Social media is a fairly accurate weather vane for where we're at, as a people, in our heads, and what we're specifically up to, en masse, at any one time.
Check your feed in mid-April and you'll see people talking about their taxes. Check it again the Wednesday before Thanksgiving and you're apt to see complaints about grocery store check-out lines. And the week before Halloween? It seems as if everyone has already eaten the candy they bought for trick-or-treaters.
But fear not if your plastic pumpkin is already empty: Wednesday, Oct. 28 is National Chocolate Day. It's a timely holiday, arriving as it does, on Halloween Eve Eve Eve, and we're all pumped for some deep, sugartastic flavors.
And deals, too, because we will, after all, have to restock the trick-or-treat candy before Oct. 31.
A number of national companies have the online deals going, from Russell Stover -- 25%-off sugarfree goodies -- to Ghirardelli, which has a 20%-off all items special afoot. But if you'd like to sniff out Southern California chocolatiers on Oct. 28, and the cocoa-tastic stuff closer to home, then make for...
Valerie Confections: Valerie Gordon's bespoke baubles are beautiful, edible, and small works of art. To mark chocolate's big holiday, she's hosting an open house at each of her three locations. "Complimentary samples" are on the delish docket, as well as "specials on Halloween and holiday items." If you just want a gooey/rich dessert for yourself, the shops have those, too. Make for First Street downtown, Grand Central Market, or Echo Park.
Compartes Chocolatier: The Melrose choco-torium is known for its truly elegant stuff, and well-timed reveals, too. To greet National Chocolate Day with the pomp and yum-in-stance -- which is like circumstance, but yummier -- that it deserves, the company is releasing a special new bar on Oct. 28. It's an Apple Pie Chocolate Bar, which sounds autumnal as all get-out. Compartes is also the home to the Birthday Cake Chocolate Bar, if that changes your entire world. (It might.)
See's Candies: It's as Southern California as a Southern California institution can get, and those white-and-black-tiled shops and the crisp, vintage-style employee wear is iconic. But See's has a not-so-secret secret up its sleeve, a secret known to all: Walk in to make a purchase and you'll soon find yourself holding a free sample. That's any day of the year, too, but if you want to visit the famous chocolate-maker on National Chocolate Day, well, start at the La Cienega Boulevard HQ. That's where the gooey-filling magic happens.
Yes, we know, See's is pretty darn national, but we can call it a hometown company, too, surely. Did you know See's is nearly a century old? And, honestly, have you tried the pineapple truffle? We don't want to pit flavor against flavor, but, really, the pineapple truffle.
Happy National Chocolate Day, sweet-toothers of SoCal! Enjoy, and then go refill those pumpkin buckets. The trick-or-treaters are on their merry way...