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Home / Doug's Chocolate Republic  /   Review: Anthon Berg Soft Dark

     
Anthon Berg Soft Dark 
Posted: 19 September 2011    7.0 
Anthon Berg Soft Dark The bar is composed of common type forastero beans grown in Ghana and conforms to international Fairtrade standards should you be the type of person who only enjoys chocolate if you think the farmer isn't screwed on the sale of his cacao.    The Soft Dark is mild for a 57% bar, but not too mild. I couldn't figure out where the 'Soft' in the title came in. The bar was no softer or cuddlier than any other chocolate bar I've sampled in this range.   
Avg price/gram: USD 0.043   Cocoa %: 57  Size: 100g  Danish chocolate 
       


In Aussie Dave's latest chocolate parcel, there was great rhyme and reason in the order in which I sampled the bars.  In the beginning, I tried and compared all the bars he'd sent that were around 70% in cocoa solids.   For the end of the sampling, I left two bars in the mid-50% range, the Hachez Cocoa de Maracaibo, billed as a milk, and this Anthon Berg, billed as a dark.       

Who the hell is Anthon Berg, you're asking?  I asked the identical question.  The company has been around since 1884 and the company holds a royal warrant from the Danish Court.   Is this prestigious?  I don't know.  There are approximately 100 purveyors to the Danish Court.  Denmark's not a big country, has a small population, and probably doesn't have a helluva lot of indigenous chocolate companies.  The Royal Danish Court wouldn't use Cadbury or Hershey or Lindt to satisfy Danish royals' chocolate fixes.      

Like all other European chocolate companies more than a century old, Anthon Berg has its mythology of quality.  Berg was a green grocer in Copenhagen and produced a brilliant tasting chocolate in his back rooms.  People all over Copenhagen wanted a piece and lined up to get it.  His son, Gustav, eventually took the company over and promised Daddy he wouldn't let the quality slide an iota. Sounds like a tearjerker, and some Danish filmmaker has probably already made a movie about it.       

The bar is composed of common type forastero beans grown in Ghana and conforms to international Fairtrade standards should you be the type of person who only enjoys chocolate if you think the farmer isn't screwed on the sale of his cacao.  Anthon Berg describes the bar as "a deliciously creamy experience with a surprisingly mild yet intense flavor -- and bound to linger in your mouth."    

I'd say, overall, that Anthon Berg executes better in this cocoa range than Hachez.  The Soft Dark is mild for a 57% bar, but not too mild.  I couldn't figure out where the 'Soft' in the title came in.  The bar was no softer or cuddlier than any other chocolate bar I've sampled in this range. 

Everyone knows sugar -- or today, some other kind of sweetener -- forms a huge component of all conventional chocolate.  Anthon Berg uses the real thing, at 42% of the content, and the problem is that you taste too much of it. What lingered in my mouth wasn't the "mild yet intense flavor," as Anthon Berg promised, but the overly intense sweetness.  I expect sugar abuse in low quality brands, not a purveyor to the Royal Danish Court.

In Europe, the bar is affordable.  Outside Europe, you can pay 60-75% more.  Usually, it's the other way around, with the Europeans getting fleeced on items that can be bought much more cheaply elsewhere. 

If you're in Denmark, stop by the Royal Danish Court for a taste.  If you're anywhere else -- well, you probably won't even be able to find anyone who's ever heard of it.  For now, Lego still remains Denmark's biggest innovation.       

If you liked reading this, consider savoring these reviews:
 Green & Black Dark 70% from UK -- 70% cocoa solids
 Theo Coconut Curry from USA -- 45% cocoa solids
 The Complete Chocolate Republic Index


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