William Dean Chocolates
flavors like Banana's Foster, Grapefruit & Tarragon, Port with Fig & Plum and Rosemary Caramel, a box of these can be quite the culinary experience. My favorite flavor is the Tropical Caramel, mmmm. As you may have guessed, this collection is probably not for your meat-and-potatoes, never-wants-to-try-new-things kind of guy. The flavors are sophisticated and may be an acquired taste for some. If you are ready to take this flavorful carpet ride, pull out your wallet because like most gourmet chocolates, it's gonna cost you. A 20-piece box sells for $50. Or you could cash in on a little televised saving. HSN.com has the same box for $40. They also have on-air V-Day specials today (2/01) featuring WD Chocolates, so you may be able to get a better deal there.
Mignon Chocolates for several reasons. One, you can build your own box so you're not stuck with 'those chocolates' that no one wants to eat. Two, they're pretty. Three, they come in a variety tempting flavors. Four, at $1/piece they are reasonably priced. And five, They are ridiculously delicious. They don't have that hard chocolate shell and sugary sweet filling that Russell Stover has accustomed us to. The shell has the pliable texture of fine chocolate and the filling is just sweet enough with a hint of flavor.
Fannie May. The flavors are not as refined and the pieces are not as beautiful as some. But if you are looking for a basic box of quality chocolates then this is the place for you. Ideal for the aforementioned meat-and-potatoes guy. You get perfectly confected creams and caramels without straying into the unknown world flavor experimentation. They come in a variety of beautiful boxes and offer a create-your-own-box option as well. They cost about $26 for a 1lb box (about 28 pieces).
If you're in a major city, chances are you are familiar with these freshly crafted Belgian candies. They are the Dean & Deluca of the chocolate world and it is easy to see why. They offer a variety of daring flavors like Tequila Sunrise and Africa Pearl, as well as the traditional fresh butter creams, ganaches and pralines all prepared to world famous standards. A typical 1lb box runs about $36.