How to Decode a Box of Chocolates

Have a box of chocolates, but want to know which filling is which? Use this cheat sheet to find your favorite flavors.

Photo by Tom Schierlitz

Life has its share of mysteries, but the contents of a box of drugstore chocolates (think Russell Stover and Godiva) doesn’t have to be one of them. Most follow the same plan, largely for practical reasons. Square and rectangular treats typically have crunchy or chewy centers: “Fillings like caramel and toffee cool on large slabs, then are cut at right angles and dipped in chocolate,” says Tom Ward, the president and CEO of Russell Stover. Circular and oval treats almost always contain soft fillings, such as ganache or cream. Nut candies have easy-to-read bumpy surfaces. And a shiny foil wrapper signals an ooey-gooey liquid center, like the cherry cordial spilling forth here. (The foil protects against leaks.) See, you do know what you’re going to get. Sorry, Mama Gump!

Top Treats
Which chocolate in a heart-shaped box is the most likely to disappear first? According to a 2013 survey by the National Confectioners Association, the classic caramel is the most loved—about 34 percent of those polled called it their favorite. Second place goes to nut-filled, and chocolate ganache takes the bronze.