09 February 2014

Valentine's Candy Roundup

If grocery store aisles are any indication (they are), Valentine’s Day has been upon us for quite some time.  But now it’s really upon us, so I thought I would do a Valentine’s Day candy/treats roundup.  I had to take all of these pictures when I was in Loblaws and it was really embarrassing.  It’s probably too late this year, but hopefully this guide will give you a good idea of what to give me next year.  If you can’t be bothered to get through the entire post, the short answer is sugar cookies.

Hershey's chocolate is actually pretty terrible, but I have always loved Hershey's Kisses.  I used to always love their advertisements, probably because almost all of them featured an animated Kiss and I always thought that was cute (and maybe kind of rare?  I can't really think of any other candy advertisements like that).  But they were also a lot of fun to unwrap because you typically only had to pull the paper string to pull the foil off.  They were also the perfect size to pop in your mouth and let melt.  The pointed tip was a fun feature because you could feel it become more and more dull in your mouth until it disappeared all together.

I have never had a chocolate rose, but I love this idea.  The ones in the middle look slightly better than the Toblerones, but probably aren't because they're a cheap unbranded chocolate.  I think Lindt make chocolate roses that more closely resemble the ones in the middle. I just feel like the Toberlone roses really suffer from the cardboard packaging.  I don't know if they're shaped like a rose inside (probably not), but if you're going to market your chocolate this way, it really should look like a rose.

I love Cinnamon Hearts.  They have always been my favourite Valentine's Day candy.  I love stuffing a handful in my mouth at once, sucking on them for a while, and then starting to chew, but because there's so many of them, they form one giant ball and then you just suck the sugar out by filtering your saliva through the candy.  It's amazing.  I also suspect that all of my dental problems can probably be traced back to the first time I was introduced to these candies, but I have no regrets.

By no means do I hate these cheap, generic chocolates that always seem to come in this plastic netting, but it seems like everyone gets this chocolate at every holiday, and it's always the chocolate you put aside and forget about because there's way better candy to eat.  And then a while later you discover it again and resign yourself to eating it because you've already gone through everything else.  And you know what?  It's actually kind of good.

Ferrero Rocher wins every time. Goddamn, these are so good. SO GOOD.  I tend to prefer packaging that you unwrap rather than tear open, and these are perfect because every chocolate is like a little present (and a gift from God).  I also love how easy it is to cut them in half with your teeth, and then to keep one half in your mouth and examine the cross-section of the other half.

I typically like every Lindt product, so I guess these chocolates are fine.  I mean, the chocolates themselves are really good, but one of the best things about Lindt as a company is that they're pretty inventive with their holiday chocolates.  They put out those chocolate bunnies wrapped in gold and those adorable chocolate carrots wrapped in orange, so I always got the impression that this was just left-over chocolate that they didn't know what to do with.

This is a terrible picture, but someone was standing right next to me and I was too embarrassed to reposition the Smarties to get a proper picture.  Anyway, they're just regular Smarties, but they're only red and pink (or would be if Smarties hadn't gotten rid of their artificial colours).  Like the Lindt chocolates above, I've always found this kind of holiday candy to be pretty lazy.  Smarties does a much better job with their heart-shaped boxes, shown below.

Way better, right? There's probably less Smarties in here and it probably costs more, but I like that Nestle made the effort to come out with a Valentine's Day product.  Even though it seems pretty uninspired, I actually really like it because a heart-shaped box full of chocolates is such a traditional Valentine's Day gift.  I also like that they include the e To and From options.  Unfortunately the product itself is no longer edible, so don't get me this please.

Did anyone know that these were called Golden Buds?  I always assumed they were just Rosettes.  Weird.  Anyway, I never really liked these chocolates.  They remind me of the kind of chocolate you might find at Fields.  Probably because the only time I've ever had these, I bought them at Fields.  I've never liked Nielson as a company, and I don't care who knows it.

Okay, so here Lindt is getting a bit more interesting with the small bear and the 4 hearts.  But this, first of all, is tiny, and second of all, really pales in comparison to what they offer at Easter (the chocolate for which, by the way, is also available in stores now).  I wouldn't like to get this for Valentine's Day because it would make me think that whoever gave it to me was not ready to fully commit to our relationship.  Obviously I would still eat it, but I would question their devotion to me.

