Best of the Bay 2012: BEST PEANUT BUTTER CLOUDS

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BEST PEANUT BUTTER CLOUDS

Despite our American love for all things soft, saccharine, and somehow edible, vegans and equinophiles alike are saddened by the innocuous-seeming marshmallow, which often includes gelatin derived from horse hooves and other slaughterhouse scraps. But worry not, sweet things, Benkyodo Company has treats that top the standby campfire comfort. Namely, mochi, a Japanese delight made of glutinous rice that is pounded and molded into sweet submission. Soft clouds of heaven — and they come in a variety of flavors like strawberry, green tea, mugwort, adzuki, and, wow, peanut butter. Benkyodo's mochi has the texture of your favorite childhood sweet, with the flavors — and food justice acumen — of a grown-up gourmand.

1747 Buchanan, SF. (415) 922-1244, www.benkyodocompany.com