Friday, April 18, 2014

Milk Chocolate Bunny Taste Test

Not all milk chocolate bunnies are created equal.

As Easter approaches, convenience stores are devoting entire aisles of merchandise to Easter-themed candy like marshmallows chicks and chocolate bunnies. Different brands attempt to lure buyers with decorative packaging and additives like caramel or crunchy rice cereal. Even the pure chocolate options vary in flavor because of the different formulas used for production.

I gathered 5 friends to do a blind tasting of 10 milk chocolate bunnies of varying shapes and density.

Milk chocolate refers to any solid chocolate that has been mixed with milk in its powdered, liquid, or condensed form. The most common ingredient in all of the samples was sugar, followed by cocoa butter, milk, or chocolate in varying orders. Soy lecithin, vanillin, and polyglycerol polyricinoleate (PGPR) were added as flavor-enhancers and emulsifiers. The top rated samples were among the few options that listed chocolate in the first three ingredients.

Two of the selected eight brands make chocolate bunnies in both solid and hollow form, so samples of each were brought in. The verdict? Most samples were deemed too sweet and artificial tasting. The darkest bunny took the win.

Cadbury Hollow Milk Chocolate Bunny
$6.49 for 3.5 ounces
This chocolate was overly sticky, which testers found unpleasant. “Uncomfortable texture.” “Sticks to teeth and tongue.” “Stuck to back of throat.” “Very creamy.” “Doesn’t taste chocolate-y enough.” “Grainy.” “Tastes salty and a little sour.”

Cadbury Dairy Milk Solid Milk Chocolate
$6.49 for 6 ounces
The taste was standard, but no one could get past the texture. “Sticky texture.” “Melts and sticks all up in your grill.” “Standard milk chocolate.” “Tastes a little sour.” “Boring, but tasty.” “Clean aftertaste.”

Dove Silky Smooth Solid Milk Chocolate Bunny — Winner
$4.99 for 4.5 ounces
This earned the most votes for tasting like dark chocolate. “Less sweet and more bitter.” “A bit darker  — very nice.” “Good flavor.” “Crumbly, but sticks to mouth.” “A bit more bitter than the others.” “Snap, crackle, pop.” “Very crunchy.”

Godiva Chocolatier Milk Chocolate Solid Bunny
$7.99 for 5 ounces
A complexity here that lacked in others, a quality some tasters enjoyed, but others found disconcerting. “Semisweet at first, then caramel notes with a dark finish.” “Mysterious… What is this chocolate bunny hiding?” “Highlights of licorice, orange zest, and grass?” “Tastes like fake chocolate.” “Burnt wood or burnt almonds.” “Crunchy in texture.” “Not too sweet.”

Hershey’s Solid Milk Chocolate Speedy Bunny — Runner Up
$4.99 for 5 ounces
A very controversial sample. Testers felt strongly about this one. One attempted to revoke his vote when the brad was revealed. “Solid all-around great flavor.” “Smells like Hershey’s or Disney World.” “No bitter aftertaste.” “Heaven must be a chocolate river in Willy Wonka’s factory made of this celestial elixir.” “Too dry and flaky.” “Not creamy or smooth at all.”

Lindt Gold Bunny — Last Place
$3.99 for 3.5 ounces
Surprisingly, this was the most universally disliked sample due to its caramel-like taste. “Not really chocolate.” “Almost a caramel or butterscotch taste.” “Super sweet in a gross cloying way.” “Sticks to your teeth.” “Sickly sweet.”

Palmer Solid Milk Chocolate
99 cents for 2.25 ounces
No one had anything nice to say about the least expensive of the bunch. “Tastes stale, like it was forgotten at the back of the pantry.” “Tastes dry and too sweet. “Gross aftertaste.” “Lingers more than others.”

Russell Stover Milk Chocolate Hollow
$1.69 for 1.5 ounces
Tasters liked the smooth texture of the thin chocolate shell, but were less than impressed with the bitter aftertaste. “Sweet at first, with a slightly bitter aftertaste.” “Melts in your mouth, but slightly bitter.” “A little chalky in appearance, yet silky on the tongue.” “Smells like cheap chocolate.”

Russell Stover Solid Milk Chocolate
$1.99 for 1.5 ounces
Many noted a bitter aftertaste, and found no redeeming qualities. “I think they forgot to add sugar.” “Is this even chocolate?” “Wrong move.” “Tastes fake.”

Whitman’s Sampler Solid Milk Chocolate
$1.99 for 3 ounces
A nice crunch brought life to this otherwise basic sample. “Not too sweet.” “Clean aftertaste.” “If this chocolate was a jazz musician, it would be Kenny G… smooth.”

No comments:

Post a Comment