August 21, 2009
'Berry' good sweets debut at California State Fair

shari's.jpgThe Berry Factory is launching three new products at the California State Fair and owner Shari Fitzpatrick sent us a sampling of the chocolate creations to try.

Talk about a hard assignment.

The newbies include chocolate covered cherries ($3.25 for 3), chocolate covered strawberries dusted in edible gold ($4 each) and chocolate covered s'mores ($3.50 each). All come in white or milk chocolate varieties (The new line of sweets is shown at left. Bee photo by Anne Chadwick Williams).

The Berry Factory has a stand between buildings A and B near the county exhibits at the state fair.

The gold-dusted strawberries, called Golden Berries, are in tribute to the local company's 20th anniversary this fall and in honor of California being the Golden State.

The gold dust lends a pretty sheen, but the flavor is classic Shari's berries - juicy, succulent berries marrying perfectly with both white and milk chocolate.

The Cherry Baby is cute, with the stems of the maraschino cherries peeking out from the chocolate, but be warned: the combo of chocolate and cherry is pretty powerful.

Fitzpatrick said would prefer fresh cherries to maraschino, but it's the pits that are plaguing her.

"I'm still working on it," she said.

The best of the bunch, however, was the S'mori (Shari and s'more - get it?). A hand-dipped chocolate covered s'more. It was a "Don't talk to me I want to enjoy this" moment in my cubicle a few minutes ago.

The combination of gooey marshmallow and crisp graham crackers enrobed in milk chocolate was heavenly. The white chocolate was good, but the milk chocolate was stellar.

Fitzpatrick said the inspiration for the S'Mori came from her family life.

"I have three sons, so we do a lot of camping and a lot of s'more making," she said.

Apparently they are quite good at it.

Now if only they'd sent a glass of milk.

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