Three dollars and ninety-nine cents for 3.5 ounces of what's more or less pudding, albeit in a glass jar, probably sounds a little snobby. That's like, what, just over a dollar an ounce? It belongs in the same category as everything else between $3.50 and $3.99 that should really go for, say, two bucks.
But the words "chocolate pot de créme with dark Belgian chocolate" coupled with "handmade in the Bay Area" were enough to make me go "well ok just this once" before tossing it in my cart. And just this twice, really, because the lemon curd pot de créme was a) sitting right there too, and b) the only one left of its kind, which always provokes in me some ancestral urge to provide! Scarcity! Get the last one!
They're both made by Petit Pot, a small business based in Oakland.
Fast forward three weeks and let's see, I've had the chocolate one three times, the lemon one twice, and the caramel one and vanilla one each once. I've also given a couple out as miniature gifts, so anyway, do the math and that's…$43.89 spent on pot de fucking cremés OH MY GOD.
You know what though, whatever, these are damn good. Each is topped with a dollop of whipped cream, and while that top layer is neither flavorful nor dull, it's a nice introduction to the rest of the…pot? Can we just agree this is fancy pudding?
My favorite, the chocolate, is slightly bitter with 70% cocoa bean content. Here are the rest of the ingredients: milk, cream, sugar, egg yolk, sea salt and buttermilk. Nice, huh? Real foods that don't require Wiki to decipher what they are. Dark Belgian chocolate is the protagonist here, rich, layered and complex. The real judge: my 5-year-old son loved this one.
My second favorite, the lemon curd flavor, is tart! Like this!! It leaves you with pursed lips, and when it's lemon anything – cookies, bars or icebox pie – my preference is go big or go home. Also, being a copywriter, I'm a sucker for specific descriptors, and the "made with Californian lemons" bit wooed me (but they're Californian!). The child critic didn't care for this one, "delightfully tart" to me likely read "fucking sour" to him.
So there we have it, first and second place. Then there's the equivalent of an awkward pause before we get to third and fourth, and actually, they both kind of just tie for last. The caramel pot de créme is salted caramel (of course…), and like most things salted caramel, I found it just a little too salty. The vanilla one, which I thought would be an easy second place for me, was oddly eggy. I don't know how else to describe it. It was good, and even had the little black Madagascar vanilla bean flecks that make anything vanilla-flavored better. But for some reason, the taste of eggs presided, sort of like an eggy French toast.
All in all, I'm into these desserts. And I like that they're locally made. Oh, and that 3.5-ounce thing? Turns out it's the perfect size, as each is rich and just a little is just enough.
I'm hoping Petit Pots thrives. I've seen their stuff in a few different upscale markets in the East Bay as well as Mollie Stone's in San Francisco. I'd love for them to try a few new flavors that stray from the traditional – Chai or anise, perhaps? Black tea? Mango rum?
Raising a toast to these little glass jars,