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Wednesday, April 17, 2024

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CultureFood & DrinkGood Taste: MackBox gets hella Bay with Chex Mix

Good Taste: MackBox gets hella Bay with Chex Mix

A perfect party snack, with flavors ranging from adobo and tocino to white truffle and Ring O'Fire .

Welcome back to Good Taste, your weekly peak at wonderful food to eat in the Bay Area. Today, we crown Oakland’s MackBox the Chex Mix party king of the Bay.

MackBox founder Mack Estrada isn’t the only Bay Area baker who offers a unique version of Chex Mix—you can get sweet and salty bags at places such as Berkeley’s Ono Bakehouse, Oakland’s Sunday Bakeshop and San Bruno’s Diamond Head General Store.

Those spots all carry their own version with furikake, which is a broad term for dried Japanese seasonings that usually at least have seaweed and sesame in the mix. Estrada has a furikake Chex Mix as well, but over the last few years since he launched his company with regular snack box deliveries, he has expanded into flavors such as white truffle and “Ring O’Fire.”

This week, he’s got three new flavors that are tributes to Filipino staples and are sure to connect with his Bay Area customers: sinigang, a sour, tamarind-flavored soup; adobo, a stock/seasoning which is heady with vinegar and garlic; and tocino, a grilled and cured pork.

Along with the furikake and white truffle flavors, the new Mixes are available as a box set for delivery to San Francisco or pickup in Oakland this weekend. The pickup menu has the choice to order individual bags (which are probably 2-3 servings, but I inhale them in about half the servings) or giant 50-ounce party packs.

MackBox’s milk tea entremet: black tea sponge, milk tea mousse, brown sugar mochi, white chocolate mirror glaze and crunchy pearls and salted cheese whip
Mackbox’s ube butter mochi

Estrada, who formerly inspired licked plates as the pastry chef at One Market in San Francisco, probably didn’t expect for this crunchy corner of his business to be so booming. He’s created something irresistible and nostalgic with the Chex Mix, which includes Honeycomb cereal and Bugles, among other ingredients.

But it shouldn’t overshadow his artful work with special occasion cakes and other sweets, some of which you can sample in his OG Snackboxes, which often feature a bag of Chex Mix alongside cookies, stuffed brownies, butter mochi squares and elaborate entremets.

I’d love to offer evidence of the MackBox Chex Mix being perfect for parties, but the truth is that the bags never last long enough around here to invite people over.

For more food fun, hop over to Tamara’s newly improved California Eating.

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