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Boxed Chocolates

Monday, 3 November 2008

With experts saying chocolate can be good for you (in small doses), thereís a renewed interest in these good quality morsels, both from connoisseurs and those with a chocolatey sweet tooth.

 

   BUYING TIPS

Types

  • Mass-produced chocolates can be found at the grocery or drug store and include preservatives; they have a shelf life of up to one year.

  • Gourmet or boutique chocolates include only the best all-natural ingredients for gourmet quality and taste. Batches are made small so ingredients are as high-end as the price. They should be enjoyed within a few days of purchase.

  • Tip: ask the gourmet chocolatier which is their top-selling chocolate: a high turnover rate guarantees more freshness.

Storage

  • Store in a cool, dark place.

  • Keep away from other foods with strong odours as chocolate picks up other flavours easily.

  • Only put chocolate in the fridge as a last resort. Use a sealed container since the cold dry air causes the cocoa butter to separate, resulting in an unappetizing white film on the chocolate.

   TEST CRITERIA

It wasn’t difficult finding helpers to test our five different brands of boxed chocolates, including:

  • Russell Stover (mass-produced): $1.84 per 100 grams
  • Pot of Gold Excellence (mass-produced): $1.77 per 100 grams
  • House of Brussels (gourmet): $4.39 per 100 grams
  • Bernard Callebaut (gourmet): $9.39 per 100 grams
  • Vosges (gourmet): $16.30 per 100 grams

Our tests and results include:

Taste Test

  • Russell Stover and Pot of Gold were a little on the sweet side and lacked the rich flavour of the more gourmet chocolates.

  • The gourmet chocolates had very smooth, creamy texture to the chocolate, which seemed to melt in your mouth more than the less expensive kinds.

   OUR TOP PICK

The Bernard Callebaut won us over: the chocolate was so rich, smooth and decadent, and the fillings were amazing.

   Thanks to Our Experts

Greg Hook, Chocolatier

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