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Chocolates are one of the classic gifts on Valentine's Day
These are the best chocolates for Valentine's Day on the supermarket shelves in Spain, according to OCU
Valentine's Day

These are the best chocolates for Valentine's Day on the supermarket shelves in Spain, according to OCU

The leading Spanish consumer organisation analysed eleven different products to establish which is the best buy for a gift on 14 February

Tuesday, 13 February 2024, 16:00

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Any excuse is a good one to enjoy this treat, and even more so now that one of the biggest days of the year to enjoy chocolate is approaching. The sale of chocolate rockets on Valentine's Day as it is one of the gifts that traditionally do not fail on 14 February, both for him and for her.

With Valentine's Day just around the corner, Spain's OCU organisation of consumers and users has drawn up a ranking of the best chocolates to purchase after it analysed eleven products on sale in the supermarkets. The report considered the best nutritional value according to the type of fats, sugars, additives and how much processing of the product. A panel of expert confectioners was also used to evaluate the best taste, smell and texture.

In its study, the OCU confirmed that the chocolates analysed had a high energy density; on average, a 10 gram chocolate contains 58 kilocalories. But the problem is not this energy value, according to the organisation, but that they come from fat and sugar. The OCU therefore recommends that they should only be eaten occasionally and in moderation.

Taste

The base of a chocolate bonbon should be cocoa butter and sugar, but eight of the eleven products in the analysis replaced some of the cocoa butter with cheaper fats such as palm, palm kernel, coconut or milk fat, according to the OCU study. In the most striking cases, up to four different fats were found in the same chocolate.

Another, less widespread problem (appearing in three of the eleven samples) was the substitution of glucose syrups for part of the sugar.

Lowering the sugar or cocoa butter content by substituting cheaper (and poorer quality) alternatives affected the taste, with these products not as enjoyable to eat as other similar ones.

Regardless of the consumer's taste, whether they prefer a plain chocolate or one with a filling, with praline or liqueur, the OCU highlighted a series of properties that define what makes a good chocolate, which are:

- Bright colour

- Smooth surface with no white spots reflecting fat crystallisation

- If it has a filling, it should have a thin layer of chocolate covering it, which melts in the mouth as quickly as possible and releases the filling. The filling should be pleasant, without excess sweetness or excess fat

- If there is no filling, the chocolate should melt in the mouth. In any case, the cocoa flavour should be notable

But this is not always the case in some products: sometimes the fat has crystallised, or the chocolate is too thick and does not melt in the mouth, or it is so sweet that the cocoa butter and flavour are not noticeable.

The best

According to the OCU, the best chocolate on sale in supermarkets is the Ferrero Rocher classic, with a retail price of 5.89 euros/200g (29.45 euros/kg). It also stood out for its balanced taste and good texture.

In second place was another Italian bonbon, Ferrero Pocket Coffee, a bonbon filled with a thin layer of dark chocolate and a creamy, sweetened coffee interior that has a powerful flavour and a neat layer of chocolate on the outside. It is priced at 4.89 euros/225g (21.73 euros/kg), which is why it was considered a top buy by the OCU.

Third place on the podium goes to Ferrero Mon Cheri, with a price that works out at 31.68 euros per kilo.

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