Sunday, March 31, 2013

Scharffen Berger Chocolate

The first time my mother and sister came to visit me in the Bay Area, I lived in Sunnyvale.  I was working a zillion hours a day and had barely even been to San Francisco myself.  My world basically consisted of  apartment, my office, and the route between them.  I had no idea what to do with tourists.

Somehow, we found our way to the Scharffen Berger factory, to go on a tour.  It was my first chocolate factory tour, so it was somewhat interesting.  I know they are our local chocolate maker, so I feel like I should be loyal, but I don't really love their products.  They aren't bad, but really aren't that great.  Maybe they were better before being acquired by Hershey?
I've had a lot of Scharffen Berger over the past few years, but I didn't take notes previously.  I recently received a sampler pack including a milk, bittersweet, and extra dark variety, so we tasted them as a flight.
  • 41%: This was very creamy, very smooth, nice mouthfeel, but a milk chocolate obviously, and not something we normally go for.  One fellow taster said: "not bad for milk chocolate ... just really really sweet!"
  • 70%: Very bitter, not smooth/refined/balanced flavor at all. One fellow taster said "That is a lot better than the 36%".  [ hmm, now I like it, although very bitter for sure, like the bitterness ] [ Decent snap to it, fairly bitter, but not that balanced ]  
  • 82%: More bitter, but still not smooth or refined.  One fellow taster remarked that it was "really fruity.  Doesn't have the best texture".  None of us really liked it.  Noted that it was good for baking.
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