July 21, 2012

Chocolate & Salted Almond Shortbread Cookies

The Scharffen-Berger chocolate factory used to be just down the street from the school where I work. It was in a beautiful old industrial building on Heinz Avenue, and was originally a Heinz ketchup factory. They gave a pretty cool tour (with plenty of chocolate samples) and had a little shop which offered plentiful chocolate and even more samples. The best part of all this was that when I rode my bike past the factory every day on my way to work and again on my way home, I would inhale the aroma of chocolate. It was a beautiful thing. Unfortunately, Scharffen-Berger was purchased by Artisan Confection Company, which is a subsidiary of Hershey, and their production operations were moved elsewhere. My use of the word unfortunately here is not meant in a local, organic, sustainable, anti-corporation, anti-Hershey, Berkeley way; they are still making the same tasty chocolate as before, but I am saddened that I no longer get to breathe in chocolate on my way to work and stop by on my lunch break for samples. Oh well - we have moved since then anyway, and I now walk past Acme bread's bakery on 9th Street. And Artisan Confection has not changed Scharffen-Berger's chocolate at all - it's still just as delicious, and my absolute favorite chocolate bar of all time is their sea salted almonds and milk chocolate bar.