Roses are red; violets are blue; if you pick the wrong Valentine’s Day candies, you’re screwed. This is our creed at The Takeout, where we take candy very, very seriously. To candy connoisseurs, lackluster Valentine’s candy sends an irredeemable message. It says, “Hey, this is a last-minute gift that I picked up at the convenience store on my way over here. But I love you or whatever.”
There are plenty of delicious Valentine’s treats at your fingertips. Don’t show up with one of these bummer confections.
I have control issues in all aspects of my life, which is why I hate those grocery store endcap chocolate boxes. For one thing, the chocolate is usually rock-hard after sitting on the store shelves since Christmas. Also, it’s just like Forrest Gump said: You never know what you’re gonna get. Once again, you never know what you’re gonna get.
In my experience, a standard 12-piece chocolate assortment contains four or five decent choices swimming in a minefield of lackluster turtles, orthodontia-destroying caramels, and weirdo orange cremes. There are exceptions, of course. Chicago-based Fannie May always rocks my world, and independently owned chocolate shops usually do a killer job since their product is so much fresher. But if it’s shaped like a heart and available at Walgreens next to the floss, I’m probably gonna pass. (Please note: This doesn’t apply to individual candy bars. I get those from Walgreens all the time.) —Lillian Stone
Seconded. I have to say, those assorted chocolate boxes you can get at the drugstore suck ass. (I’m looking specifically at you, Russell Stover and Whitman’s.) What, do you guys fill those chocolates with wax or something? On the surface, the little bonbons look pretty appealing. I mean, who doesn’t like a chocolate-covered caramel, or a raspberry-nougat-filled truffle?
But it’s always that first bite that gets me really mad. The chocolate is always terrible, the fillings are chewy and bland, and what you think is a profession of love actually feels more like a “Hey, there’s something I’ve been meaning to talk to you about. This isn’t going to work out.” —Dennis Lee
Yes, little pastel conversation hearts candies (also known by their Necco brand name, Sweethearts) are basically a universal symbol for Valentine’s Day, but who among us is actually enjoying boxes upon boxes of these treats? The candies are bland at best, and at their worst have the chalky makeup of Tums without the heartburn-alleviating powers. The combination of flavors doesn’t quite gel (Wintergreen, Orange, Lemon-Lime, Blueberry, Banana, Grape, and Cherry), so taking down a handful of these at once leaves a confusing taste behind. And for the record, those little notes on each piece of candy aren’t as endearing as you think. “Be mine”? Don’t tell me what to do! —Brianna Wellen
I understand the aesthetic you’re trying to achieve by disrupting all the typical brown-colored milk and dark chocolate candy with a white chocolate shell, but it’s unnecessary and off-putting. The color is never exactly white (it’s kind of yellow?) and the taste is just wrong for chocolate. I’m sure there are people out there who love a good white chocolate treat, but I promise you, candy companies, they’ll love it more another day. Don’t gamble with your Valentine’s Day customer base just for a visual effect.
Also, white chocolate treats are almost always filled with something fruity that no one asked for. If you’re opting for chocolate at all on this holiday, at least stick to something straightforward. If you don’t, I guarantee that your Valentine will be looking at you thinking, “Was the white chocolate on steep discount or something?” —Angela L. Pagán, staff writer