Monthly Archives: April 2007

Scharffen Berger Nibby Bar


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. 

I purchased my Scharffen Berger bars at Chocosphere, but you can get them all over the place.  Read more about Scharffen Berger at their website.

Keep it Real!


You may or may not have heard about the petition that has come before the FDA which proposes a weakening to the definition of chocolate.  The Chocolate Manufacturers of America and  the Grocery Manufacturers Association are trying to have the standard definition of chocolate changed so that a product which contains no cocoa butter can be called chocolate!

Why does this matter?  Well, first of all when you substitute a cheaper fat or oil for cocoa butter the taste and mouthfeel changes — it’s not particulalry nice stuff.  In addition, cocoa butter contains antioxidants — these fats that they would be substituting are nasty.  We’re talking hydrogenated oils and the like.  Things that clog your arteries.  And there are other implications too.  You can read lots more about it at Don’t Mess with Our Chocolate.  And also at one of my favorite blogs — Candy Blog.

I’ve already left a comment for the FDA to let them know how I feel about this and you can too!

Keep the chocolate real!!