So what’s in the box?

My mother liked to push her thumb into pieces of chocolate to glimpse the filling without taking a bite. I hated it because when I opened the box, I saw a bunch of squashed soft chocolates lying around like road kill crushed by a passing truck.

She did not like the soft ones. Nor did I, but to look in the box of dead chocolates was unappealing.

“How can I tell if I like them or not?”

“How about taking a bite and if you don’t like it, throw it away. Why do you leave  it?’

“Because someone may want it.”




“It’s awful, Mom.”

“Oh, get off.” (Her oft heard phrase to dismiss us)

Even though Mom has been gone for years, every time I open a box of choolates, I have a moment of pause. What’s inside that tiny cube of chocolate? This one here? What if I picked one of those mushy soft green things?

I wanted anything chewy, like the caramel. Or the fudge. How would I know? I looked it up and I found that chocolatiers have some advice.

If a guide comes with the box of chocolates, trust it.

If not, you can use this:

Soft centers = soft shapes. If the chocolate has a rounded top or rounded edges, you can assume the filling will be soft and creamy. Buttercreams are almost always domed. So are cherry cordials.

Bolder flavors = bolder angular shapes

Soft caramels are almost always square. Fudges are also square, but usually a little bigger than caramels. Chewy caramels are rectangular.

Those with foils mean solid chocolate. And clues are in the colors.  A lemon-flavored chocolate might get a swath of yellow.  A passionfruit might get a stripe of pink. And a white dot or two could signal coconut.

OK, I’ll give it a try. But I don’t trust it.

Mom never did.

© 2017