Re: Hershey buying Scharffen Berger Chocolate Co.

Discussion in 'Food and nutrition' started by David Arnstein, Jul 26, 2005.

  1. In article <[email protected]>,
    Leila <[email protected]> wrote:
    >"Scharffen Berger markets to the refined palate and seeks to be
    >approached like a fine wine. Its best-selling products include
    >bittersweet and extra-dark chocolates. The company has retail stores in
    >Berkeley, San Francisco and New York. Its products also are available
    >in high-end supermarkets."


    This gives me more confidence in my theory: Scharffen Berger is a
    sham. Here they are, announcing that they are being acquired by the
    king of mass market, low quality chocolate, and simultaneously
    claiming the high end of the market.

    I've tasted their packaged goods many times, and I find them lacking.
    The chocolate has a weird sour (not bitter) taste that is not
    pleasant.

    It is also quite expensive.
    --
    David Arnstein
    [email protected]
     
    Tags:


  2. David Arnstein wrote:

    > This gives me more confidence in my theory: Scharffen Berger is a
    > sham. Here they are, announcing that they are being acquired by the
    > king of mass market, low quality chocolate, and simultaneously
    > claiming the high end of the market.
    >
    > I've tasted their packaged goods many times, and I find them lacking.
    > The chocolate has a weird sour (not bitter) taste that is not
    > pleasant.
    >
    > It is also quite expensive.


    Yep. It doesn't hold a candle to Michel Cluizel or Valrhona. It's
    decidedly one-dimensional. It's the typical American thing -- some
    rich guys start a company in an area that interests them, learn as
    much as they can, and hang out a shingle. European chocolatiers
    have decades of experience, access to growers, etc. There's
    just no substitute for the kind of knowledge in depth that comes
    from growing up in what has been a hereditary craft.

    Of course, that's what's great about America -- you don't have to
    apprentice for seven years to become a sushi chef. OTOH that's
    what's not so great about America -- you eat sushi made by guys who
    didn't study for seven years to become a sushi chef.
     
  3. In article <[email protected]>,
    Michael Sierchio <[email protected]> wrote:

    > access to growers, etc.


    Those growers in South America, you mean?

    > There's just no substitute for the kind of knowledge in depth that
    > comes from growing up in what has been a hereditary craft.


    True, but it seems to me that there is less and less of that in
    Europe as well. People no longer want to do what the family always has
    done, they are more individualistic.

    In any case, I still prefer Ghiradelli chocolate. Call me a plebe if
    you will.

    Regards,
    Ranee

    Remove do not & spam to e-mail me.

    "She seeks wool and flax, and works with willing hands." Prov 31:13

    http://arabianknits.blogspot.com/
    http://talesfromthekitchen.blogspot.com/
     
  4. sf

    sf Guest

    On Tue, 26 Jul 2005 19:01:05 +0000 (UTC), David Arnstein wrote:

    > I've tasted their packaged goods many times, and I find them lacking.
    > The chocolate has a weird sour (not bitter) taste that is not
    > pleasant.
    >

    To each his own. I like their product.

    > It is also quite expensive.


    The price is very reasonable, considering it's high end chocolate.
     
  5. Mark Thorson

    Mark Thorson Guest

    Michael Sierchio wrote:

    > It's the typical American thing -- some
    > rich guys start a company in an area that interests them, learn as
    > much as they can, and hang out a shingle. European chocolatiers
    > have decades of experience, access to growers, etc. There's
    > just no substitute for the kind of knowledge in depth that comes
    > from growing up in what has been a hereditary craft.


    That's what I figured -- I was very prejudiced against SB
    before trying it. However, their ~70% bittersweet is currently
    my favorite chocolate. My others are certain chocolates from
    Valrhona and Chocovic.

    What some people don't like about SB is that they
    roast their beans less than other makers. This preserves
    certain flavors that get burnt out by most other chocolate
    makers. Many people don't seem to like these flavors,
    but I enjoy them very much. I find burnt chocolates
    uninteresting and unsatisfying.
     
  6. rone

    rone Guest

    In article <[email protected]>,
    Michael Sierchio <[email protected]> wrote:
    >Yep. It doesn't hold a candle to Michel Cluizel or Valrhona.


