My chocolate stars don't seem to be shining very bright as I run from one average chocolate into another. And now it seems to have gone from bad to worse. I don't remember the last time I crossed the 3.5/5 rating and knowing that this box of assorted chocolates from Sapphire is a Malaysian product, I didn't hope for too much. Although Sapphire's boxed chocolates seem to be present in all online stores, there is almost no information about the brand itself - no website, no Wiki... you get the picture. All I understood from the box was that Sapphire chocolates are made by Network Foods International and imported and distributed by Dugar Overseas Pvt Ltd. Curiously enough, Sapphire is not listed among the brands owned by Network Foods.
Anyhow, I opened the beautiful tin half expecting to see shiny chocolate balls rolling around, like chocolates in tins used to be back in time. But I found a brown bubble-wrap sheet on what I like to call level one. Upon removing those, level two had two foil packs sitting atop level three - a stiff plastic mould. Although it seems wasteful, extra packaging care is required for gifting products since they are subject to a lot of transport.
I opened one of the 100 g packs and out came this assortment of milk chocolate-coated raisins, hazelnuts and almonds. No, the chocolates don't look this ugly at room temperature; the fat bloom on the chocolates are because I had just taken them out of the refrigerator when I took these pictures. But while the chocolates look quite okay at room temperature, they're terrible to taste.
First things first, these things don't even qualify to be called chocolates because they have NO cocoa solids or even cocoa butter in them! Made from sugar, refined palm kernel fat, milk solids, cocoa powder, emulsifiers and artificial flavours + dry fruits and nuts, these 'chocolates' feel no better than flour in the mouth. They are weird and chewy and won't melt in your mouth. Their saving grace are the raisins and nuts, without which the chocolates would be rather unpalatable.
No wonder a 200 g box of 'imported' chocolates costs only INR 300. Yes, the packaging is good and yes, it will make for a gift because 'khali haath nahi jaa sakte' (cannot be visiting someone empty handed). But if you are a chocolate lover or know that the gift-ee is one, don't make the mistake of giving them one of Sapphire's box of chocolates.