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scharffen berger in the us?
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alex_h
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June 1, 2004 - 4:56 pm
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how readily available is scharffen berger in the states? my parents are there now and i told them to bring me along some bars when the return. couldn't tell them where they might find it. any ideas?

they'll be traveling between las vegas and sturges.

<<ce qui fait du bien au palais ne fait du mal à l'âme>>

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elektra
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June 1, 2004 - 4:59 pm
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Alex,

Why would you want to eat Sharffen Berger?

Elektra

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blakej
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June 2, 2004 - 6:13 am
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What state is "Sturges" in? maps.yahoo.com only shows one tiny town named Sturges, and it's in Missouri.

Scharffen Berger has decent penetration in higher-end grocery stores and "natural food" co-ops, and not just in the SF area. One upscale grocery store that's fairly widespread is called Whole Foods, though I can't say for sure whether they carry SB.

Your parents probably won't have much luck outside the larger cities. Once you go east of California, there isn't much chocolate-loving country for quite a ways.

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alex_h
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June 2, 2004 - 8:40 am
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elektra, i have heard much about their chocolate and am curious. if i can get my hands on it, why not? i am also curious about marcolini.

blake, sturges is in the dakotas. i can't remember whether it's south or north.
my folks will be returning to germany via atlanta and i thought maybe the airport there might have some...

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alex_h
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June 2, 2004 - 5:32 pm
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elektra, have you tried scharffen berger? if so, what do you think of it?

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Martin Christy
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June 2, 2004 - 6:30 pm
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Scharffen Berger is not to everyones taste, but I'm personally a fan. They tend to use quite a lot of vanilla and have a lot of liquorice notes in their blends. I've got all the bars for review here, so should be up soon.

They're also starting to make some interesting experiments, like the Jamaica bar.

Well worth trying, anyway.

cheers.

Martin Christy
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blakej
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June 2, 2004 - 6:31 pm
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Oh, that Sturges (actually spelled Sturgis). It's known for being the site of a huge motorcycle rally every year, but it probably doesn't have a lot of chocolate.

My general recommendation still holds - look for a good grocery store in a large city. Between Las Vegas and Sturgis the best bets are probably Salt Lake City and Denver, although Boulder (Colorado) apparently has the nation's biggest Whole Foods. Between Sturgis and Atlanta ... there's lots of places. I wouldn't expect to find it at the Atlanta airport, since I don't think it's even sold at the SF airport where it's local.

Actually, now that I look, their web site has a store locator. If you can find out your parents' route, this will probably tell you exactly what you want to know.

[url]http://www.scharffenberger.com/stores/index.html[/url]
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alex_h
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June 3, 2004 - 9:17 am
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thanks, martin. from what you say i can't imagine that sb is really my thing. liquorice and vanilla are not on the top of my list of flavors i like in chocolate. i'm still curious to try though and look forward to your review.

blake,

sorry about the misspelling. and thanks for all your information. will check out the store locator and pass on the locations and your suggestions to my parents. they mentioned salt lake city's on their route...

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elektra
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June 3, 2004 - 4:44 pm
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Alex,

I tried it for the first time last year, when a friend brought me a couple of bars back from the States. It tasted manufactured to me, if that makes any sense, the flavours just didn't seem to sit happily together.

He's over there again next week, so I may ask the US members to give me some ideas as to what to bring back.

Elektra

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Hans-Peter Rot
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June 4, 2004 - 5:15 am
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Scharffen Berger is an extremely fruity chocolate, even more so than Valrhona. It mainly appeals to the American palate, which means that it has a strong emphasis towards a smooth texture. Any major kitchen store, such as Williams Sonoma, Sur La Table, etc. will carry Scharffen Berger. I am on the opposite side of the contitnent, and Scharffen Berger is really easy to find. It's all about the distributor and which ones local stores use. Two distributors who supply stores with SB are Peter's Imports and Wythe Will, so you might contact them for a list of stores in a certain area that might carry SB. If you like fruity chocolate, then you should like SB. I have a bar of their new 82% which I haven't tried but will very soon. They also have a 41% milk, which I heard is extremely good.

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alex_h
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June 4, 2004 - 10:08 am
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thank you all for the useful information!

monte,

i like fruity chocolate much. to balance it i need other bars as well though.
maybe in a couple-of-weeks' time i can say more about sb...

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blakej
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June 5, 2004 - 8:00 pm
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Scharffen Berger probably has the strongest "characteristic flavor" of any chocolate manufacturer I can think of. The founders decided on one or two mixes of beans for their base chocolate, and they seem to be glad to have it be their "thing". I'm all for fruity chocolate, but I find SB to be too potent and harsh by itself. The 82%, in particular, I almost couldn't finish because it was so strongly SB-flavored - seemingly more so than chocolate-flavored.

On the other hand, Scharffen Berger would probably be great in a Black Forest cake.

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Hans-Peter Rot
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June 5, 2004 - 9:12 pm
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Yeah, Scharffen Berger is definitely among the lightest roasters around, which is a major cause of the fruity flavor. It's been a while since I've had their 70%, but the last time I tried the 62%, it was extremely sweet and indeed fruity. My favorite chocolate that absolutley screams fruitiness (in sort of the same way Scharffen Berger does) is Manjari, mainly because it's not so offensively fruity that it doesn't distract from everything else.

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