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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.:)

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  1. Scharffenberger is a very good chocolate. However, I'm a dark chocolate lover. I can't vouch for their milk.

    1. 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.

      1. I, too, am a dark chocolate lover. If you are curious about Scharffenberger, check out Trader Joe's to try the Scharffenberger bars.

        1. 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.

          2 Replies
          1. re: anzu

            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?)

            1. re: Windy

              ohhhhh, Joseph Schmidt is now owned by Hershey. I did not know that. May they keep an exceptional thing going.

          2. 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.

            1. If you like Milk Chocolate you aren't alone. There was just an awesome article in the NYT food section last Wednesday on the trend towards higher quality, darker, milk chocolates.

              Windy mentioned Charles Chocolates milk bar which is 41%, really dark for milk chocolate. It's really good, and given the $4.95 price, a lot cheaper than my favorite Amadei which is $12 a bar...

              1. The Scharffenberger milk with salted almonds is really, really great.

                1. As an apology for a shipping issue, Chuao Chocolates sent me a number of freebies. One of them is the Caracas bar. While mine is dark chocolate, they make it in milk chocolate too. It has huge hazelnuts, pistachio's, and almonds. The chocolate is heavenly. I think I'm in love.

                  Their web site says you can get them at Whole Foods and Crate and Barrel. You can buy them online too. They are out of southern CA. I totally forgive them for the issue.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: puppymomma

                    You might compare and see if you like other Venezuelan sourced chocolates as much. I really like the Pacuare bar from Dagoba, which is their Costa Rican "varietal."