Wednesday, July 15, 2009
Scharffen Berger Tome Acu & Asante
One of Scharffen Berger’s new projects is the Chocolate Makers Series with limited runs (about 120 cases) of single origin beans. There are two on the market right now. A Scharffen Berger rep sent them to me after I twittered about my obsession with the Milk Nibby bar.
In this case the both of the bars are 65% cacao dark chocolate - an easily accessible for nascent chocolate tasters, but not too sweet for hardliner chocophiles.
The boxes are quite smart - simple kraft paperboard boxes with a wrap-around label including tasting notes for the bar.
Inside the package the bar is enclosed in a glassine sleeve and sealed with a sticker. It’s well done, I found it easily protected the bars and was great for munching on a little, breaking inside the sleeve & serving to others.
The Tome Acu is sourced from cooperative farmers in the Brazilian State of Par?, which if you look on a map is a big, wide area far from any roads.
From the package
Here’s what I got: Light green wood scent with slight bitter notes. Very sweet at the forward flavors but kind of in the honey/syrup arena with notes of cinnamon, raisins, green olives and green tea. The bitterness was high pitched and short lived, but gave way to some lower boiled cherry and plum notes. Still, quite a tangy chocolate and what I have come to expect from the Scharffen Berger style.
Though Theobroma cacao originated in the New World, more cocoa is grown in Africa than anywhere else in the world. Ghana is second only to C?te d’Ivoire in production. The earliest plantings in the area were from the Amelonado cultivar which, interestingly enough was also from Brazil (like the Tome Acu).
The Asante bar is named for the Ashante region & peoples (map). They’re known for their beans as well as the care the farmers & cooperatives take in the fermenting process, which is crucial to making good chocolate. (Underferment and the chocolate is acrid, overferment and the chocolate is musty.)
From the package
Here’s what I got: Coffee, cedar & cardamom plus a strong molasses/sugary vibe. The chocolate punch in here was strong and clear reminding me of the smell of chocolate cake without much of the sourness that I often get from Scharffen Berger bars.
The texture of both bars was excellent. Plenty of cocoa butter, smooth and silky melt without grittiness. The snap on both was bright & crisp.
You can follow along with the Chocolate Maker’s Series in the journal on the Scharffen Berger site, even if you never buy one of the bars, the process is quite interesting to read along with great photos from all over the world.
POSTED BY Cybele AT 1:19 pm
Meticulously photographed and documented reviews of candy from around the world. And the occasional other sweet adventures. Open your mouth, expand your mind.