Chocolate’s National Holiday: Yummy Savings

Need some noshables and need them at a discount? You're in luck.

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DO SWEET TOOTHS FIND MORE ACTION... come the last third of the year? One glance at the calendar says this might be so. Oh, for sure, the first third of the year boasts both Valentine's Day, with its heart-shaped boxes brimming with nougats and caramels, and Easter, a sunny occasion known for basketfuls of shiny wrapped chocolate eggs. But the close of the calendar sees both Halloween and Christmas, a pair of top holidays for all things cocoa, from hot drinks to candy bars to pumpkin-shaped treats to cookies galore. There's another stalwart to add to that delicious holiday duo, one that arrives only a few days ahead of the candy-eatingest, doorbell-ringiest day of the year. It's National Chocolate Day, a date when tony chocolatiers of the highest order offer special releases and clock-fast discounts and larger candymakers walk the same thank-our-public deal route, in terms of the goodies they sell. The Golden State is home to a bouquet of bite-tastic chocolate palaces, places that do the whole nuts/cream/chocolate/sea salt thing with aplomb. Is your favorite chocolate house marking the Wednesday, Oct. 28 holiday? There's no need to wait for Halloween to dig into the palm-sized treats. Just look to...

GHIRARDELLI CHOCOLATE COMPANY, a name that's synonymous with San Francisco in many minds near and far, to find fab goodies at 20% off. You'll want to order online to net that deal, so don't saunter into any shop looking for it (you can saunter in looking for a sundae, of course; we wouldn't want to dissuade you if you have a hankering). See's Candies is also a California classic, and a fine place to honor the holiday, especially since the Southern California-started company, which will mark its centennial in just a few years, regularly gives out a free candy to each customer. (So hard to pick, and so hard to stray from one's must-nosh favorites.) As for finding more excellent prices online? Russell Stover Candies and Ethel M's both have deals ready to unwrap, like one might quickly unwrap a peanut butter-filled candy bar. Even if your go-to bespoke candy-o-logist isn't observing Oct. 28 with a deal, you can still pop by and lend your loyalty and support. After all, chocolate-makery just isn't an art seen in films like "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory." It is vibrant, it is melt-in-the-hand major, and it helps make the final third of the year extra sugary-sweet.

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