Complete Chocolate Lover’s Guide for the San Francisco Bay Area

Blue bird of happiness


Now that Twitter is no more — having been literally X-ed out by its owner — its iconic blue bird has disappeared too. Luckily there’s another blue bird out there that will attract your interest —if your interests include chocolate.

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A foodie friend gave me a bar made of Peruvian chocolate this past February telling me her friend had started a new chocolate business —Blue Canary Sweets. I really liked the bar but at the time Blue Canary was only offering chocolate subscriptions which don’t work for me because I buy/try different chocolate all the time for this blog. There’s always too much chocolate at my house as it is.

I got on their email list so I could be up on any developments with this new chocolatier and it paid off: A May email announced bars could be purchased individually. They still offer monthly subscriptions of 3–10 chocolate bars, but the low commitment of buying individual bars is more my speed so I ordered some this summer.

Blue Canary has a set of 3 bars that are regularly available plus seasonal and chef curated bars that pop up for limited times. I got the 3 main bars plus the two fruit themed summer 2023 bars.

I liked the bars so much I bought more in the fall to try the Fall 2023 Seasonal and Chef Curated bars — if this keeps up I might have to look into a subscription.

I won’t bury the lede — they were all excellent bars. Well made, good coverture, quality inclusions.

And the packaging is very attractive too with large windows showcasing the bars, the logo is prominently centered with the package die cut around it, the line has a pleasant color scheme, and the text on the boxes is easy to read. Good gift options and I think they would stand out on retail shelves.

Summer 2023 Blue Canary collection
Summer 2023 Blue Canary collection

Base line collection

Blue Canary has a large collection of bars in their line up but only a few are available at any one time. While the seasonal and curated bars change every few months, these three bars are generally always available and are good introductions to the collection. They cover a good if limited range from plain to nuts to fruit.

Plain bar
Blue Canary’s Plain bar


Blue Canary’s Plain bar is a 70% dark chocolate from Peru. This was the bar our friend gifted us. The first thing Cacaopod and I noticed was it had a super high MOR (hard snap) and took a while to melt.

I thought it was a good Peruvian chocolate with fruity and savory overtones that tasted more fermented as it melted. Cacaopod said it tasted cherry, then nutty. We both said it had a smooth texture — a nice mouthfeel with a tiny bit of graininess. It had a chocolatey aftertaste. Cacapod’s verdict: It’s a very competent chocolate.

The second time we got the plain bar any graininess was gone. The texture was velvety. And the rest of the bars were just as smooth.

We shared the Plain bar with our core of chocolate lovers. Everybody enjoyed this bar — my notes are a repetition of “Good!” interspersed with comments like “Nice range of tastes from fermented to fruit to nutty savory” and “Excellent mouth feel.”

The group compared it to a 70% single origin bar from a different maker and the comments got more emphatic. Compared to the other bar this one had a “creamy smooth texture” and was “more delicious and satisfying.”

Walnut & Fleur de Sel bar
Walnut & Fleur de Sel bar

Walnut & Fleur de Sel

Blue Canary’s Walnut & Fleur de Sel bar used the same 70% Peruvian chocolate as the Plain bar and had the same hard snap and slow melt. That along with the walnuts made this more of a chewing chocolate which is satisfying in its own way.

The Fleur de Sel gave it an initial salt hit but the bar is not salty. The salt just emphasized the chocolate and walnut tastes.

In this bar the chocolate tasted a little raisiny. I loved the crunchy walnuts and there were lots of them so the bar tasted distinctly walnut-y. Again it had a smooth texture with a full nutty/raisiny/chocolatey taste that lingered.


The third bar in their regular line — Raspberry — used a 64% dark chocolate from Madagascar and freeze dried raspberries.

This bar had a strongly dark chocolate flavor, nutty not bitter. The raspberries came second, adding a tart brightness to the chocolate’s savoriness, and were more prominent in the aftertaste. I found that chewing first then letting it melt made the bar more raspberry tasting.

The berry pieces varied in size but were well distributed throughout the bar. The bar had a medium snap and very smooth texture.

Summer 2023 special bars

This year’s summer bars were both berry filled.

Raspberry Blonde bar
Raspberry Blonde bar

Raspberry Blonde

The Raspberry Blonde was very eye-catching with lots of peekaboo raspberry pieces scattered across the golden chocolate bar. It was a 35% blonde chocolate that was very raspberry tasting— much more so than the regular Raspberry bar.

The smooth textured couverture tasted like white chocolate with a caramel overtone that made it taste richer yet more muted than typical white chocolate.

The distinct raspberry flavor mixed with the blonde chocolate gave me a very nostalgic vibe of the raspberry ice cream I used to get when my family visited my grandparents and my grandfather would give us money to buy treats at the corner store.

Like most white chocolate this doesn’t scratch the itch if I want to eat chocolate but it was a nice caramel/raspberry treat. Especially if you like white chocolate be on the lookout for this bar.

Mixed Berry

The Mixed Berry bar used the same 64% dark chocolate from Madagascar as the regular Raspberry bar, but added freeze dried strawberries and dried wild blueberries to the freeze dried raspberries.

This classic combo of fruits was a winner with my crew — with one person describing it as having a big fruity flavor and another one declaring their desire to steal the bar.

It was packed with so much fruit it was more berry tasting than chocolatey tasting. The crowd loved it and they also commented on the chewy fruit texture — that it was very satisfying.

Fall 2023 special bars

The seasonal and chef curated bars for fall this year seemed to share a cozy theme with cookie and toasted nut inclusions.

Blue Canary Fall 2023 special bars
Blue Canary Fall 2023 special bars


When I saw that Shortbread was a bar inclusion this time I had to get it. My Scottish great-grandfather was a baker who opened his own shop after working for Nabisco when he emigrated to the U.S. He had a shortbread recipe he handed down to my mom. I grew up eating homemade buttery crumbly shortbread — and have even made it a few times myself — so this was a must-try.

Blue Canary’s Shortbread Milk Chocolate bar was a 46% milk chocolate made with cacao from the Dominican Republic. It had a liberal amount of big and small chunks of shortbread mixed into the sweet milky chocolate.

This was the first milk chocolate bar from Blue Canary that I’ve tried and I liked its milky balanced chocolate flavor. The crystalline crunch of  sugar in shortbread was captured in the bar’s texture which I liked.

My regular tasters liked it. One said he “enjoyed it even though it’s milk”and another one described it as “so rich.”

The bar disappeared fast.

closeup of Blue Canary almond bar
Section of a Blue Canary Toasted Almond bar

Toasted Almond

The other special Fall 2023 bar, Toasted Almond, was a 70% dark chocolate bar made with cacao from Peru. Another very snappy bar this one was loaded with crunchy almonds. “The dark chocolate had a little bite to it,” as one of my tasters described it that worked well with the toasted almonds. Everybody liked it and while it didn’t disappear as fast as the Shortbread Milk Chocolate it was almost finished in one tasting.

A new fav?

With different featured bars every season there is always something to look forward to with Blue Canary Sweets. Sampling 2 seasons and the 3 mainstay bars we liked them all. Even the plain single origin got high marks from my definitely non-professional tasters. These are nice sized bars made with good chocolate and lots of inclusions. I feel confident recommending these including ones I haven’t tried yet.

Of course it helps that their maker is Julia Anderson, the former longtime owner/chef of Fleur de Cocoa, the South Bay patisserie/chocolaterie/café. While Blue Canary is less than a year old her years of experience translate into an array of solidly satisfying treats. Pretty sweet!

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Published November 29, 2023

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