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Worst "Gourmet" Chocolates

John & Kira's chocolates. www.johnandkiras.com

Company has gotten a lot of good press. I finally succombed and tried an assortment - mint, raspberry, whiskey/coffee and pistachio. Godawful. Enrobing chocolate was poor quality. Center had a strange texture and a taste that did not in the slightest bit capture the specified flavor. Subtley is one thing. ZERO flavor is another.

Email to customer service went unanswered.

At about $60/pound, get thee to Target and splurge on 10 pounds of Dove.

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  1. I disagree. I think the flavors are very strong. Not my favorite brand, but I think they're decent. As to worst "gourmet" chocolates, I'd have to say Godiva (waxy, sickly sweet) and Vosges (not bad, but you can't even taste their advertised flavors).

    14 Replies
    1. re: thesu

      Vosges gets my vote for overrated, and (to me) unimpressive flavors. It's -waaayy- too trendy for my likes, and the 2 times i've eaten their chocolate, I came away disappointed. Very muted on the flavors listed, and for what it costs..A rip-off.

      1. re: Honeychan

        Yeah, me too. I considered buying some of the bacon flavor as a gag gift (pun possibly intended) for my husband, but I was underwhelmed by the ones I tasted.

        1. re: jlafler

          Not me, I love Mo's Bacon Bar! Actually really like all the flavors I've tried. That said, I'm actually *not* a chocolate lover (I even like the white chocolate with black olives, which I'm sure is anathema to connoisseurs), so therein may lie the rub.

          1. re: tatamagouche

            I don't like Vosges truffles, but I do like their milk chocolate bars, which are the darkest milk chocolate I've tasted. Naga Bar and the Bacon Bar are both good.

            Godiva's chocolates are terrible. My secretary knew I liked chocolate (because she saw the mail order packages of Burdicks, XOX, etc that I shipped to myself), so every Christmas she'd buy me a big box of Godiva chocolates. Ugh, I just didn't know how to tell her they weren't on my edibles list!

      2. re: thesu

        +1. Godiva is a waste of money IMO. I can name 10 brands I would rather have.

        1. re: madgreek

          I agree with your opinions. The Godiva brand is surviving off of fancy packaging and name recognition.
          I'm not sure if See's is considered gourmet, but I wasn't impressed with a sampler of theirs I received from a client. The toffee was good, but the rest was waxy and forgettable.

          1. re: Kelli2006

            True, See's is verrrry ordinary. Maybe Kraft bought them too.*

            *Kraft bought Polly-O, which was new news to me.

            1. re: dolores

              say dolores, did your mom ever notice any change in the polly-o quality?

              1. re: dolores

                Actually, Bershire-Hathaway (Warren Buffet) acquired See's a number of years back... I live in LA. I know See's is made here for sure, and it's quite good if you appreciate chocolate - not in the category of Boule, Jin or other chocolatiers - but very respectable. The nuts and chews are hands-down my favorites. If you're from outside of LA, the mundane quality of their products may have to do with lack of freshness or quality issues if they're being made elsewhere... Our relatives who live overseas could never understand what was so great about these chocolates that we sent to them - until they came out to visit us and got a fresh batch...

                1. re: dolores

                  Agreed. I can't see what the big deal is about Sees. Very ordinary. I would prefer to nosh on a bag of Dove chocolates.

                  1. re: MysticYoYo

                    I think what I like about See's is that "ordinary-ness" - the caramels are exactly like what my grandmother used to make. I don't think much of their other things like the truffles - but the Awesome Nut & Chew Bar is far better than the old Mars bar ever was. (But at $1, I'm not sure it's considered gourmet either.)

                    I agree with the others about Joseph Schmidt, too. Again, too sweet, too much about appearances but they end up with a very long list of ingredients that don't add a thing to my experience.

              2. re: madgreek

                Another that agrees that Godiva is more hype than substance. I've tasted it and wonder what do people see in it and what makes them willing to pay the price.

                1. re: toodie jane

                  Godiva is crap. I live way too close to a production plant and while they do employ a decent percent of the residents in our county, I will not eat the stuff. Waxy, bland, with a weird fake chemically aftertaste. Yep the packaging does it, makes it look like its worth the $$ they want for it, but no way. Like putting lipstick on a (chocolate covered) pig.

              3. Moonstruck. When gifted with a hand-picked box, my mom outright told me to stick to See's. On further research, I have to agree with her.

                Godiva is terrible.

                1. seems to be something of a consensus here...

                  godiva.

                  1. Leonidas - I can only hope that perhaps it's just the shop near me that is bad, but I certainly will never go back - stale and tasteless and their marzipan even worse. Come on Leonidas, I used to live in Belgium, that's not anything near what I used to get.

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: sebetti

                      I've liked Leonidas in the past (stale is no good, of course), and I do think they are better than Godiva, but no rival to some of the more artisanal chocolates.

                      1. re: MMRuth

                        Is it my imagination or is Godiva and Leonidas better in Europe? The chocolates seem to be different and better on the few occasions I've had them in Europe. But perhaps the exotic environment is contributing to my more favorable experience...

                        1. re: moh

                          godiva in brussels is far superior to u.s. godiva.

                      2. re: sebetti

                        Yeah, Leonidas is, shall we say, a disappointment. Especially after having it in Brussles. And even there, it wasn't the best thing one could readily find.

                        Also, I really hate Lindt (not that that's necessarily gourmet). Really really. It's like the Hershey's of the Swiss chocolate world. Way too sweet.

                        And Godiva is blech mostly, but I do like their dark chocolate dipped orange peels. Of course, I pretty much like *any* dark chocolate dipped orange peels.

                        Burdick's (local to Boston) is tasty, but the truffles and assorted concoctions NEVER taste like what they say they're supposed to taste like. You can list all the fancy ingredients you want (quince, earl grey, lavender, etc), but it all pretty much tastes like inky dark chocolate. Which is yummy, but not really what's on the label.

                        I do like Vosges, but not all of it. It can get a little precious, however I do enjoy the Barcelona bar with the sea salt, as well as the curry and chile chocolates.

                        My favorite chocolate is Bissinger's -- local to St. Louis. Dark chocolate molasses lollipops... yum.

                      3. I think Godiva is one of the most over-rated. For the same price these days you can get real artisan chocolates (and usually with a far shorter ingredients list). But it's hard to go wrong with a fresh dipped strawberry. Here in California though, most malls have See's which is far better at a fraction of the price.

                        I like Vosges truffles, but I don't care much for their bars. (I'm not sure which folks are discussing here.)

                        Leonidas wasn't my thing, I thought too many of the pieces tasted the same and were far too sweet to allow the chocolate flavors to come through. (But I don't begrudge those who like that, I think it's just a style, not an indication of being "bad".)

                        I've only had a few pieces of Knipschlidt and was not impressed enough to plunk down the big bucks for a full range of products to taste. Maybe someday I'll be happily proven wrong.

                        I've pretty much decided those Lindt Lindor truffles are squicky ... what's in there? It feels like chocolate but it doesn't taste like anything.

                        (There are probably other things that I've had and thought were disappointing, but happily those memories have been replaced with good experiences.)