Product Type: Thorntons Chocolate
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Premium chocolates - but why aren't they fair trade?
Thorntons Premium Collection
Member Name: LadyAudley
Thorntons Premium Collection
Advantages: Posh chocolates from the supermarket
Disadvantages: Not fair trade, packaging could be nicer
Thorntons Premium Selection is one of several members of the Thorntons range to be available in several supermarkets, as well as in the high street retailer's stores. It is a more upmarket version of their Classic Selection, but far, far nicer than its cheaper baby brother.
Whereas the Classic Selection contains more soft-centred caramels and fruit-flavours (not my bag), the chocolates in here tend more towards deep, velvety truffles, soft, light mousses and crunchy pralines (my favourites). The chocolate in them is of a higher quality than in comparable boxes: it's thicker, and darker, with the result that there is a big leap up in terms of flavour. You really can get a chocolate 'hit' from these, so high is the cocoa content in some of them. Unfortunately, there's also a corresponding hike in terms of price - 430g of these chocolates will set you back around twelve pounds, whereas 350g of Thorntons classic collection costs just six pounds. However, that said, it really is worth paying the extra: these are SO much nicer than the cheaper box!
At 527 kcal and over 33g fat per 100g, these are not a health food. But you don't need me to tell you that chocolates are unhealthy! A more significant gripe, however, is that the packaging could be nicer. Thorntons are now selling these in two sizes, and the larger of the two comes in a huge cardboard box, almost 50cm wide. As a petite person, I'd prefer to have a double-layered, smaller box that would sit on my lap more easily, too. Also, there's little step-up in the quality of packaging to reflect the fact that these are a more luxurious brand than the continental collection. I'm not a big fan of acres of tissue paper and wrapping, but a better and more stylish design is needed here. In fairness to Thorntons, though, you can buy a special 'gift wrapped' version of the box for a couple of quid extra.
There's also nothing on the packaging about the chocolate being fair trade. Since even Cadbury's Dairy Milk is now part of this movement, it's about time Thorntons updated their ethical policies to bring them into line with the modern world - and to give farmers a fair slice of the profits.
Inside the box, you get a host of different varieties, some dark chocolate, some milk and some white. Individually, the chocolates are beautifully presented: some are dusted, some finished with patterns of different coloured chocolate. Flavours range from coffee to amaretto to champagne, and textures are beautifully varied, with plenty of gorgeously rich truffle interiors matching crunchy nuts and whipped mousse.
For my money, these are some of the nicest chocolates you can buy on the high street. They're not absolutely first-rate, and don't compare to the kind of thing you'd get in a posh chocolate shop, but then they are also considerably cheaper than a box of handmade truffles! In the bracket they are punching in, they are a real cut above the competition (supermarket own brand boxes, Black Magic, Milk Tray etc).
Summary: Good, standard box of chocolates