    I find Valrhona overpriced (and thus on par with SB). I prefer
    Chocovic, although nothing beats TJ's Pound Plus 70% chocolate for
    value.

    rone
    --
    "If the movie was an episode of 'Battlestar Galactica' with a guest appearance
    by the Smurfs and everyone spoke Dutch, the graphic novel is 'Citizen Kane'
    with added sex scenes and music by your favourite ten bands and everyone in
    the world you ever hated dies at the end." -- Warren Ellis, on 'From Hell'
     
  7. On Tue, 26 Jul 2005 19:58:04 GMT, Mark Thorson <[email protected]>
    wrote:

    >Michael Sierchio wrote:
    >
    >> It's the typical American thing -- some
    >> rich guys start a company in an area that interests them, learn as
    >> much as they can, and hang out a shingle. European chocolatiers
    >> have decades of experience, access to growers, etc. There's
    >> just no substitute for the kind of knowledge in depth that comes
    >> from growing up in what has been a hereditary craft.



    Hershey has been around since 1893. Have access to growers, have
    decades of experience. have there own milk processing plant for the
    production of milk chocolate. They employ 13,700 people, export to 90
    countries and have $4 billion in sales a year. Not bad for something
    that started with a penniless 30 year old.
     
  8. Curly Sue

    Curly Sue Guest

    On Tue, 26 Jul 2005 21:12:09 GMT, day [email protected] [email protected] wrote:

    >On Tue, 26 Jul 2005 19:58:04 GMT, Mark Thorson <[email protected]>
    >wrote:
    >
    >>Michael Sierchio wrote:
    >>
    >>> It's the typical American thing -- some
    >>> rich guys start a company in an area that interests them, learn as
    >>> much as they can, and hang out a shingle. European chocolatiers
    >>> have decades of experience, access to growers, etc. There's
    >>> just no substitute for the kind of knowledge in depth that comes
    >>> from growing up in what has been a hereditary craft.

    >
    >
    >Hershey has been around since 1893. Have access to growers, have
    >decades of experience. have there own milk processing plant for the
    >production of milk chocolate. They employ 13,700 people, export to 90
    >countries and have $4 billion in sales a year. Not bad for something
    >that started with a penniless 30 year old.
    >


    Hershey made it possible for the masses in the US to have chocolate at
    all. Before that, it was affordable only for the rich. As a
    company, its history is very admirable with regard to treatment of
    workers, the surrounding community, and needy children.

    I'm pleased and proud to support Hershey's by eating Reeses peanut
    butter cups and Skor Toffee bars and Whatchamacallit and Mr. Goodbar
    and kisses and Almond Joy. :>

    Sue(tm)
    Lead me not into temptation... I can find it myself!
     
  9. Curly Sue wrote:
    > On Tue, 26 Jul 2005 21:12:09 GMT, day [email protected] [email protected] wrote:


    >>On Tue, 26 Jul 2005 19:58:04 GMT, Mark Thorson <[email protected]>
    >>wrote:


    >>>Michael Sierchio wrote:


    >>>>It's the typical American thing -- some
    >>>>rich guys start a company in an area that interests them, learn as
    >>>>much as they can, and hang out a shingle. European chocolatiers
    >>>>have decades of experience, access to growers, etc. There's
    >>>>just no substitute for the kind of knowledge in depth that comes
    >>>>from growing up in what has been a hereditary craft.

    >>
    >>Hershey has been around since 1893. Have access to growers, have
    >>decades of experience. have there own milk processing plant for the
    >>production of milk chocolate. They employ 13,700 people, export to 90
    >>countries and have $4 billion in sales a year. Not bad for something
    >>that started with a penniless 30 year old.
    >>

    > Hershey made it possible for the masses in the US to have chocolate at
    > all. Before that, it was affordable only for the rich. As a
    > company, its history is very admirable with regard to treatment of
    > workers, the surrounding community, and needy children.
    >
    > I'm pleased and proud to support Hershey's by eating Reeses peanut
    > butter cups and Skor Toffee bars and Whatchamacallit and Mr. Goodbar
    > and kisses and Almond Joy. :>
    >


    > Sue(tm)

    Hershey's chocolate tastes from boiled milk. I do not like milk
    chocolate, but Hershey's is the worst of the popular brands. Their
    Special, the dark chocolate would not be bad, if they made it a little
    less sweet. Dark chocolate should have that bittersweet taste, but in
    this case it does not.

    As for Scharffen Berger, I cannot eat their chocolate at all. As
    someone mentioned, it tastes sour, as if it were spoiled. There is
    another American Chocolate maker, Guittard's and those chocolates are
    incredibly good but, unfortunately they are difficult to find in New
    York City.

    Let's hope that the merger will produce a new, wonderfully good
    chocolate bar.
     
  10. Al Eisner

    Al Eisner Guest

    On Tue, 26 Jul 2005, rone wrote:

    > In article <[email protected]>,
    > Michael Sierchio <[email protected]> wrote:
    > >Yep. It doesn't hold a candle to Michel Cluizel or Valrhona.

