Butterscotch squares. Yum.

I beg my SoCal Mom to mail them to her East Coast Daughter. 

When I lived in Miami, a pound of See's was the price of being picked up at the airport for my visitors.

I used to save my babysitting money to buy See's. My best friend and I split the cost of our first hand-selected pound of See's: cost us $1.40 each. We got two of each flavor, taking turns choosing til the box was full. We waited til the store was empty for we knew it would be a slow and deliberate process. The sales lady was very patient with us. We knew it was greedy not to share with others, but we hid that box from all the world, and we savoured every nibble of each chocolate. She loved the apricot bonbons (covered with orange fondant), and that's when I met my first dark chocolate raspberry-filled.

It took about 90 minutes of babysitting to pay for a one-pound box then, and it takes about the same today, 3 decades later.


"You dont know everything in the world! You just know how to read!" -an ah-hah! moment for 6-yr old Miss O.

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Hee. My Mom brought us a See's Easter box last Sunday. Sadly, no Bordeaux egg in the mix, but other good stuff. How can a chocolate-covered marshmallow egg have an almost savory depth of flavor?

Back in Feb I was in a See's getting the traditional nuts & chews heart for the same Mom's Valentine's Day and brought home dark molasses chips for Ivan and a milk chocolate See-gar for the 16-year-old, pronounced Best Milk Chocolate Ever later that evening. Makes sense, as we love Guittard chips, both milk and dark, for baking.

Eyed the Bridge Mix through the case... didn't buy any that day, but had a strong feeling that it is due for a resurgence.


Priscilla

Writer, cook, & c. ● #TacoFriday observant ●  Twitter    Instagram

 

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I like chocolate candies, and have tried a lot of them :wink: but I absolutely adore See's Candy :laugh: Sure it might not be the trendiest, most upscale or most elite bon-bon on the shelf, but they have that ability to transport me to another place, another time...or just plain satisfy my sweet tooth.

My absolute favorite are the Butterscotch Squares. I could eat a pound of those in one sitting with no guilt and no regret :raz:

They would have to be followed by the Dark Chocolate Bordeaux's, Key Lime Truffles and ScotchMallows (aka Scotch Kiss). But is there really a bad one in their entire product line? I don't think so.

I have very fond Easter memories of big old chocolate covered and decorated Easter eggs from See's, usually filled with walnut butter cream. The best!

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