First posted on October 4, 2009

Located inside the Ferry Terminal building on the San Francisco Embarcadero is Artisan Confections, the retail home of San Francisco’s best kept chocolate secret – Scharffen Berger Chocolate Maker.

The company was founded in 1997 by Robert Steinberg and John Scharffenberger, with the aim of producing full-flavored dark chocolate using traditional methods, while controlling the process “from bean to bar.”

Scharffen Berger sources its own beans, working with cacao farmers in South American, Africa and Asia. While the company occasionally produces chocolate from a single source – at present, offering single origin chocolate from Ghana and from Vietnam – most chocolate is a blend of beans from different regions. The origin of the beans, together with the fermentation conditions and adjustments to the blend all contribute to the final flavor and texture of the finished chocolate.

Here is how Andrew McIntyre of Artisan Confections explained the difference between single origin and blended chocolate.

“You can deprive the body, but the soul needs chocolate.”

– Dagoba Organic Chocolate