Easy Tricks for Decoding What's Inside a Box of Chocolates (So You Always Know What You're Going to Get)

So you received a box of chocolates—but do you know which filling is which? Use this guide to figure out which chocolates you really love.

Valentine's Day Chocolates
Photo: bluestocking/Getty Images

Life has its share of mysteries, but the contents of a box of chocolates doesn't have to be one of them. Fortunately for chocolate lovers everywhere—and recipients of the classic Valentine's Day heart-shaped box of chocolates—most follow the same plan, largely for practical reasons. Read on for our guide to all the chocolates in your chocolate box, so you can easily find and remember your favorites (and skip the ones you dislike).

For a guide (with pictures, of course) to your chocolate box, see our chart below. You'll be picking your favorite candy from the rest in a snap.

Chocolate Box Guide: How to Decode a Box of Valentine’s Day Chocolates
Written by Heath Goldman; designed by Rebecca Hart

See a larger version of our chocolate box guide here.

The Ultimate Guide to Your Box of Chocolates

01 of 04

Square and rectangular chocolates

Chocolate box guide - types of chocolates (toffee or caramel-filled chocolates)

Square or rectangular chocolates are almost always filled with a crunchy or chewy toffee or caramel filling. When toffees and caramels are made, they're hot and liquidy. "[They] cool on large slabs, then are cut at right angles and dipped in chocolate," says Tom Ward, the president and CEO of Russell Stover. This ensures no goodness is wasted.

RELATED: Valentine's Day Gifts for Her

02 of 04

Circular and oval chocolates

Chocolate box guide - types of chocolates (ganache or cream-filled chocolates)

Rounded chocolates always contain soft fillings like ganache or cream. Think milk or dark chocolate truffles, vanilla cream, and raspberry cream. In production, the soft centers get scooped or piped into circular rounds and then drizzled with chocolate.

03 of 04

Chocolates with bumpy surfaces

Chocolate box guide - types of chocolates (nut candies)

If the surface isn't smooth (read: bumpy on top), it's probably a nut candy. They're basically lumpy piles of nuts (such as peanuts, almonds, or cashews) held together with a chocolate coating. Sometimes they come in paper linings, like peanut butter cups.

04 of 04

Chocolates wrapped in a shiny foil wrapper

Chocolate box guide - types of chocolates (foil-wrapped chocolates)

If the wrapper is foil, the chocolate probably has an ooey-gooey liquid center, like that of a cherry cordial. Hint: The foil protects against leaks.

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