Tuesday, February 24

Call Me Shallow, But Looks Matter

In most cases, looks aren’t everything. But when it comes to food styling, it’s pretty much all about looks. And okay, maybe I’m shallow, but beautiful/smart/unusual/clever packaging always catches my eye when perusing shops and shelves around town. These little treasures have knockout packaging that tells you what you’re going to find on the inside: pure, delicious beauty.

Sweet Revolution
I had a flashback to boardwalks and salt water taffy when I stumbled upon the stunningly smart, simple cardboard, hand-stamped, string-tied, wax sealed box of maple honey caramels by Sweet Revolution. These locally and lovingly made organic caramels are big, chewy, flavour-packed nuggets - the kind addictions are made of. I bought mine at BiRite (3639 18th St., 415-241-9760) and have spied them at Rainbow Grocery (1745 Folsom St., 415-863-0621), too.

We Love Jam
Not only do the folks at welovejam produce a little bit of summer Blenheim apricot heaven in a jar, they get everything about the whole package just right: From the pure simplicity of the craft paper label and logo, to the gorgeous color of the jam peeking through. The jar announces exactly what it is: simply, purely, perfectly lovely jam. Admittedly, it’s a bit of a splurge—and worth every last endangered-Blenheim preserving penny.

Boulettes Larder Eggs
Unless you have an art project in mind, there’s no more joyless container than the drab, grey, pressed-cardboard egg carton. If you dig fresh eggs, I suggest upping your joy quotient at Boulettes Larder on Saturday mornings, where you can buy the farm freshest eggs around, sweetly packaged in little wooden baskets. Ferry Building Marketplace, 415-399-1155.

Batter Bakery
I’m also a sucker for shortbread cookies. On a recent outing to Blue Fog Market (2567 Gough St., 415-931-9331 and 2794 California St., 415-931-9035), I discovered Batter Bakery’s big, crisp lavender and sea salt shortbread cookies. I’m not normally much of a lavender fan, but Jen Musty (the gal who is Batter Bakery) gets it just right. They pair perfectly with a piping hot cup of Earl Grey. A greater variety of Jen’s treats are available around town, including Stable Café (2128 Folsom St., 415-442-1199) and Dolores Park and Duboce Park Cafes.

When a friend took me to the original Paulette in LA last summer, I’d just returned from Paris where I’d snacked on many a LaDuree and Pierre Herme macaroon. I was more than a tad skeptical—but immediately became a fan. The vibrant colors (and flavors!) of the macaroons, shiny colored boxes and store décor are a treat for the eyes and mouth… and are a perfect antidote to the grey days of winter. 437 Hayes St., 415-864-2400.
This is the third part of my series of guest food blog posts on 7x7.

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