Okay, here's Lindt upping their game once again.  The one on the left looks pretty interesting, but unfortunately I didn't examine it closer when I was in the store, so who knows what's inside.  It looks like the white box just contains those round balls, which are delicious, so that's great.  But jeeze louise, $10.99?  Here's a hot tip: those Lindt balls are always really cheap at the Dollarama, and they often go on sale at Shopper's Drug Mart.

Nice try, Loblaws, but these President's Choice Mini Chocolate Cupcakes are not even Valentine's Day-specific.  I would guess that they're having a hard time selling these things because they look so disgusting, so they slipped them in here hoping that some fool would buy them.  Ugh.  Who would buy these?  Why wouldn't you get the 2-bite brownies? They're probably so much better than these.  Sometimes PC really drops the ball.

Okay, I know I said that I like Hershey's Kisses, but I would hate it if anyone got this for me.  I think I already mentioned that Hershey's chocolate is pretty bad, but look at this pathetic packaging.  It looks like this was produced by a generic no-name company that decided to try their hand at chocolate and have no idea what their doing or by a company that is losing its edge and is in rapid decline.  I mean, it looks like it could be either, but the truth is that it's the latter.  Tacky, tacky, tacky.

I don't like Reese anything, but I appreciate the effort here.  I can see how someone who really likes Reese would be happy with this.  I guess my only complaint is that unlike the Smarties box, this one is too... I don't know, obviously just a chocolate bar re-purposed for Valentine's Day.  Does that many any sense?  The Smarties box was at least a heart-shaped box, with a lid that you lift off, but this is just, what?  A heart-shaped something-or-other inside of a box?  I don't like the packaging here.

Kinder Surprise is doing a better job with packaging here than Reese, but still a pretty pathetic offering.  I really think that companies should re-imagine their products for holidays, not just put two Kinder Surprise eggs inside of a cardboard heart.  I would hope that at the very least the toys would be Valentine's related, but I bet they're not.  It just shows a lack of dedication.

At first I thought these were those awful chalky hearts in a cardboard box, but they're actually some sort of chocolate.  I say "some sort" because I doubt they're actually chocolate.  They probably are very similar in quality to those fifteen discount advent calendars that I got from my sister for Christmas. The only other thing I have to say about these is that I really hate it when emoticons are used in unnecessary ways.  And "happy v-day"? I hate it. I hate everything about it.

Loblaws didn't actually carry these, and good for them because I hate these chalk-hearts and always have.  I was also always really frustrated by the pathetic messages on them.  "Love You" is fine, but sometimes the messages are so fine.  I think that these days they actually say things like "Text Me."  Text you what?  Text you and tell you that a disgusting chalk-heart told me so but that I was too afraid to eat it because they all look so dirty and old even when their messages are as contemporary as "Text Me"? 

All I want to say as a closing note is that Valentine's is a big chocolate holiday, so I really can't stand it when companies are lazy with their products--mostly because I know that the idiots who buy those products are also lazy with their significant others.  Look, we can't all bake our loved ones a cake and send it to them in the mail, but we can make an effort to buy the most relevant-themed chocolate that is available and to hold these companies to higher standards.


  1. Ok. First of all, I'm surprised you haven't mentioned your dental problems before, and I'm even more surprised to hear that you have no regrets. Really? None? NO regrets? Because oh my god if I had to get all sorts of mouth grafts I'd probably have like...at least one regret. But secondly? Secondly, I am OUTRAGED that this is the first and ONLY time you have mentioned those discount advent calendars! Do you know what it was like to go through the checkout at buy-low and unload 15 discount advent calendars into my cart? It was really shameful, and it deserved at least an instagram post, the stack of them. Ugh!

    1. Oh, but I don't hold cinnamon hearts responsible for my gum problems. That's pretty much a result of terrible genetics.

      But I mean, sure. It was a bit of an overstatement to say that I have no regrets. Actually, I regret every single event in my life that might have contributed to my current dental state. And also the events that certainly didn't contribute. I regret everything.

    2. Oh, except that I don't regret not devoting more time to those 15 advent calendars.

  2. From. I unloaded them from my cart.

    1. But you also unloaded 15 discounted advent calendars from a discount bin into your cart, so that must have been pretty shameful too.