Friday, January 20, 2006

Scharffen Berger Gianduja

At my visit to Scharffen Berger last month I gave their full line another try. It confirmed for me that the bars I’ve tasted are fresh and true to the Scharffen Berger style. They’re complex and dark, with a lot of woodsy notes and a pretty overwhelming acidity that I don’t care for. There are exceptions in their line of course. The Chocolate Covered Cacao Nibs are one. And one of their newer bars, the Gianduja is another.


I haven’t a clue how to pronounce it. I had the tour guide say it twice for me when she did the tasting and it still didn’t stick in my brain. (Perhaps JHEE-an-du-JHAH.) I want to pronounce it JHWAN-doo-jha ... hmm, how about I call it the Nutella bar? That’s what this is, a creamy combination of dark chocolate and hazelnuts. Only without the hydrogenated oils. It’s like a gourmet version of Ice Cubes.

This is a ridiculously fantastic bar. Really. It’s insanely smooth and nutty and melts so well on the tongue with a cooling effect that’s just stunning.

The price is also similarly ridiculous, but I’m guessing there’s a whole tree’s worth of hazelnuts packed into each bar, so that’s likely what you’re paying for. There’s 4 grams of protein in the bar alone. The bar is more soft and pliable than the others that I’ve had, again owing to the nut oils in there that have a lower melting temperature than the cocoa butter. It’s not too sweet and happily doesn’t have nary a trace of that acidic/dry bite that the other Sharffen Berger bars have. There’s still plenty of flavor, this is not just a Nutella bar. It’s woodsy and nutty with some smoky notes and a slight dryness.

Of course there are a lot of calories in it and a lot of it comes from fat. It’s candy, I know, but I think maybe they ought to suggest that the portion is not 1.5 ounces, but simply a single ounce instead. I responsibly took about a month to eat it, sampling a few pieces and then wolfing the rest of it today. It’s also pretty expensive and I haven’t seen it at Trader Joe’s. If not for that, I think it would have been a straight 10.

Related Candies

  1. Milka Alpenmilch
  2. Ferrero Mon Cheri
  3. Lake Champlain Hazelnut Eggs
Name: Gianduja - Smooth Dark Hazelnut Chocolate
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 4 BENIGN
Brand: Scharffen Berger
Place Purchased: Factory Store (Berkeley)
Price: $5.00
Size: 3 ounces
Calories per ounce: 167
Categories: Chocolate, United States, Nuts, Scharffen Berger

POSTED BY Cybele AT 10:01 am Tracker Pixel for Entry    

  1. The pictures of things *still* aren’t working on LiveJournal and we haven’t been able to see the rating scale since you switched over to the new site design.  I’m afraid you’re going to lose most of your RSS readers that get to your site through LJ soon.  I really don’t like having big over-sized white blocks that say “THIS IMAGE BELONGS TO” instead of photos of delicious candy scrolling page after page :(

    Comment by La Lola on 1/20/06 at 11:05 am #
  2. Cybele's avatar

    If you tell me which livejournal blog is yours, I can make sure that is specifically on the safe list. (You can email me if it’s private blog.)

    I’m very sorry that the feed isn’t working for you. But as I add more features, a feed cannot replicate the experience of the site itself ... nor is it meant to. Part of that is the way LiveJournal chooses to display feeds, they strip the categories and additional content out whereas Bloglines and Feedster leave them in. As a community LiveJournal is one of the best on the internet ... as a blog aggregator it has a long way to go.

    Comment by Cybele on 1/20/06 at 11:19 am #
  3. One could always turn on image placeholders for all images—that way, you wouldn’t have to see any images, you could just click on the placeholder if you want to see it. Takes up less space on one’s friends page, as well.

    Comment by El on 1/20/06 at 12:19 pm #
  4. It’s pronounced jahn-doo-yah. I love your site by the way.

    Comment by Mila on 1/20/06 at 12:49 pm #
  5. Hi Cybele,
    Thanks for doing all these candy ratings. I look forward to checking your site each day. Yes, I know I could use the RSS feed, but it’s become such a nice ritual, why stop? smile
    You’re doing a great job! The new rating system chart is such a useful addition.

    Comment by Deb on 1/21/06 at 8:28 am #
  6. Cybele's avatar

    Mila - thanks for the pronunciation tip ... now I won’t look too dorky when I ask for it next time!

    Deb - thanks for the kind words of support and of course I’m glad you enjoy visiting. And your chocolates look gorgeous!

    Comment by Cybele on 1/22/06 at 6:10 pm #
  7. I have not tried Gianduja but I live in Berkeley CA and I love the 70% chocolate bar.

    Comment by Georgia on 1/26/06 at 8:12 pm #
  8. SOS! In my case, that stands for Sick Of Surfing! I’ve been all over the net looking for Ice Cubes and found several sites that carry them. In the past month I’ve ordered from 2 sites, at roughly $35 a pop, and been very disapointed. With Ice Cubes it’s as much about the texture as it is about taste. I paid extra for the ice packs but both times the texture was grainy. There was no evidence of melting during shipping (you can definetly tell if they get too warm). So what’s up with that? Has anyone else ordered them off the net and had the same problem? I WANT MY ICE CUBES! I WILL NOT BE DENIED! HELP! Oh yeah, by the way, love your site!

    Comment by Christi on 2/05/06 at 8:31 pm #
  9. Cybele's avatar

    Christi - I haven’t had a lot of Ice Cubes lately, but the last few that I’ve gotten in stores have been similarly lackluster. One was rancid (the nuts had turned) and the other was kind of waxy and unpleasant. Maybe it’s a problem with the Ice Cubes manufacturing folks.

    Which sites did you order from? I think Old Time Candy allows you to place smaller orders than the whole tub, if you wanted to get just a sampling instead of being hit for a whopping $35 bill.

    Comment by Cybele on 2/05/06 at 8:53 pm #
  10. “gia” in Italian is pronounced like “jah.”

    So I believe it is pronounced “Jahn-DOO-yuh.”

    Also, have you tried Scharffen Berger’s Jamaica Bar? I believe you can only get it at the factory store. It is a coarse, gritty bar made with only the cacao, whole vanilla beans, and sugar. And it is to DIE for.

    Comment by mags on 7/07/06 at 8:10 am #
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