Battle of the Cheesy, Heart-Shaped Boxes of Chocolate
Dove (6 pieces, 2.6 oz, $4.99; typical fillings -- all are light-chocolate truffle hearts)
Tasting Notes: At the higher price, were these a little better than the Russell Stover that had preceded them? Not really, though the chocolates tasted like they'd been conched longer, resulting in more smoothness. Filling, meh! The redundancy of the pieces actually knocked the final score down, because of the sheer boredom that resulted, and so did the ugliness of the box, which happens to be made of metal.
Overall Score: 32
Elmer Chocolate (8 pieces, 3.2 oz, $2.99; typical fillings -- orange fondant, dark caramel, spiced chocolate)
Tasting Notes: These chocolates are really tiny, and can't even fill the slots in the cheap plastic tray inside the box. Yet, there was something lovable about these chocolates - which seem to come in no form other than the heart-shaped box with different dogs on the lid. Made by a company in Ponchatoula, Louisiana, these chocolates may actually reflect local preferences.
Overall Score: 48
Whitman's (3 pieces, 1.6 oz, $1.79; typical fillings -- hard caramel, plain milk chocolate, fudge)
Tasting Notes: Wait a minute! The chocolate quality and packaging seem nearly identical to Russell Stover's. Could it be the same company? The chocolate is just as bad, but the selection of chocolates is better in Whitman's, hence the higher score. Besides, having an unfilled chocolate in the assortment is classy.
Overall Score: 42
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