Just when it seems space for specialty-foods manufacturers has reached the saturation point locally, along comes another.
One of the latest is Cakery Kisses, featured in this week’s A la Carte. The bakery that opened in August in the unlikely locale of White City is adding new, fall-inspired flavors this month. Anyone who makes the rounds of wineries already may have seen some of Sjanna Sharbatz’s other flavors since she took home a prize from the Oregon Chocolate Festival in March.
If you’re not a fan of cake (or those cute but cloying treats known as cake pops), rest assured that Cakery Kisses are really neither. Sharbatz’s filling is more like a supremely moist, rich brownie, and the whole thing plays almost like a chocolate truffle’s stouter cousin. All the flavors that came back to the newsroom after my interview with Sharbatz disappeared in minutes.
And in the what-will-they-think-of-next? category of confections are the new Stout Beer Bites by Pete’s Gourmet of Central Point. Owner and product developer Peter Croyle is well-known for old-fashioned marshmallows, the topic of food-section stories in 2007 and 2009.
Now, he’s drawing on his other passions of home brewing and small-scale hop farming to produce a beer-flavored nougat. Croyle appropriately debuted the candy at this week’s National Beer Wholesalers Convention in San Diego.
“With this new recipe, we’ve elevated beer-based treats to the level of craft brewing,” stated Croyle in a press release. “You might be thinking anyone can take a good bottle of beer and make candy, but your flavors will end up oxidized and flat.”
His creation combines roasted barley, chocolate malt, roasted oats and dark crystal malt. Then he blends Cascade and nugget hops into the small batches for an alcohol-free take on handcrafted chocolate stout with a “malty flavor and chestnut hue” that should please beer enthusiasts.
Pete’s Gourmet has very few local retail locations with Ashland Food Co-op being the tried-and-true outlet. Given the burgeoning craft-beer scene in Medford, taprooms would be an obvious place to enjoy Beer Bites. Otherwise, order online.