Finally, FINALLY, after a long week of waiting, my See's chocolates have arrived.
Because I have been making such a gd fuss about it on Twitter, people have been asking if they are REALLY so good. Er...I'm not sure. That is, I know I like them, and I've never found an equal to the Butterscotch Square---but I haven't compared to many other higher-cost chocolates, and the non-Butterscotch-Squares don't strike me as being Beyond! Compare!, and I think hardly anything is worth $20/pound plus shipping, and probably I wouldn't have spent the money if I hadn't had some gift money burning a hole in my pocket plus the recent annual discussion with Paul where we decide not to do Valentine's Day. I think on a regular day I would get more satisfaction per dollar out of $20 worth of Dove chocolates with almonds, or $20 worth of peanut M&Ms. But because having expensive candy is a rare thing, and because it was kind of a thrilling situation to have ordered them for myself (and I added a mug at the last minute, and the mug came with another little box of candy), and because my appetite for Butterscotch Squares was whetted by Doing My Best's Crappy Day Present of See's---well, I got kind of WORKED UP about the package arriving, and about trying other kinds to see if perhaps there was another Butterscotch-Square-level candy among them.
The first thing I noticed was that the first box I picked up felt like it weighed more than a pound. I have a postal scale, so I checked it:
My two 1-pound boxes together weighed just a teeny bit less than 2.5 pounds. Packing techniques can vary, and also probably the pre-assorted chocolates are much closer to an actual pound than the pick-your-own boxes, so I wouldn't want to make a big THING about this and then have us all disappointed if we ordered boxes later that were "only" a pound---but it certainly was a happy discovery. That's like a free $10-worth-of-chocolate-plus-shipping right there.
Now. Let's open the boxes:
Oh, wait, I forgot to switch it to my camera's "Blogger Mode":
The one I wanted most to try was the Milk Bordeaux. I've mentioned (perhaps OVER-mentioned) that my favorite is the Butterscotch Square, which is described as "Firm brown sugar buttercream." Milk Bordeaux is described as "Brown sugar buttercream," so I've been wondering how it differs from the Butterscotch Square. I have now tried both and am ready to make my report: the Bordeaux is more like a regular buttercream, with a dense (I'd say it's as dense as the truffles), sweet, very smooth and creamy filling that tastes only a little bit like brown sugar (primary flavor is "sweet"); whereas the Butterscotch Square has a grained texture like actual packed brown sugar, and also tastes like actual packed brown sugar. The Bordeaux also has a layer of little chocolate bits (like jimmies, but better) over the chocolate coating, and I don't like those: messy and I dislike the texture.
So to me, Butterscotch Square wins HANDS DOWN NO CONTEST. The Bordeaux is NICE, and I'd put it in the lower middle tier of my own favorites, with Butterscotch Square in the top tier and Ginger in the lower tier (I got Ginger in a mixed box once and I don't remember if I spit it out or if I just didn't finish the piece---it was like a strongly-flavored ginger-root gumdrop covered in dark chocolate that peeled off brittley when I bit) (oh, ick: that gave me a taste/texture flashback).
Next I wanted to try the stripey one. It's a Blueberry Truffle, and I didn't expect to like it so I only put it at 5% of one box (in this case, 5% of a 1-pound box was one truffle). But I DO like it! Middle tier, possibly even upper-middle. Nice blueberry flavor, some of it "blueberry candy" flavor and some of it "actual blueberry-the-fruit" flavor, and it's a very pretty color with flecks of what is either blueberry skin or a very nice approximation of it.
From there I moved on to the California Brittle. I was excited to try this because I love Skor bars and Heath bars, and this looked like an upscale version. I got three large pieces of this (they're on the far right of the lower box in my photo) and I would definitely get more next time: SO YUMMY. The brittle was just the right type of brittle: it shatters exactly right, neither hurting the teeth nor being too sticky, and the nuts made it even better. In my top tier: I'd still choose a Butterscotch Square over it, but they can keep company.
Last, I tried a Pecan Bud. This is another large piece, like the California Brittle (the Pecan Buds are on the far left of the lower box in my photo: two slots are double-stacked Pecan Buds, and one is an extra-large Pecan Bud all by itself). I THINK I like them very much, but it will take another try to be sure (good thing I have five of them): I was expecting more chocolate per pecan, so the first piece I tried was a little disappointing---but that doesn't mean I won't love them when I go into it knowing what to expect. ...In fact, I'm going to have another one right now to see. Yes, this time it was much better. These would be lower-upper tier, except that I feel like anyone can put caramel and chocolate on some pecans. Even _I_ could put caramel and chocolate on some pecans. So although these are very yummy and I really like them, I probably wouldn't ORDER them at $20/pound again.
Five flavors down, fifteen more to go!
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