By Larry Sheingold –

 Atop the food group pyramid, towering over all those nutritionally redeeming proteins, grains and vegetables, is western civilization’s concession to guilty pleasure. The chocolate chip cookie.

 And at the most advanced end of the evolutionary chain of chocolate chippery is the cookie baked at Sacramento’s Freeport Bakery (2966 Freeport Blvd).

 You will actually find a wide array of concessions to guilty pleasure at this classic, neighborhood, from-scratch bakery. They are known for great cakes, breakfast pastries, cookies, cupcakes, breads and pies baked daily.

But to my taste, when you find the best chocolate chip cookie ever, it’s hard to look beyond that.

Now it is true, I believe almost any food could be improved by adding chocolate chips. But consider this cookie. The edges form a crispy, buttery border surrounding a soft middle bursting with chocolate chips. The perfect harmony of taste and texture.

 Wow. I’m making myself hungry. Where was I? Oh yeah.

 Walter and Marlene Goetzeler bought Freeport Bakery in 1987. He grew up in his parent’s bakery in Bavaria, sleeping on flour bags, while his father baked and his mother ran the bakery. Walter soon followed his grandfather and his father into the business, leading eventually to Sacramento.

 The Goetzelers and their staff have since won a bunch of best bakery, best cake and best wedding cake awards. It’s easy to see why.

 My wife and I celebrated a recent birthday – hers – with a combo pack of Freeport’s cookies and cupcakes. But you don’t need a special occasion to celebrate the art of baking – especially their homage to the chocolate chip.

 Just stop by this inviting, family-friendly little shop and you’ll see that sometimes it pays to start your meal at the tip of the food group pyramid and work your way down.

 Author’s note: If you have a competitor for best chocolate chip cookie around, please share it with Table Talk readers. I’m guessing there may be more than one kind at the top of the stairway to chocolate chip cookie heaven.

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