'Scharffen Berger' on Serious Eats

Chocolates for New Year's Resolution Makers and Breakers

One of the first things that people generally give up when trying to get back on the health wagon is sweets—particularly chocolate. But let's not forget that chocolate is actually good for you; in moderation, of course. Here are my favorite three healthy(-er) chocolate treats to start the new year off right, and three more indulgent ones for those who, like me, don't bother with resolutions. More

Chocolate Banana Caramel Cake

This exceptionally moist banana-chocolate cake is soaked with molten caramel just as it comes out of the oven, rendering it—if such a thing is possible—even moister. Resist the temptation, the authors note, to add more bananas than called for, as... More

Cook the Book: The Essence of Chocolate

In late 2008, Robert Steinberg, co-author of this week's Cook the Book selection, finally succumbed to a two-decade battle with leukemia. Written with business partner John Scharffenberger, The Essence of Chocolate acknowledges Steinberg's bittersweet debt to the disease. For it was his diagnosis with the illness that drove the physician to apprentice himself to a small chocolatier in Lyon, to follow the trail of the cacao bean to Venezuela and Trinidad and Tobago, and, in 1996, to co-found Scharffen Berger. The Essence of Chocolate is an extraordinary book. It covers the history, cultivation, and lore of chocolate—and it does it in deft and lucid prose (before he was a doctor or a chocolate maker, Robert Steinberg was an English... More

Hershey's to Close Scharffen Berger Plant in Berkeley; Robert Steinberg Spinning in Grave

Photograph from orphanjones on Flickr The San Francisco Chronicle reports that Hershey's will shut down the Scharffen Berger plant it acquired when it bought the brand from Scharffen Berger founders John Scharffenberger and the late Robert Steinberg in 2005. Serious eaters know how I feel about Steinberg, who died last year, and there can be no doubt how Robert would have felt about this. I remember having lunch with him right after the sale had gone through, and he articulated his many concerns about the plans Hershey's had for his beloved chocolate company. Scharffen Berger's longtime publicist Deborah Kwan weighed in on this topic in the Chronicle story: "It was home grown. They really changed the way people regarded... More

In Memory of Robert Steinberg, Scharffen Berger Chocolate Co-Founder

Dr. Robert Steinberg, 1947-2008 My friend Dr. Robert Steinberg, whose co-founding of Scharffen Berger Chocolates foreshadowed the chocolate revolution in this country, died Wednesday afternoon. He was 61. Robert had been fighting lymphatic cancer for nearly twenty years. In fact, it was his initial diagnosis that provided the impetus he needed to leave medicine and co-found Scharffen Berger Chocolates (along with his friend John Scharffenberger) in 1996. His flight from medicine to chocolate very much exemplified who Steinberg was—a lifelong searcher for meaning, truth, and relevance. I'm not sure that he ever found peace or fulfillment (searchers rarely do). But I can tell you with some certainty, after sharing quite a few meals with Robert over the years: he... More

Edibles: Scarfin' the Scharffen Berger

In today's installment of Edibles, Serious Eats's Ed Levine indulges his sweet tooth with some Scharffen Berger milk chocolate. Says Ed, "Now they just sold to Hershey's, so it's going to be interesting to see if the quality is still good." Eat along with Ed to find out. AS SEEN IN THIS 'EDIBLES' Scharffen Berger 41% Cacao Extra Rich Milk Chocolate. $4.50 for a 3-ounce bar. MORE 'EDIBLES' Getting Cheesy [Wednesday, January 24, 2007] Stockholm Slices [Tuesday, January 23, 2007] Palapa Azul Mexican Ice Cream [Monday, January 22, 2007] All Edibles... More

Edibles: Scarfin' the Scharffen

In today's installment of Edibles, I indulge my sweet tooth with some Scharffen Berger milk chocolate. They just sold to Hershey's, so it's going to be interesting to see if the quality is still good. Eat along with me to find out. AS SEEN IN THIS 'EDIBLES' Scharffen Berger 41% Cacao Extra Rich Milk Chocolate. $4.50 for a 3-ounce bar.... More

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