Scharffen Berger is a small batch, artisan chocolate manufacturer located in Berkeley, CA. As a chocolate maker, they execute every step in the manufacturing process from sourcing the cacao beans to molding the bars. I love the taste of Scharffen Berger chocolate, which is dark, rich and fruity.
Besides its superior quality, I really like Scharffen Berger because it is a small operation and is made locally in the Bay Area. I was disappointed that Hershey bought them out in 2005. My fear was the artisan manufacturing processes would be replaced by cheaper methods to produce more chocolate. I'm glad to say from a chocolate making perspective, nothing has changed at Scharffen Berger and it's still my favorite chocolate brand.
One of my favorite activities with out of town guests is to take them on the Scharffen Berger Factory Tour. It's a great outing, especially if your guests are chocoholics. Last month, I took my chocolate loving parents on the tour. The factory is just a small brick building, which means the tour takes less than an hour to complete. Most of the time is spent learning about the cacao tree and chocolate making process. The best part is the free samples.
You can kill half a day at Scharffen Berger between the tour, shopping for chocolate and eating at Cafe Cacao. The cafe is adjacent to the factory and serves both savory dishes (some with chocolate) and dessert. The Scharffen Berger factory is definitely worth a visit if you love chocolate!
[tags]scharffen berger, chocolate, dark, berkeley, cacao, artisan, cafe, factory[/tags]