Rows of pralines are seen at the Brussels Chocolate Festival February 8, 2014. REUTERS/Laurent Dubrule
Valentine's Day is almost here! In case you don't have any Valentine's Day gift for your loved one yet, why not get him or her some chocolates? It's better than flowers because it's edible and yummy. Plus, it's more affordable than jewelry. And, it's so much easier to buy anywhere because it is available in a lot of stores, whether brick and mortar stores or online shops. The only challenge in getting chocolates as gifts for Valentine's Day is picking the best one. Due to the number of choices and variants of chocolates all over the world, it is hard to choose which one your sweetheart will like the most. Well, fret not because here's a helpful guide for choosing the best chocolates to give as gifts this Valentine's Day 2014.
According to KABC-TV Los Angeles, CA (abc7), Consumer Reports (CR), an expert, independent and nonprofit organisation that has been testing products since 1936 for consumer empowerment and protection, tasted dozens of chocolates to determine the best tasting ones. They reportedly discovered 15 chocolates that were absolutely divine, with 8 of them making the CR Best Buys list.
"We look for ultra-smooth chocolate coatings and fillings that have fresh cream or have real natural flavors," said Ellen Klosz of Consumer Reports in the KABC-TV Los Angeles, CA (abc7) report.
Some of the chocolates mentioned in the KABC-TV Los Angeles, CA (abc7) report, based on the Consumer Reports (CR), are Woodhouse's 48-piece Traditional Assortment gift box ($90, plus shipping, 24-piece boxes for $48 and 12-piece boxes for $24), Recchiuti Confections' Black Box (16-piece assortment for $45), Xocolatti Nero Collection of truffles ($50, 16 truffles, 9 pieces for $29 or 25 pieces for $78), Marie Belle, Anna Shea and Norman Love.
According to ConsumerReports.org, the tasters described these chocolates as "exceptional," "ultrasmooth," "amazing" and "artistic."
Meanwhile, ABC newsnet5 Cleveland conducted a simple blind dark chocolate taste test among people who live in Northeast Ohio. They assembled four different brands of dark chocolates (Godiva, Ghirardelli, Malley's and Russell Stover) and asked random people to taste which one is the most delicious among the bunch. The chocolates were hidden in bags that were labeled A, B, C and D. The results show that they liked Russell Stover ($12.99, 12 ounces) the most, followed by Ghirardelli ($3.50, 5.25-ounce package), Godiva ($36, 10.6-ounce box) and Malley's ($19.95, 16 ounces).
This just shows that an expensive chocolate doesn't necessarily mean that it's the best tasting of the lot. But, this doesn't give you leeway to just present your Valentines with M&M's or Snicker's (Unless, those are their absolute favourite chocolates, then go ahead. Please wrap these in a pretty box though).
It's still nice to receive chocolates in beautiful packaging. Although, make sure to choose the ones that not only look good, but taste good as well. Chocolates in heart-shaped boxes are also cute and romantic to give as gifts. Some examples mentioned by The Telegraph in a report about chocolates and Valentine's Day are Charbonnel et Walker Pink Marc de Champagne Truffle Hearts (125g, £12.50), Melt hand-painted hollow heart (£17.50) and Hotel Chocolat Sealed With a Kiss collection (£45).
The Independent also suggested to try some chocolates for Valentine's Day 2014 including Emma Bridgewater "I love you more than chocolates" box, £14.95 for 210g, Butlers Valentine Hearts, £5.50 for 300g and East India Company Spice Infused Chocolate Selection Box, £30 for box of 20.
And there you have it, these are some of the best chocolates to give as gifts this Valentine's Day 2014. Have fun shopping for your special someone. Hopefully, he or she shares some sweets with you on V-Day. Enjoy!
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