Saturday, October 4, 2008

ChocolateBet: October 3, 2008

Chocolate of the Day
1 oz.
Scharffen Berger
Finisterra ("they go to the ends (finis) of the earth (terra) to get the best for you")
10th Anniversary Limited Series Blend (bar)
"Dark chocolate featuring cacao from Venezuela, Trinidad & Madagascar"
Very Good + - a nice dark blend
Wt.: 1 oz. (28.3 g.)/3 oz. (85 g.) total bar
Calories: ~ 134 calories
Cost: $6.50 in total bar
Purchased from: Scharffen Berger, in Berkeley, CA

Buying any food closer to its source increases the odds you'll get to see and hear where it came from. We do like our stories. Scharffen Berger (which was bought by Hershey's a few years ago) is a Berkeley, CA, (San Francisco Bay Area) chocolate maker. You may not get the chance to visit a cacao plantation in your lifetime, but if you sign up for the Scharffen Berger tour, you'll get to hear a great story about their chocolate (and you'll at least see nice color pictures of cocao plantations and pods). The title "chocolate maker" means the company is involved with making chocolate from the cocoa pod stage to the finished product stage.

On the tour, after you hear the story of chocolate and see and taste roasted cocoa nibs and samples of final product, you'll get to walk through their factory, peer into (from a safe distance) vats of chocolate, and watch little dark chocolate bars being poured into molds and shaken slightly (to get the air bubbles out).

Our tour of the Scharffen Berger plant was followed by a chocolate shopping spree in the gift store - which offers a full range of their products and a few other items (e.g. a chocolate-themed book and/or music CD, cocoa/chocolate drink machine, etc.). The tour is free, but bring your wallet if you want to pick up something on the way out.

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