3oz (85g) bar
Ingredients: Cacao beans, sugar, cocoa butter, soy lecithin, vanilla beans
13g sugar/43g serving (30.2% by wt.)
Once upon a time I heard Berkeley, California's Scharffen Berger touted as the source for American dark chocolate. Nowadays it's owned by Hershey (as is Oregon's Dagoba), and the Berkeley plant was closed last year. While I respect small chocolatiers' decisions to sell their companies, in the aftermath of a big sale the chocolate's history no longer means much to me. So make no mistake, what I'm looking at here is a Hershey product, albeit one from a different recipe than the iconic Hershey bar. Can present-day Scharffen Berger's 70% Cacao bar stand on its own?
This bar certainly looks mid- to high-end, thin and flat, glossy and imprinted with crossed lines and the Scharffen Berger logo. Its smell isn't distinctive, though it's nicely chocolatey. A cross-section breaks cleanly and looks dense and uniform. The taste: first rich and creamy and fairly sweet, then intense in a sour way, darker tasting than some other 70% bars I've had. It's not super interesting (but then, most bars aren't) and not mild or balanced enough to be an everyday bar for me, but it's legitimately tasty.
Personally, I wouldn't buy this over a comparable bar from an independent company. It's not especially cheap (If I recall correctly, I've only seen it for $4 and up) or organic or fair trade, and Hershey doesn't need my money. But taste-wise, it's decent.
Conclusion: Scharffen Berger Bittersweet 70% Cacao Dark Chocolate is dark, dense, and creamy, not amazing but good.