I thought I would walk to my Chocolate Tasting class last Friday night. I wanted the exercise and it was a cool evening. But after about two blocks I realized that this was foolhardy. I would arrive sweating. Not pretty when mascara is involved. What was I trying to prove, anyway? At a stop light I saw an empty cab, mouthed the words ‘are you free?’. The cab driver nodded ‘yes’. I jumped in.
Tossing in my canvas bag full of chocolate I said to the cab driver ‘Great, now I’ll get to my gig in plenty of time’.
‘So what’s your gig?’ he asked.
‘I’m teaching a class on how to taste chocolate tonight at THE CHEESE SCHOOL OF SAN FRANCISCO.’
This usually results in a big pause in the conversation. After all, this is a lot of information to process. A class to learn how to taste chocolate? A school for cheese? ‘Only in San Francisco’ you can imagine most people thinking ‘how precious’. But this was a cabby and cabbies are never at a loss for words.
‘I was listening to this program on NPR a couple months ago about some French chocolate maker and some Italian guy...
‘Ah, yes. I bet I know what you’re talking about’, I replied and then told him the story about Amedei of Tuscany chocolate and Valrhona.
‘Yeah. That’s the story. They said this Italian guy now made the world’s best chocolate. Have you ever tasted it?"
‘Sure. In fact, I have some in my bag. Do you want to try a piece?’
‘Really? You do? Yeah, I’ll try a piece. Where did you get it?’
‘At BIONDIVINO on Green Street between Polk and Van Ness. Tell Ceri, the owner, that Karletta sent you.’
I reached into my wallet for the money to pay for my ride.
‘No,’ he waved away my $20 bill. ‘No charge. You have been really pleasant. And thanks for the chocolate.....’
Only in San Francisco...