Boxed Chocolates: Best In Taste Tests

FRESNO, Calif.

The chocolates at this candy store are sure to delight - there's something special for everyone!

"I definitely expect to get some this Valentine's Day."

"I could go with the, y'know, 3 Musketeer Bar most days, but sometimes you want something a little better."

Do you need to splurge to find the very best? Consumer reports rated 29 boxes of chocolate, from pricey assortments that go for $75 a box and up to these collections for much less. Testers found big differences.

"The more expensive chocolates tended to be smooth in texture and melt in your mouth, whereas the cheaper chocolates were a bit gritty," Ellen Klosz said.

Ingredients count, too. The best chocolates had fresh nuts or real fruit flavors. But in the cheaper boxes, artificial flavors and even stale ingredients were more common.

In all, 12 assortments rated excellent - but these mouth-watering chocolates will cost you.

One of the best - these Norman Love Confections that cost about $50 for a 12-ounce box.

"The fillings are unusual. They're not traditional. You have key lime, passion fruit, and even peanut butter and jelly," Klosz said.

Many of the top chocolates are available online, but be aware that shipping fees can really boost the cost - even double it - so be sure to check the shipping costs.

Consumer reports also found some best buys that aren't quite as good but cost much less, including see's assorted chocolates, at $16 a pound, and the Ferrero Collection Fine Assorted Confections - $9 for about nine ounces.

"Thank you."

And if you're lucky enough to receive a special assortment this Valentine's Day, don't save them. The best chocolates are meant to be enjoyed at their freshest - often within a week or two.

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