Chocolate taste test for Valentine's Day: We tested Russell Stover, Ghirardelli, Glacier, Dutchess

Our taste testers put different brands to the test

TULSA  - This time of year chocolate is a symbol of love, so to make sure you're getting a sweet deal we went shopping. 

We purchased chocolate from two randomly chosen local confectioners: Dutchess Chocolates in midtown Tulsa and Glacier Confection in downtown Tulsa. 

We also bought two well-known brands available at the supermarket: Russell Stover and Ghirardelli.

Our volunteer taste testers are Shannon Harris, manager of Ann's Bakery in Tulsa; Lia Lewis, Pastry Arts Instructor at Platt College; Jeff Stark, executive chef with the Downtown Doubletree by Hilton hotel and Becky Chapman owner of the Melting Pot in Tulsa and Oklahoma City.
 

Don't forget about the champagne! Check out which bottle of bubbly under $20 was chosen in our Champagne Taste Test at http://bit.ly/XdTe8S


Each piece of chocolate was plated by No. 1, 2, 3 or 4 so our testers had no idea which brand of chocolate they were sampling.   

Sample 1: Milk chocolate with chocolate cream inside

"I think my favorite is 4, I like the fact that it does not look machine-made, looks handmade," said Jeff Stark.  

"My favorite by far is No. 3, I thought the shell was definitely more silky and smooth," said Becky Chapman.

Overall, three of our tasters chose chocolate 3.

Sample 2: Dark chocolate with raspberry filling

"I love the nougat on No. 2, that was really yummy," said Becky Chapman.  

But after sampling all 4, Becky and the other three testers decided 4 was the across-the-board favorite.

Sample 3: Milk chocolate with a caramel filling

"I think 3 has the best caramel filling," said Lia Lewis.  

"I would probably pick 4 just because I like the chewy better," said Shannon Harris.  

Sample 4: Milk chocolate with pecans and caramel
 
"Four is my favorite, seems most simple wholesome flavors," Lewis said.

Overall, chocolates 3 and 4 were chosen as favorites in each category.

This is how the chocolate was labeled:

1 - Dutchess Chocolates
2 - Russell Stover
3 - Glacier Confection
4 - Ghirardelli

Meaning the winners were...

Milk chocolate with chocolate cream - Glacier Confection
Dark chocolate with raspberry filling - Ghirardelli
Milk chocolate with caramel - Ghirardelli and Glacier Confection 
Milk chocolate with caramel and pecans - Ghirardelli and Glacier Confection

There was a big range in prices for the top two chocolate brands. 

An entire box of about 18 Ghirardelli chocolates was less than $11. The same amount of chocolates at Glacier Confection would cost around $30, but you would be supporting a local business.

What do you really know about Valentine's Day? Only true romantics will be able to answer all 10 questions correctly! Find our quiz here http://bit.ly/XrY8gL

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