February is the month of love –and, perhaps more importantly, CHOCOLATE. I tested and critiqued four Valentine’s chocolate boxes based on the criteria of flavour, texture, and aesthetic appearance.

Photo: Hannah Nie

Hershey’s Hugs

Price: 4.99 at Shopper’s Drug Mart. There are 45 hugs in each bag, coming to a total of 200 grams.

Flavour: 2 out of 5

The “milk chocolate hugged by white crème” made for an odd combination, in which the white chocolate’s creamy sweetness was definitely overpowered. The result was a very sugary chocolate which left a strange and slightly sour aftertaste. In terms of variety, don’t be deceived by the many-coloured wrapping foils – they are all the same flavour.

Texture: 2 out of 5

Patience is not one of my virtues – I made the mistake of biting into these at first, then being disappointed by their hard, chalky consistency. The hugs fared better when I let them melt in my mouth instead. But even beneath all their richness and creaminess, there was a suspicious powdery taste…

Aesthetics: 3 out of 5

The package came in the shape of a large Hershey’s kiss (or hug), about the size of my hand. Although not overly fancy, it was really quite adorable and stood out from the others, with a “HUG” tag attached and all.

Verdict: Averaging at about 2.3 out of 5, I’d bump it up to a 3 because of the sheer amount of hugs in the bag. They might not be high-end delicacies, but they’re affordable and versatile – hugs are for everyone: your platonic friend, your not-so-platonic friend, or just yourself.

Godiva Valentine’s Day Message Truffles

Price: like Hershey’s, these were 4.99 at Shopper’s Drug Mart. There are 12 truffles in the pack, at a total of 120 grams.

Flavour: 4.5

Upon opening the package, I was hit by a whiff of cocoa — sensing good things already. The pack includes milk, dark, and white chocolate. The flavours of the milk chocolate were considerably stronger than those in Hershey’s, with a musky bitterness not found in your typical milk chocolate. The dark chocolate reminded me of an exotic coffee bean, and I liked the taste overall. However, the sweet chocolate filling was a little out of place and left an overly sweet aftertaste. Lastly, I couldn’t decide if I liked the filling of the white chocolate truffles. It tasted heavily of vanilla, which was refreshing amidst all the cream and sugar I’d been having, but it was also rather strange.

Texture: 5 out of 5

The texture of the outer shell was rich and creamy, it melted well and tasted great in general, but: the chocolate filling was glorious. Simply glorious.

Aesthetics: 4 out of 5

Although the packaging is essentially a paper bag, it’s a very, very pretty paper bag. Tie a ribbon around it, and this is a bag ready to be gifted. Open the bag, and you’ll be faced with a horde of colourful wrappers – the little messages on them seem to scream at you: “PICK ME”, “BE MINE”, “I LOVE YOU”. Although a little frumpy, it’s the thought that counts.

BONUS POINTS: These chocolates are Halal!

Verdict: 4.5 out of 5

These truffles make a nice gift, but at their modest pricing, they’re also great as a personal splurge.

Lindor Chocolate Rose

Price: $8.49 at Shopper’s Drug Mart. It’s composed of 12 pieces, a total of 120 grams.

Flavour: 3.5 out of 5

These chocolates had a simpler flavour than the Godiva truffles, and not as much variety. They weren’t too sugary, and had a nice creamy flavour. I took a whiff and couldn’t smell any of the Godiva cocoa scent.

Texture: 4.5 out of 5

The chocolates were rich and smooth, and really nice overall. Again, the chocolate filling steals the show. I was slightly disappointed by the outer shell, however, as it became rather sticky (chewy, even).

Aesthetics: 4 out of 5

I was excited, anticipating a beautifully crafted chocolate rose inside the box, rather than twelve original Lindor chocolates inside a box with pictures of roses on it. Despite everything, the packaging is still quite nice.

Verdict: 4 out of 5

Roses are red, violets are blue, except the rose isn’t actually a rose, it’s a bunch of chocolates – which is also really great. But if you’re not looking for all the romantic drama that comes with roses, the Godiva truffles are a better deal, offering a greater variety of flavours and the same amount of chocolate.

Godiva Assorted Chocolate Gold Box

Price: $10.99 for 45 grams (the fancy box makes all the difference).

Flavour: 5 out of 5

This was certainly an experience – some adventurous flavour combinations included white chocolate with a cherry filling and milk chocolate with a nutty cream centre. Although unconventional, they were a delicious and pleasant surprise.

Texture: 4.5 out of 5

Again, Godiva’s chocolate fillings can do no wrong. I was concerned, however, about the brittleness of the nut-flavoured chocolate, which broke into several pieces upon the first bite.

Aesthetics: 5 out of 5

I felt almost unworthy to open this box – even the ribbon it was tied with felt like it was high quality.

Verdict: 4.8 out of 5

These chocolates are a luxury (and one that my wallet’s really suffering from). Definitely not for bingeing, but they make an impressive gift.

 

Some takeaways from this taste test:

  1.       It is possible to have too much chocolate.
  2.       Don’t let number one stop you.

Enjoy your Valentine’s Day! Show some love to your friends, family, significant other, and yourself, too – if all else fails, chocolate will always be here for you.