For Valentine's Day, Americans will spend close to a billion dollars on chocolate.
Just in time for the sweet day, Consumer Reports taste tests boxed chocolate to find the absolute best.
New specialty chocolate shops feature unusual flavors and fillings. There's chocolate with fresh squeezed lemon and some with spiced wine at celebrity chef Jacques Torre's shop. He knows firsthand the magic of chocolate.
Consumer reports just tested a wide variety of chocolate gift boxes to find the best.
These three earned the highest ratings, Norman Love Confections, Martines Gift Box with Assorted Creams, and John and Kira's Jubilee Wood Gift Box.
John and Kira's Jubilee Assortment, mostly chocolates, but what they're about is the intense, explosive flavors like a handful of mint you picked out of your garden, raspberries like you pulled them off a berry bush.
The 18 ounce gift box goes for $65. Martine's 16 ounce gift box costs a couple of dollars less.
Real tradition chocolates, milk, dark, some white. But they too, have really amazing fillings. There was real whipped cream inside, crunchy nuts, and liquid caramels. Norman Love Creations for $37 a half pound is another top-rated gift box.
Very artful, but the flavors make them unique. You've got pineapple upside down cake. You've got cheesecake fillings. There's an apple pie flavoring that tastes like you've bitten into a big, thick rich apple pie with a buttery crust.
Besides these very expensive chocolates, Consumer Reports found two best buys that also rated excellent. The $40, one-pound box of Candinas has ultra smooth dark and milk chocolates with fresh traditional fillings.
The Jacques Torres one-pound assortment for $43 is also a Consumer Reports best buy with high quality chocolate and more unusual fillings.
If the prices of those top-rated chocolates are too steep, testers suggest See's Famous Old Time Assorted.
It has a wide assortment of milk and dark chocolates and rated very good.
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