Recently, I was in the Market Hall Foods, which carries a selection of artisan chocolates (many local SFBA), and saw that they had Feve. I have loved Feve since it was Au Coeur de Chocolat because chocolatier Shawn Williams makes such inventive delicious chocolates, so I picked up a pack of their Praline Bars.
I last saw these distinctively curvy bars a few years ago at a chocolate salon, and while cute and delicious, they were not travel hardy. They melted in the heat between SF and Oakland, losing their curves but not their taste. So I was excited to see that I can buy them locally and they now come in form-fitting sturdy plastic cases.
The pack included 3 varieties: crunchy peanut butter, crispy hazelnut and corn nut. Milk chocolate shells surround dark ganaches that taste exactly as expected down to the crunch. You don’t need a key to know which one you are eating.
My fave Feve
As a peanut butter lover, I enjoyed that one most, although I would prefer a more “crunchy peanut butter” or gritty “smooth peanut butter” texture. In these bars, crispy bits of thin cookies/crepes called feuilletine give them their crunch. It makes for a smaller crunch: crispy instead of crunchy. I assume this is done to counteract the problems of keeping high-oil fillings like nuts from breaking down the shell, but I still hope someone will solve this someday and give me my perfect peanut butter chocolate.
Crispy hazelnut is similar: a gianduja filling with extra crispiness from the feuilletine. If you prefer Nutella to peanut butter, this is for you.
The corn nut version is the only one that remains from the original bars. (Bring back the sunflower seed bar!) I confess, never having eaten corn nuts before, I can’t compare this one (it got raves at the chocolate salon). It is the crunchiest, crispiest bar of the 3, and reminded me of Kellogg’s Corn Pops.
Where to find Feve
UPDATE 2019: Feve has a factory store, 2222 Palou Ave., Bayview District, SF.
I’m glad to see Shawn Williams back on the scene and look forward to whatever Feve Artisan Chocolatier has in store next. Speaking of stores, it can be hard to find Feve chocolates. You can buy a few items online, although not the praline bars at this time. I’d recommend checking their Facebook page for special events; and whenever you’re in a local gourmet grocery store like Market Hall Foods, check the artisan chocolate display.
Of course, that’s my advice for anytime you’re in a store: check out the chocolate to see what the locals are eating.