Scharffen Berger has gotten a lot of press the last few years and as my husband was quick to point out these have become quite common. You can buy Scharffen Berger at many grocery stores today — but that doesn’t mean it isn’t good chocolate.
I’ve had several different Scharffen Berger products and I have a love-like relationship. The chocolate cocoa nibs — incredible! — fruity and crunchy and bitter. You get quite a bit of that in this little bar too, however the chocolate takes more of a starring role. The chocolate is smooth and if you take your time and hold it in your mouth as it melts, the flavors really develop. There is bitterness and a bit of tobacco followed by an intense fruitiness and finally a nice clear chocolate note. It’s really complex — which is nice — but that intense fruitiness isn’t my favorite. Thus love-like.
Recently I tried the Scharffen Berger Milk bar and I wrote down these notes — very creamy, great mouthfeel. Earthy and spicey — taste a bit of pepper. Not too sweet and a bit dry on the tongue at the finish.
I also tried the Scharffenberger Semisweet bar — also creamy with a bit of tanginess and fruit. Maybe a little floral?
And finally the Bittersweet bar (70% cacao) — Mild bitterness — not nearly as intense or complex as I wanted. Nice chocolate kick at the finish, but left my mouth feeling dry.
All in all the Nibby Bar was my favorite of the 4, although I think I’d take the chocolate covered cacao nibs over the bar. I also have to mention that I *love* the Scharffenberger cocoa powder for making my cafe mocha. There is something about the fuitiness and intensity that matches well with the coffee.