Chocolate Club

by Alice Medrich


Scharffen Berger Couverture


Tasting Notes by Alice Medrich

Dark chocolate color with a slight reddish hue. Perfect high gloss. Chocolate aroma is bittersweet, sharp and lively. This chocolate is perfectly tempered with a good sharp snap when bitten or broken. The melt is even and the texture sensationally smooth and elegant.

Scharffen Berger

This is an unusual, complex and possibly challenging chocolate for anyone accustomed to American or Belgian chocolates. Definitely bittersweet, pleasingly tart yet with surprising sweetness for a 70% chocolate. Flavors of cherry, raspberry and almonds are noticeable with citrus notes--lemon, orange peel, even pineapple. I taste subtle, grassy, herbacious characteristics and a whisper of cinnamon. Tahitian vanilla adds floral notes. Flavors build and linger on the palate. Each taste reveals nuances previously missed. A touch of astringency makes this chocolate mouthwatering. This is superb nibbling chocolate, you may never get around to cooking with it.


Notes From The Chocolatier: Scharffen Berger

At last a chocolate made in the United States is as good as the finest made in Europe. Founded by a champagne maker and a physician-turned-chocolatier, Scharffen Berger Chocolate Maker uses old-world, artisan methods to produce classic chocolate. From fine cocoa plantations around the equator we have personally selected a blend that includes beans from Trinidad, Ghana, Papua New Guinea, and a large percentage of rare criollo beans from Venezuela. Our first product, a 70% bittersweet blend, reveals the true nature of the cocoa bean—a gentle cocoa fruitiness surrounded by mouth-filling richness with a long and smooth finish.

We are the first American company founded in the past sixty years to make chocolate from bean to bar and the only one to use small batch processing. We follow a classic European tradition of manufacturing chocolate in small batches using vintage equipment. Returning to methods developed nearly a century ago allows us to monitor each step of this complex process to ensure consistency to taste and texture. After each variety is individually roasted to perfection, the cocoa beans are combined for grinding and prolonged conching over temperate heat. We use only whole bean vanilla and the purest large crystal sugar. The restored, vintage machines we imported from Europe allow us to meet our precise standards continuously. The care we give to both the art and science of chocolate-making results in a product of superior character.

Pastry chefs have told us that it is ideal for baking and couverture, or for the simple pleasure of eating out of hand. This chocolate is an expression of our appreciation of fine foods and made from the best, basic ingredients. We hope you enjoy it.

Alice Medrich  

Chocolates (October 1998)


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This page created 2001 and modified December 2009