I am a bit of a chocolate fiend, so when Escape Monthly announced that they would be putting together a special Valentine's Day chocolate box, I immediately ordered it. A small voice in my mind kept hissing, "Hey, remember how disappointing the Holiday box was? You should sit this one out!" But the call of chocolate overwhelmed it. After all, how could I resist a description like this?
Chocolates of the World Bonus Box
Chocolates of the World Bonus Box
We’re excited to announce our very special Chocolates of the World Gift Box—and it’s not just because Valentine’s day is right around the corner. If you’re like us, you’ve always wanted to taste the finest chocolates the world has to offer… but that’s easier said than done! That’s why we’ve searched high and low for the finest artisan-crafted chocolates and put them all into one box.
Included, you’ll find a wide selection of deluxe chocolates, from the most indulgent hand-poured chocolate bars, to the richest fudge, to crunchy sweet toffees and more. And if you’re looking for the perfect Valentine’s gift, look no more (or forward this to your husband!) Say goodbye to the corny, factory-made box of hearts this Valentine’s and give the gift of quality, indulgence, and love—the Chocolates of the World Gift Box!
So, was this really a box of chocolates from around the world? Upon opening it, I was immediately intrigued by several chocolates, so instead of taking my time to take neat, orderly pictures of everything I just tore into things. Sorry. Curiously, this is the first Escape Monthly box I've received that didn't include the price of each item or an extra bonus item. Is that an ominous sign? We'll see...here were the box's contents:
Dante Confections Chocolate Truffles (USA): This little gold box contained two enormous chocolate truffles. One was covered in milk chocolate, the other in dark. They were pretty hefty - about the size of a medium-sized strawberry. The flavor is very rich and creamy - but then, who can resist chocolate dipped in chocolate, right? A box of six of these truffles sells for $16.99, so I'll price this at $5.67.
Mariebelle Aztec Hot Chocolate (Central America): The Aztec were Mexican, but the beans for this hot chocolate come from Venezuela. They are ground and mixed with cocoa liquor, ancho chile, cinnamon and nutmeg. I can't wait to try it - I love Mexican hot chocolate blends! Plus, how pretty is the tin? The 6 oz tin sells for $12.00 on the Mariebelle website.
Nicobella Organics Coco-Nut Munch (Ecuador): Dark chocolate, almonds and toasted coconut compressed into tasty little nuggets. Can I pretend that this is healthy because it's organic? I didn't think so. The Nicobella website sure tries to, though, describing this as an energy-boosting snack full of protein, fiber, and good-for-you fats. Well, it sounds tempting either way. A 2 oz bag is $5.95.
Inspiration Candies Organic Cherry Heart Bites (USA?): These foil-wrapped hearts look like the chocolate found in the candy dish in offices around the country on Valentine's Day. But hidden beneath the typical exterior is organic dark chocolate with bits of buts and a cherry flavoring - a step up from the usual, right? Honestly, I'm really underwhelmed. A 2 oz bag of these costs $10.00 - and there are only five foil-covered hearts inside! What drives the price up? Not the ingredients, but a cheap plastic stand for photos and place settings. Clamped to the top of it is an inspirational quote. Mine read, "Set Impossible Goals And Watch Them To Pass With Hard Work!" Ugly memo holder, so-so chocolates....I feel a little ripped off, to be honest - and it really bothers me that nowhere on the company's website or on the packaging does it state where this was manufactured or where the company is located.
Righteously Raw Maqui Rose Chocolate (Madagascar, South America): I love rose-flavored anything, so I'm really excited about this rose-flavored "superfood truffle" treat. Although after reading the description - Madagascar vanilla beans, Chilean Maqui berry, red raspberry, rose hips - it sounds less floral and more fruity. It was hard to find a price for these, because they aren't sold on the company's website or through a big online retailer like Amazon.com. Someone on eBay sells them for $6.00 each, so that's what I'm going with but I have no idea if that's the actual retail value or not.
Taza Chocolate Mexicano Disk (Mexico): I've seen these before, and I've always wanted to try them. My dark chocolate disk is a "Salted Almond" flavor, which sounds delicious. There's also something really appealing about a palm-sized disk of chocolate - it fits in my palm perfectly! $5.00.
Tazitos Crispy Crunch (Mexico): This mini-chocolate bar - less than an ounce, so it really is tiny! - packs a lot of flavor into a few bites. Another offering from Taza Chocolate, which also makes the Mexicano disk. A case of 20 mini-bars sells for $45, so this little sucker is expensive at $2.25!! I mean, last time I checked a full-sized Nestle Crunch bar was still under $1.00...
Theo Coconut Curry Chocolate Bar (India): One of the reasons I like subscription boxes is that they introduce me to new flavors that I would never find on my own. Case in point: Coconut Curry Milk Chocolate. Sounds gross - I never would have purchased this at the store. But, now that I've got it, I absolutely have to try it. $3.25.
While I'm always happy about new chocolates to try, I have a few caveats about this box that make me less than thrilled with it:
- When I bought the box, it was advertised as containing, "the most indulgent hand-poured chocolate bars, to the richest fudge, to crunchy sweet toffees and more". Uh...there is no toffee in this box. There is no fudge in this box. LAME.
- Escape Monthly boxes always have some sort of book in them that ties into the theme. I understand that you wouldn't put a travel guide in this box, but I was hoping for some chocolate-related book. Why didn't they put one in? It could have been a recipe book, or a history of chocolate...just something.
- If this is "Chocolates of the World", shouldn't the whole world be represented? Where are the European and the Asian chocolates? All I would have needed is a Lindor truffle and a random Japanese candy to be satisfied, but it's totally missing. I mean, it's nice to focus on some unusual ingredients from Latin America, but the vast majority of these chocolates are American and not all that exotic if you visit your local Whole Foods.
This was a box that I think had a lot of potential, but was perhaps a bit rushed in production? The fact that the box only had a little postcard instead of the usual folded brochure really makes it seem like this was put together in a hurry. It's really too bad. But on the plus side, the box's value is over $50.00, and I'm pretty sure that most of this chocolate will be awesome. So I'm just gonna stop whining and start eating.