Monday, August 18, 2008
Scharffen Berger Finisterra 10th Anniversary Bar
They’ve gathered up the best beans from the ends of the earth: Venezuela, Trinidad and Madagascar. The bar is 72% cacao and comes only in the 3 ounce tall tablet bar. As part of the celebration the package says that they will donation a portion of the bar’s proceeds to un-named “cacao non-profit organizations.”
I’ve always enjoyed Scharffen Berger’s packaging and design aesthetic. The package has a lightly striped paper outer wrap with a pleasing muted purple cacao pod design. Inside the paper wrap is a nice, heavy foil that makes it easy to save some of the bar for later.
A lot has happened for Scharffen Berger in the past 10 years. They’ve gone from a tiny facility in South San Francisco to their present factory in Emeryville (near Berkeley) and another plant in Northern California (anyone has toured the plant in the East Bay realizes they can’t possibly make it all there). Further, back in 2005 Hershey’s bought Scharffen Berger as part of their Artisan Confections line (which now includes Dagoba and Joseph Schmidt).
The bar has a wonderful reddish tone to the nicely tempered brown chocolate. It has a very rich and dark scent: raisins, olives, coffee, charcoal, cardamom and limes.
The melt is quite nice, creamy and smooth with a rather strong dryness to it without being chalky.
The flavors are intense and riotous. I was catching lavender, citrus, raisins and an overwhelming tanginess to it that I find in all Scharffen Berger chocolate. Though it’s a 72%, I find it rather sweet at the front and with a long and lingering mid-tone bitterness towards the end.
I know that I’m more sensitive to strong sour and bitter things than some other folks, so your mileage may vary. I didn’t find them unpleasant, but quite pronounced, so it’s a major part of the experience of this bar.
It was by far a more satisfying dark bar for me than the usual Scharffen Berger dark (there’s a reason the only thing I really eat from them is the Chocolate Covered Cacao Nibs), but still an extreme bar and a nice way to celebrate their success.
POSTED BY Cybele AT 9:53 am
Meticulously photographed and documented reviews of candy from around the world. And the occasional other sweet adventures. Open your mouth, expand your mind.