    >
    > I find Valrhona overpriced (and thus on par with SB). I prefer
    > Chocovic, although nothing beats TJ's Pound Plus 70% chocolate for
    > value.


    TJs has often had Valrhona at reasonable prices. There's no obvious
    indication that it's any different from what's sold for a lot more
    elsewhere, although I've not recently enough bought the latter for
    direct comparison.
    --

    Al Eisner
    San Mateo Co., CA
     
  11. notbob

    notbob Guest

    On 2005-07-26, Margaret Suran <[email protected]> wrote:

    > another American Chocolate maker......


    Yeah! ...let's not forget Baker's, the oldest chocolate company in the
    US and having the distinction of never buying chocolate from suppliers
    who used slaves.

    nb
     
  12. Dee Randall

    Dee Randall Guest

    "Mark Thorson" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    > Michael Sierchio wrote:
    >
    >> It's the typical American thing -- some
    >> rich guys start a company in an area that interests them, learn as
    >> much as they can, and hang out a shingle. European chocolatiers
    >> have decades of experience, access to growers, etc. There's
    >> just no substitute for the kind of knowledge in depth that comes
    >> from growing up in what has been a hereditary craft.

    >
    > That's what I figured -- I was very prejudiced against SB
    > before trying it. However, their ~70% bittersweet is currently
    > my favorite chocolate. My others are certain chocolates from
    > Valrhona and Chocovic.
    >
    > What some people don't like about SB is that they
    > roast their beans less than other makers. This preserves
    > certain flavors that get burnt out by most other chocolate
    > makers. Many people don't seem to like these flavors,
    > but I enjoy them very much. I find burnt chocolates
    > uninteresting and unsatisfying.
    >


    I don't know where I got the idea that SB tastes the way they do because of
    the near-burnt or close-to-burnt flavor; haven't I read something on their
    site about the fantastic way of roasting that they get the taste out of
    their beans vs. other chocolatiers? It was my thinking that they roasted
    more heartily than other companies do.
    Anyway, you probably know from reading this posting that SB is NOT one of my
    choices of chocolate. But then neither is Starbucks choice of roasting
    their beans or various beans. However, I wouldn't mind having a little
    stock in either company.
    Dee Dee
     
  13. Dee Randall

    Dee Randall Guest

    "rone" <^*&#[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    > In article <[email protected]>,
    > Michael Sierchio <[email protected]> wrote:
    >>Yep. It doesn't hold a candle to Michel Cluizel or Valrhona.

    >
    > I find Valrhona overpriced (and thus on par with SB). I prefer
    > Chocovic, although nothing beats TJ's Pound Plus 70% chocolate for
    > value.
    >
    > rone
    > --
    > "If the movie was an episode of 'Battlestar Galactica' with a guest
    > appearance
    > by the Smurfs and everyone spoke Dutch, the graphic novel is 'Citizen
    > Kane'
    > with added sex scenes and music by your favourite ten bands and everyone
    > in
    > the world you ever hated dies at the end." -- Warren Ellis, on 'From Hell'


    TJ's - I swore I'd never go there again because it looks and feels like a
    package store - you know, packages of this, packages of that and dinky
    isles. Their produce section is small compared to the Whole Foods I've been
    to; even though TJ's has a nice cheese selection. On my way to CT last
    week, the traffic forced me to get off at Darien, CT, where I found
    Girrhadeli (sp?) 70% chocolate for $3.99 a lb. and 100% pure organic
    cranberry juice (TJ's brand) for $3.99 vs. Knudsen's brand at anywhere from
    $5.99 to 7.50 for the same amount. TJ's cranberry juice is far superior.
    Another thing I liked -- is that the people who worked there were quite
    helpful and pleasant even though the store was busy on a Friday night. I
    went back on the way home and got their Giradelhi (sp?) white chocolate at
    $4.39 lb., I believe it was.
    My last chocolate purchase at Whole Foods was Callabaut dark unsweetened
    $6.99#; El Rey Apamate Choc 73.5% at $7.99#; and Mitica
    Artisan -Spanish-Dark Chocolate at $12.99# (I'd never heard of Mitica - just
    thought I'd try it.)
    I can't comment on any of these chocolates. I only buy -- tee hee. (My
    f-i-l has had two different types of cancer in the 18 months and has
    recovered from both lymphoma and colon cancer. Last week they said that
    they would be doing a biopsy for lung cancer, but today they said that it
    was probably a false test -- perhaps I will be able to use my hoard of
    chocolates before long.
    Hot here today, when I came home from town, the thermometer said 100F. I
    dont' think it was in the sun.
    Dee
     
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