With its varied surprises, life may be like a box of chocolates but there’s no reason a box of chocolates has to be.With considerable chocolate-testing experience, 360 offers these clues and suggestions to help you better navigate your next box of chocolate, be it given by another as a seasonal token of affection or purchased for your own indulgence — after all, you are pretty wonderful.
If you’re looking at four corners with equal sides, it’s highly probable that there’s caramel inside.
Before you snatch up that caramel-looking square, look at additional clues including the type of chocolate on the outside, as well as any exterior markings. A plain milk chocolate exterior is more likely to surround plain caramel — dark chocolate or any kind of decor might indicate that your caramel will include some extras.
More often than not, rectangles have a chewy or crunchy interior. This makes sense, if you think about it, because they are typically cut from larger sheets of candy. Buttery toffee, sticky or chewy nougats and flaky nut-based centers are all things you’re likely to find inside a chocolate-covered rectangle.
Round chocolates generally have soft interiors and are more likely than ovals to have very soft or near-liquid interiors. Think cherry cordials, super-soft caramels and truffles. Round chocolates may also include any of the soft interiors generally found in ovals.
Like circles, oval chocolates are likely to have soft centers such as smooth creams, airy whips, rich fudge and even fluffy marshmallow. Coconut or fruit fillings are almost always likely to be in a round or oval chocolate.
A chocolate in a dark ruffled liner is likely different from its non-lined neighbors. You are likely looking at something that contains nuts or has a near-liquid interior. Obviously this won’t be a helpful clue if all the chocolates are lined.
A rough top surface suggests that something nutty or crunchy is inside.
Pure, unfilled chocolates are likely to be thin and shaped in some way as if they came from a mold — because they probably did.
Note exterior markings for clues about what’s inside, for example, contrasting chocolate markings can mean more chocolate is inside. Besides contrasting swirls, some chocolatiers go so far as to top their treats with whole or ground nuts (nutty interior), salt (salted caramel), coconut or sprinkles.