I heart Sharffen Berger

Someone once told me that you should try to have an accountant, a lawyer, and a doctor in your network. I guess a dentist and a hairdresser would also be handy.

Well, I’ve got the marketing manager of a chocolate company in my network. I think that’s pretty important.

Sharffen Berger is one of the few companies in North America that actually makes their chocolate. There are tons of great chocolatiers, but very few chocolate makers. Sharffen Berger sources cacao beans and brings them to their factory in Berkeley.  Under the close supervision of their expert chocolatiers, they make beautiful, small-batch, artisanal chocolate.

I was lucky enough to get a care package earlier this week. You know it’ll be a great day when the FedEx man delivers gourmet chocolate bars to your door.

Sharffen Berger Dark Milk 68% cacao
Sharffen Berger Dark Milk 68% cacao

From the back of the bar:

Our dark milk bar offers the best of both worlds: the creamy, caramel flavor of our milk chocolate united with the rich cacao taste of dark chocolate. We blend stone-ground cacao beans, sourced from the best growing regions, with fine organic milk to create a chocolate with perfectly balanced sweetness and rich-ness and a subtle texture. Enjoy!

This bar is exactly what it says it is: a dark chocolate that tastes like milk chocolate. That is, it looks and tastes like dark chocolate, but also has the milkiness, creaminess and caramel-iness of a milk chocolate. There are also cocoa nibs thrown in for a bit of textural interest, and a slight nuttiness.

It took me a while to figure out what I think of this one, just because it’s so strange. I read about a study where scientists asked people to eat a banana while listening to a crunchy sound. Apparently, people had a lot of trouble eating the banana. Well, this chocolate bar accomplishes the same thing. Your brain tells you that you’re eating dark chocolate, because that’s what it looks like. But then your tongue kicks in and says, “Wait! This is milk chocolate!”

Weird, eh?

At first, I thought the cococa nibs distracted from the actual chocolate, but I appreciate them now. I like the nuttiness they provide, and I think they provide a bit of extra depth. Once the novelty of the “dark milk” wears off, you still have the cocoa nibs there to keep you entertained.

Tomorrow: a review of Sharffen Berger Tome Acu 68% cacao.

Published by: Eagranie

7 years as a chemist + 9 months of culinary school + 2 years as a pastry chef & chocolatier + a lifetime of writing = this blog. This blog won't always be about chocolate, but it will almost certainly be about food. The name of the blog is a triple play on words. 1. It's a nod to my training as a classical pianist. Among other fantastic accomplishments, J.S. Bach combined technical prowess with artistic inspiration and penned the 24 preludes & fugues that make up The Well-Tempered Clavier, Books I and II. 2. In order to behave properly, chocolate needs to be tempered. In a nutshell, tempering prompts the chocolate to assume its most stable crystalline form (beta prime, if you're interested) so that it is shiny, snappy, and as stable as it can be. 3. Depending on my mood and how we meet, you might agree that I'm well-tempered. Or not.

Categories 2009Tags2 Comments

2 thoughts on “I heart Sharffen Berger”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s