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Meet San Francisco Bay Area Confectioners, Nuubia Chocolate
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Meet San Francisco Bay Area Confectioners, Nuubia Chocolate

Picture of Katie Ward
Updated: 29 November 2016
Nuubia Chocolate is a Bay Area-based, environmentally sustainable, palm oil-free, wildlife-friendly company that sells artisan chocolate. Check them out in Pleasanton or in the Market Section of San Francisco’s Twitter HQ Building.

Alexandra Saunders named her store Nuubia Chocolate after the sustainable philosophy by which she lives her life. Nubia was once a region along the Nile River, now northern Sudan and southern Egypt. According to Saunders, recent studies have proven that Nubia predated the ancient Egyptian civilization, but the culture could not sustain its agrarian needs due to climate change. This represents her life and business values; Nuubia is a wildlife-friendly, palm oil-free chocolate company that prides itself on its completely sustainable methods. “I took a little creative liberty with the extra ‘U’,” chuckled Saunders.

After an impressive career in the natural resources industry, Saunders made the brave decision to begin her own business, combining her two favorite things: chocolate and environmental sustainability. Once she had partnered with internationally renowned chocolate chef Leonel Clement, she was able to focus on the environmental aspects of her company. Every ingredient is carefully tracked and manufactured to ensure that it is obtained ethically and safely.

Saunders was kind enough to offer The Culture Trip an extensive tasting of her products. While there were also remarkable French macarons, candy bars, and ice cream flavors (the mint chocolate chip is out of this world), it was clear that she was most proud of the 18 different bonbons that Nuubia offers. Bonbons can be bought in 9, 18, or 27 piece sets.

Nuubia’s Wild Bolivian bonbon is made with cacao from special Bolivian cacao trees. These trees only produce 12 tons of cacao a year, and it’s clear that this is a rare chocolate when you taste the dark, rich flavor.

The jasmine and raspberry chocolate has a ‘paper-thin’ coating that delicately wraps around a rich and luscious dark chocolate ganache. This bonbon has a complex flavor profile that represents Clement’s ‘nuanced, refined, and delicate’ signature.

The pistachio and marzipan bonbon is magical for any pistachio lover. This wonderfully buttery chocolate has a smoother, sweeter profile. The creamy pistachio filling is delightfully granular, which is a surprising element to contrast the buttery, savory, velvety interior.

The Johnny Walker Black and Blue Bottle Espresso bonbon has a unique flavor profile; a subtle whisky aroma that pairs beautifully with the pleasant bitterness of Blue Bottle‘s espresso. These powerful flavors are contrasted by the remarkably smooth ganache filling.

The fresh-squeezed lime and vanilla bonbon is one of the most beautiful desserts and is about the size of half of a golf ball. This bonbon, partially responsible for Clement’s international recognition, is a sparkling yellow-green orb that in no way resembles food. Usually, these types of masterpieces have a bizarre flavor or texture, but once you put this candy on your tongue, it feels and tastes like a delectable drop of creamy citrus meringue.

The fresh caramelized pecan bonbon is incredible. It tastes like the holidays. Like that warm, rich, fuzzy feeling you get when you’re spending time with the people you love most. Although it has the same paper-thin, chocolaty coating that covers the other bonbons, it has a surprise filling: finely ground pecans that are whipped into a smooth, creamy mixture. It is buttery and rich and even a little bit savory.