bay area SF chocolate
Being raised on mostly SEE's candies, and HERSHEY all my life, I was surprised to know scharffenberger chocolates made in Berkeley, CA., Wondering if they are any good, I really don't like dark chocolate, mostly milk chocolate lover myself. Is it comparable to Ghirardelli??? I like anything with nuts, or mint mostly. Thanks,, Chowhounders.:)
Scharffenberger is a very good chocolate. However, I'm a dark chocolate lover. I can't vouch for their milk.
Their milk chocolate is very good, among the best milk chocolates I have had. Definitely several notches above Ghirardelli. They specialize in pure chocolate bars, so I wouldn't seek them out for a nut bar. Their mint bar is OK, but not their best product IMO.
Interestingly enough, Hershey's now owns Sharffenberger, though I haven't noticed any decline in product quality since they were bought out..
If you're ever in the Bay Area, they have a factory tour that is pretty fun and informative.
I, too, am a dark chocolate lover. If you are curious about Scharffenberger, check out Trader Joe's to try the Scharffenberger bars.
I find Scharffenberger too bitter. Then again, I like neither Ghiradelli nor Sees. But this is their dark bars. Their milk chocolate might be good. Trader Joes and Cost Plus have a great selection of both dark and milk kinds w/ all sorts of things in it.
My preference is dark, but Chuao makes a earl grey milk chocolate that I like quite a bit in small doses, which is odd, b/c I don't like either milk chocolate or earl grey on their own.
Scharffenberger makes a semisweet bar that might be a good compromise. Keep in mind that they (along with Joseph Schmidt and Oregon's Dagoba) are now owned by Hershey.
Emeryville's Charles' Chocolates has some delicious semisweet bars too along with a milk chocolate w/rice krispies. I find ~60% to be a fine balance for milk and dark. Lower than that and you're typically getting more sugar and less cocoa.
(Why isn't this on the SF board?)
I am a milk chocolate lover. But I like very much any and all Scharffenberger. Their dark chocolate is not bitter or harsh like many other brands. They shine as a chocolate to cook with, and have some great products. But trust me, they taste just fine for snacking.