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Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Ben Tre, Scharffen Berger's Vietnamese Single-Origin Chocolate Bar

Posted By on Tue, Oct 12, 2010 at 3:00 PM

click to enlarge TAMARA PALMER
  • Tamara Palmer
Scharffen Berger chocolate maker Ray Major lovingly details the genesis of the company's Ben Tre 72% dark chocolate on the company's blog. Made from beans of seven-year-old cacao trees planted in the Ben Tre province in Vietnam's Mekong Delta, a new source of potential income for the area's farmers, the bar is a limited-edition offering. It may be the first taste of single-origin Vietnamese chocolate available to the American public. It also, writes Major, is likely the first chocolate that the farmers who produced the beans have likely tasted.

The sign over the Ben Tre display at the Scharffen Berger retail shop in the Ferry Building reads "Sold Out (Almost!)" -- it looks like they've got a few stacks left of what was a run of 150 cases. We were surprised that a mid-dark chocolate should have such a sweet flavor, with an overtly fruity tang to balance it out. And we started chasing that surprise until we soon realized that this is a chocolate that needs to be rationed.

Scharffen Berger 1 Ferry Plaza (at Embarcadero), 981-9150

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Tamara Palmer

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