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Valrhona v. Michel Cluizel v. Scharffen Berger Chocolate

sku Sep 15, 2006 05:34 PM

For eating, I think I like Michel Cluizel better. For cooking, I prefer Scharffen Berger. Any thoughts? Any other contenders?

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    Bostonbob3 RE: sku Sep 15, 2006 06:07 PM

    Ooo, Michel Cluizel is my current fav (I was on a Ghana chocolate kick for a while, but Cluizel's chocolate has the same intensity but with more flavor subtleties and finish).

    This is the site I usually get it from. Is there a better (or less expensive) source anyone knows of?


    1. Pei RE: sku Sep 15, 2006 08:07 PM

      I haven't found a Valhrona bar that I love to eat. I think it's the texture of the bars that I dislike as much as the flavor.

      I'll eat both Cluizel and Scharffenberger happily, but the Cluizel tends to be more complex and there's a larger variety of bars.

      1. Debbie M RE: sku Sep 15, 2006 09:10 PM

        Michel Cluizel 72% has long been my favorite. Whole Foods used to carry it for about $4.25 a bar, but it's been a long time since I've seen it there.

        1. chica RE: sku Sep 15, 2006 09:33 PM

          I like Scharffen Berger's 85% and lower. Valhorna's darks are bittersweet-tooth-satisfying, too.

          Whole foods offers a wide variety of darks. I like to get the endangered animals species, just knowing that some of the money I spend on it is doing some good. :-)

          Those gold nugget bars are really rich, and I often find Lake Champlain chocolates don't have the "oomph" in a satisfying dark truffle. Although they do have variations with sea salt on them.

          1. j
            JudiAU RE: sku Sep 16, 2006 01:10 AM

            I really love the wine notes in Schrafenberger and i almost always bake with it.

            1. MollyGee RE: sku Sep 16, 2006 03:54 AM

              I think Scharffen Berger makes a superior baking chocolate, but is almost inedible as a "hand bar". I eat it. I think "sour" and then whatever else it is that I think when I eat chocolate.

              1 Reply
              1. re: MollyGee
                Saccade RE: MollyGee Sep 16, 2006 10:29 PM

                I totally agree. So sour!

              2. limster RE: sku Sep 16, 2006 04:46 AM

                I'm not a fan of the standard Schaffern Berger choc -- they lack structure -- the fruitty notes turn into a rather acidic finish. MIche Cluziel's great, enjoyed a few of their single plantations bars. Valrhona an excellent go-to chocoate for me -- lovely aroma, great balance of flavours.

                1. Gary Soup RE: sku Sep 16, 2006 04:54 AM

                  I wouldn't put Scharffen Berger in the same league as the other two, at least for eating from hand. They seem to under-roast everything. I think the only American chocolate maker that has the go-for-broke mentality of Cluizel and the Italian greats Amadei and Domori is Dagoba. Valhrona also suffers from timidity, IMHO, though at least they fully roast their beans.

                  1. s
                    shibui RE: sku Sep 16, 2006 05:29 AM

                    You all might find this Salon article entitled the "Sweet Smell of Snobbery" amusing (whether you agree with it or not!): http://www.salon.com/mwt/feature/2006.... I had to laugh when I read it after sending my friends zchocolat.com's single origin tasting sampler for Christmas: a bunch of little squares of chocolate, each made from cocoas from a single country, allowing you to have a "chocolate tasting". (Have any of you ever held a chocolate tasting? I think it would be fun, though I'm not sure how much chocolate one could reasonably taste in an evening. :-)

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