However, in yet another Covid-induced blow to this year’s festivities, the manufacturers have confirmed that one of their chocolates (specifically, the Chocolate Caramel Brownie) could very well be absent from your tin this year.
Why? Because of lockdown, obviously. Boo, hiss.
“In order to keep Quality Street production going during the Covid-19 lockdown period, we made some temporary changes to the way we operated, such as running fewer lines for a time,” a spokesperson told the BBC.
“As a result, some consumers may find that they do not have all 12 varieties of Quality Street sweets in their mix.”
Much like those elusive golden tickets in Roald Dahl’s Charlie And The Chocolate Factory, though, they hinted that some customers may get lucky, as a full range of chocolates is being produced and incorporated into new boxes.
“We apologise for any disappointment caused but hope consumers understand why it was necessary to make these changes during such unprecedented conditions,” the spokesperson added.
Naturally, the conversation on social media soon turned to two key questions: firstly, would anyone actually miss the Chocolate Caramel Brownie, really?
And, secondly, which of the 12 varieties of Quality Street is the very best of all?
In a bid to settle the debate once and for all, I’ve come up with a definitive (read: entirely subjective) ranking of Quality Street’s chocolates, from gross to delicious.
You are very welcome.
12) Coconut Eclair
Look, I love coconut. I love it. But I don’t like it when it’s gritty, and unyielding, and crumbly. This little treasure demands you down at least two mugs of hot tea to wash the remnants out of your teeth, and that’s why the tin will always be a sea of blue once everyone has taken their pick of Quality Street.
11) Milk Choc Block
This is just a very plain, very boring lump of chocolate. It is banality in chocolate form. It is the ‘safe’ choice of any selection box. And I’ll fight anyone who says otherwise.
10) Orange Creme
Too sweet, too sickly, too much. If you want an orange-flavoured chocolate, there is a far superior option nestled within your Quality Street tin (more on that later).
9) Chocolate Caramel Brownie
Admit it, you forgot this one existed until you heard it was a Covid casualty. Don’t it always seem to go that you don’t know what you’ve got ‘til it’s gone, eh?
8) Strawberry Creme
This was once a childhood favourite of mine, and it’s easy to see why: the chocolate is dark and delicious, and the fruity pop of strawberry keeps things mega-sweet… but things get sickly quickly if you favour this red-wrappered bonbon during your annual showing of Bridget Jones’ Diary.
Plus, why isn’t the filling pink anymore? You’ve changed, Strawberry Creme. I don’t even know who you are anymore.
7) Toffee Penny
Alright, this is a controversial opinion, but I’m here for all the sticky, chewy, buttery, caramelly, long-lasting goodness of the classic Toffee Penny.
That being said, I’m less into the way it sticks your teeth together (although this is a quality well worth remembering if one of your loved ones likes to talk through movies). And, admittedly, there is a distinct lack of any chocolate. So, yeah, this gold-foiled number has been relegated to the mid-tier section of the official Quality Street rankings.
Sorry not sorry.
6) Caramel Swirl
These dome-shaped chocolates are filled with liquid caramel. Which, sure, is bloody brilliant, until you bite into one and end up with a sticky trail of caramel all down your chin and PJ top.
5) Fudge Delight
Creamy, fudgy goodness in a millennial-pink wrapper? Hit me up, Quality Street: this one genuinely is a delight.
4) The Purple One
This one’s very, very similar to the Caramel Swirl, save for a few crucial details:
- It’s elevated thanks to its hazelnutty goodness.
- It’s a pleasing, easy-to-bite oval shape.
- It’s wrapped in purple cellophane.
- It’s bigger.
Nuts, chocolate and liquid toffee are a magical flavour combination, and everyone knows it. That’s why you’ve got almost zero chance of snaffling a Purple One from your Quality Street tin if it’s been open for anything longer than an hour.
3) The Green Triangle
Smooth, creamy and melt-in-your-mouth chocolate with subtle hazelnut notes at the end? So we’ve heard, yeah, but it’s highly unlikely you’ll ever taste one, as these are the equivalent of gold dust in the Quality Street world.
This means that the minute the lid is lifted, everyone rushes to gran at those shimmers of green, casually-not-so-casually batting away the hands of others in a bid to secure a Green Triangle of their own. It is for this reason, and this reason alone, that it’s not higher on my list: scarcity isn’t a plus point, y’all.
2) The Toffee Finger
This is the toffee you want to go for, should toffees be your thing. They’re golden, and perfectly bite-sized, and coated in just the right amount of chocolate to balance all of that rich buttery deliciousness. And you can point them like a little baton for emphasis during animated conversation, too, which is always fun.
1) Orange Crunch
I told you there was vastly superior orange chocolate in the mix, and this is it. Everyone always dismisses this innocuous-looking little number, wrongly dismissing it as… y’know, nothing much.
Everyone is mistaken. Everyone is woefully mistaken.
The Orange Crunch should go down a treat with Terry’s fans (aka everyone in the entire world ever) as it, too, perfectly marries its creamy chocolateyness with a peppy citrussy kick. It gets bonus points for its complex shape, too, because who doesn’t love an octagon? And, for those who have yet to sample its wares (too focused on snaffling Green Triangles and Purple Ones, I bet), its smooth exterior belies a centre filled with cute little edible crystals. You know, like the popping candy we all feel hard for in the 00s… minus the pop.
Best of all? Hardly anyone ever goes for this one, which means there is ALWAYS a good handful of Orange Crunches to be found in your rapidly-emptying tin. So do yourself a favour, scoop some up, and go to town on those sublime sweeties.
I promise you won’t regret it.