The quest for the best V-Day chocolate

By Jack Shafer, Staff Writer

Fellow students, Valentine’s Day is tomorrow, and you are poor.

Forgot to get a gift for your significant other because you are a full-time student in extra-curricular activities who has enough money in your bank account to have a fun Saturday night and enough gas to last until next week? I have got you covered.

Here is a list of the best heart-shaped box of chocolates - an iconic yet easy gift to buy on Cupid’s holiday. I will be ranking based on price, box appearance and quality of the chocolate.

“Chocolate, did you say chocolate?”

Why yes, yes I did. In fact, the specific chocolate we will be dealing with is from a close and frequently-visited store made for the college student - Walmart. Ferrero Rocher, Russell Stover, Ghirardelli, Hershey’s and a chocolate company I had never heard of before, Elmer Chocolate.

Ferraro Rocher: This one should get some bonus points simply because of the eloquence of the name itself. The box I bought was $5. Keeping it cheap is nice, but this is a smaller heart-shaped box of chocolates that has a clear lid to see the eight “fine assorted confections.” The box is good quality and the chocolates inside live up to their description. Their golden-wrapped hazelnut truffles are pretty great, and the chocolate melts in your mouth. It accents the crunchy hazelnut shell perfectly. The net weight is 3.1 oz, to give you an idea of how small this box is. My Score: 7/10

Russell Stover: Everyone loves dogs, right? Well, what attracted me to this $3 box was a heart-melting picture of two puppies with a pink heart around them. The box quality is alright. The picture was cute, but besides that, it is nothing special. The chocolate inside the box saves the rating, though. I randomly picked a caramel filled milk chocolate square, and it was mighty good. The chocolate pieces are also the biggest out of the boxes I tried. The chocolate tasted good but had a dryness to them that I didn’t enjoy,  and the fact that they were huge didn’t help, either. They were way too chewy. Unfortunately, the gimmick of the cute pups is quickly forgotten by the cheap feel to the box. The net weight is 3.5 oz. My Score: 6/10

Ghirardelli: This version of Ghirardelli’s Valentine’s box is $5. It is a pink heart filled with milk chocolate caramel duet hearts. They come in their own individual packaging, which is nice. The box quality could use some work, though. It is a creative design, but compared to this similarly priced Ferraro Rocher box, the quality of the box could use an upgrade. The duet hearts were really good, though. They are thin chocolates in the shape of two hearts that have just a hint of caramel in them. Because of their size, they are really easy to eat and also have the “melt in your mouth” quality. Net Weight? 3.5 oz. My Score: 8.5/10

Hershey’s: This is the only non heart-shaped box on the list. It is a red, square box with small, dark red hearts on the cover. But, it is also the biggest by far, and only for $5.98 with a net weight of 10 oz. The variety of the chocolate in this box is superb. I tried four, and each one was very nice quality. With each taste of the The ooey-gooey golden goodness inside the “Pot of Gold” brand deserves my highest score yet, 9.5/10.

Elmer Chocolate: This heart shaped box comes with pictures of roses in the center. It is made from a hard plastic that is sturdy. With the pricetag being $3 in comparison to the large, 6.8 oz box, I had my doubts. No wonder I had never heard of it - it is not anything special. Although the box was the best quality of any of the others, the quality of chocolate fell short. My mouth seemed like it wanted to expel the chocolate from my taste buds. They were dry and had hints of chalkiness. I would recommend giving this one to your significant other if you plan on tomorrow being your last Valentine’s Day together. Remember, quality does matter. If you were to spend $3, spend your money on a smaller, better-tasting box. My Score: 4.5/10

So there you have it, boxes of chocolate that won’t break the bank but will make your loved ones think you put a little more than panicked, last day thinking into their gift. My pick of the lot would be the Hershey’s, but if you are wanting to spend $23, you can try them all for yourself. Happy Valentine’s Day.

PHOTO: Jack Shafer, Staff Writer