It’s National Box Of Chocolates day so I thought I’d pay homage to one of the most iconic chocolate boxes this country has to offer: the Whitman’s Sampler.

I don’t have any statistics to back this up, but I’m pretty sure everyone in America, at some point in their life, has either been gifted or purchased a Whitman’s Sampler box on sale at a pharmacy.

And I’d bet that every single one of them has taken a bite out of a funky flavored chocolate and either tossed it out or put it back in that crocheted-looking box.

Yes, we all know that the Whitman’s sampler comes with a handy-dandy little guide on the bottom side of the lid, but most people don’t look at that and go straight for the goodness that’s inside.

What’s insane to me about the sampler is that it holds such a disparity of good chocolate treats inside. They run the gamut from incredible to abhorrent. Thankfully, a kind soul at The Sledgehammer blog did an amazing job reviewing these chocolates, and took some great photos of them to boot.

First, let’s go with the best, in no particular order.

Coconut

the sledgehammer

It’s an almond joy without the almond, only better quality chocolate. If you dislike coconut then you probably won’t like this, but biting into this one won’t offend you if coconut isn’t your thing, unless you absolutely hate the taste. Personally, I think these are pretty good.

 

Caramel

the sledgehammer

It’s hard to argue against the combination of caramel and chocolate. Lap this pillowy, soft-edge square up if you manage to get at the box before everyone else.

 

Cashew Cluster

the sledgehammer

It’s basically a peanut butter cup but with whole nuts surrounded by chocolate. If you have a nut allergy, then damn, I’m sorry because these are gooood.

 

Walnut/Pecan Cluster.

the sledgehammer

You really can’t go wrong with any of the clusters.

 

Chocolate Covered Almonds.

the sledgehammer

Nuts. Covered in chocolate. Yum.

 

Chocolate covered peanuts.

the sledgehammer

Almonds are definitely less basic than peanuts, but come on, these are still very, very yummy.

Chocolate Whip.

the sledgehammer

These little choco-bombs contain a filling that’s similar to Three Musketeers chocolate. Not the best in the box but still pretty darn good.

 

Messenger Boy.

the sledgehammer

It’s just plain milk chocolate with a funky little design, if you like chocolate (if you don’t you’re a monster) then you’ll like this.

 

Toffee Chip.

the sledgehammer

Toffee might be too hard for some people to chew, but it doesn’t change the fact this piece is pretty darn delicious.

 

And now is when the flavors get kind of weird.

 

Almond Nougat.

the sledgehammer

I don’t know what they use to make the almond nougat, but it’s not pleasant. You’ll be spitting this one out.

 

Chocolate Truffle.

the sledgehammer

You think it’d be hard to mess up a chocolate center, but this one has a syrupy flavor to it that’s just too, too much. Such a shame because with a name like Chocolate Truffle you’d figure this would be perfect, but it’s not.

 

Cherry Cordial.

the sledgehammer

Don’t let the name fool you, there’s a reason the chocolate looks like its barfing cherry sludge in this photo, because that’s what you’ll be doing if you eat a full one of these.

Vermont Fudge.

the sledgehammer

I don’t know where they got the name for this strange filling but neither the chocolate nor the nougat do much to make your mouth happy. The aftertaste requires you drink some seltzer with lemon or lime to completely wash it out too, nasty.

 

Molasses Chew.

the sledgehammer

Come on, molasses-flavored anything is already going to be too, too sweet for human consumption. The fact that they made a whole nougat out of it is a terrible idea. Steer clear of the unique white and dark chocolate design on this piece’s exterior. It’s like a poison dart-frog warning you of how nasty it is.

Now I’d get into Russell Stover’s offerings, but BuzzFeed pretty much summed up all of my thoughts on the box of nastiness that somehow gets gifted to people on Valenteine’s Day year after year. The worst part about the Russell Stover box is that the only reason some of the pieces taste “all right” is because you’ve probably bitten into that horrible strawberry cream garbage one first.

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