I usually buy chocolate at Trader Joe's, but when I saw a good deal on Scharffen Berger 82% Extra Dark Chocolate Bars online, I couldn't resist. And I am glad I bought this particular type since I love dark chocolate and prefer the kind that isn't too sweet or grainy.
Although some online reviewers stated that this chocolate was too bitter
and therefore is inedible and is better suited for cooking, most gave
it excellent reviews. Although that was something that I was concerned
about, once the chocolate arrived and I tasted it, I was relived to find
that negative reviews were completely incorrect.
True, if you are used to super-sweet American-style chocolate (which I
affectionately call "crap"), See's candies and other sugar-overloaded
food, you might find these slightly bitter. Maybe. I can't detect any
more than usual, very slight, chocolate bitterness (and you would expect
some in extra dark chocolate).
In fact, this 82% extra dark
chocolate is even slightly too sweet for my taste. I would prefer it to
be slightly less sweet and slightly more bitter. The flavor overall is
mild and slightly peppery with a dried fruit aftertaste. The texture is
quite smooth (again, unlike cheap American grainy chocolate; not taking
into account better examples like Dove).
Resent research shows that chocolate is not only rich in antioxidants,
but also boosts HDL (a.k.a. "good cholesterol") and reduces LDL (a.k.a.
"bad cholesterol"). It does so despite the previous conventional wisdom
that saturated fat is bad and is supposed to do the opposite (the
"wisdom" was "conventional" for only 4-5 decades and is now proven to be
wrong). Yes, chocolate is high in fat, most of which is saturated. Will
eating it be good or bad for your heart? I think the former.
Still, in the interest of disclosure, 1/2 of the 3-oz bar (1.5 oz or 43
g) contains 19 g of fat, 12 g of which is saturated. Which represents
29% and 60% of recommended daily intake (RDI) respectively. It contains
no sodium or trans fat.
One thing I am trying to limit
in my diet is sugar (along with other simple carbohydrates). Still, I
like chocolate and I am unwilling to give it up. And with Scharffen
Berger 82% Extra Dark I don't have to since it actually contains quite
little. One-half of a 3-oz bar (1.5 oz or 43 g) contains only 17 g of
carbs, 6 of which are fiber, leaving only 11 g of simple carbs (8 g of
which are sugar). Perfectly reasonable and even a good source of fiber,
since 6 g of it is 24% of recommended daily intake (RDI).
The said serving also contains 2% RDI of Calcium, 10% of iron and 5 g of protein. Very good numbers overall in my book.
Pros: Great taste, low sugar, high fiber and protein, low price if bought online.
Cons: Not for people who like super-sweet chocolate
Scharffen Berger 82% Extra Dark Chocolate is excellent-tasting and
healthy. If you like dark chocolate with low sugar, I highly recommend
it. But if you prefer very sweet chocolate, you might be disappointed.
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