The following content is created in consultation with Scharffen Berger Chocolate Maker. It does not reflect the work or opinions of NBC BAY AREA's editorial staff. To learn more about Scharffen Berger, visit scharffenberger.com.
America’s finest dark chocolate should be crafted with the same skill and detail as the world’s best wine.
At least that’s what winemaker John Scharffenberger thought when he co-founded Scharffen Berger Chocolate Maker with Robert Steinberg in 1997, using his vintner’s knowledge to become America’s first "bean to bar" chocolate maker in over 50 years and leading this country’s contemporary resurgence in artisan chocolate-making.
It’s a time-honed tradition that still exists today. By selecting the best beans from small sustainable farms in fabled cacao-producing countries like Tanzania and Peru, the craftsman at Scharffen Berger then blend, roast and refine their product, highlighting specific flavors of each origin to create rich chocolate with balance and pleasing complexity.
"From making wine, I learned a lot about flavor and its origins in nature,” says John Scharffenberger. “This same idea carries over to chocolate making. We simply try to bring out all the terrific cacao flavors--the deep tones, the red-fruit sweetness, and a final, long crescendo of taste."