Quality Control: Ranking every Quality Street sweet

After careful analysis, two of our food writers have ranked every Quality Street chocolate. Let the debates begin

Oren Brown
7th December 2020
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Downing. Oxford. Princes. These streets all pale in comparison to Quality Street - the unequivocally loved British selection tub.
It is impossible to miss these iconic chocolates during the UK holiday season. The selection boxes have become near-synonymous with Christmas confectionery.

This year, The Courier sought out their finest tastemakers to finally come to a simple conclusion - which Quality Street sweet is the best? Said talented tastemakers were sadly unavailable, so we will have to do. Let us make haste as we explore all twelve Quality Street sweets, from worst to best.

Coconut Eclair (blue wrapper)

The Coconut Eclair is mostly flavourless, too chewy, and most notably - coconut. Look, if you’re into coconut chocolates, that’s fine. We won’t judge. But with a fairly dissatisfying coconut to chocolate ratio, the Coconut Eclair isn’t even that great in comparison to the dreaded Bounty bar. Undoubtedly the one Quality Street sweet that will survive the winter languishing at the bottom of the tub.

Toffee Finger (gold wrapper, stick)

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The concept of a finger of toffee is quite exciting for some unknown reason, particularly when coated in chocolate. Unfortunately, the Toffee Finger is not recommended by 9 out of 10 dentists, as the initial bite can be quite testing for your gnashers. Once you get past that initial tooth-destroying stage, though, it’s actually one of the more enjoyable sweets. Good chocolate-toffee ratio, just a little too granite-esque.

Orange Creme (orange wrapper)

The Orange Creme is successfully creamy; a nicely melting blend of orange and chocolate. Outside of context, it’s a pretty good sweet. However, it is not the best creme in the Quality Street family, nor is it the best orange-flavoured chocolate. For this reason, it is destined to live in the shadow of it’s rivals. A bit too sickly-sweet, too.

Caramel Swirl (yellow wrapper)

Anyone else only just remembering that this exists? It goes in, dissolves, and just like that, leaves no further impression on your life. I would at least like to enjoy a sweet enough that I don’t forget is in my mouth. It's not as if I'm expecting to have a caramel Socrates sit in my mouth and postulate a new outlook on the universe that’ll completely blow my mind. Far inferior to its purple cousin. It’s got a nice swirly pattern on it, though.

Milk Choc Block (green wrapper)

Hard to complain about this one. Does what it says on the tin. It’s chocolate. Good shape, pleasant taste and size to crunch up easily. With that being said, who in their right mind buys Quality Streets for the Milk Choc Block alone? Would you even notice if they were dropped from the roster? If they released a box containing ‘Purely Milk Choc Blocks’, as they did with ‘Purely Purple’, they’d likely be filling a lot of shelves with choc that never left the shop.

Toffee Penny (gold wrapper, circular)

A classic among the selection, the Toffee Penny is perhaps more iconic than it is brilliant. As far as toffees go, it’s a good one, though. There’s something about the flat disk shape that does it the world of good. Allows your tongue to cover the whole surface of one side. And once it’s become malleable enough, folding it in half with your tongue and teeth is inexplicably satisfying.

Chocolate Caramel Brownie (cyan wrapper)

This is a tough one to place. A new entry into the Quality Street family, the Chocolate Caramel Brownie offers a unique flavor previously untouched in selection boxes. It’s hard to fault the individual elements of the sweet, but when they all form together it is a bit of a mess. Caramel, crunchy shards of chocolate and brownie? Steady on, Quality Street. An interesting palette, for sure, but perhaps one that could be refined in years to come.

Fudge (pink wrapper)

The pragmatically named Fudge is about as experimental as it sounds. They haven’t really reinvented the wheel with this one, but it’s easily one of the more tasty of the bunch. Soft, fluffy fudge pairs tastefully with the contrasting outer-layer of chocolate. You can’t really go wrong. With that being said, it would be unfair to place Fudge up among the most iconic and original Quality Street sweets.

Orange Chocolate Crunch (orange wrapper, foil)

Picture the scene: it’s Christmas day. You’ve already eaten one and a half Terry’s Chocolate Oranges today, which were stuffed into your stocking. You’re looking for a break from the crunchy combination of chocolate and citrus. Without looking, you pop one of these in your mouth, hoping for some variety. While you sit munching yet another piece of the same flavoured confection, you have a realisation: you cannot, in fact, get enough chocolate orange.

Strawberry Delight (red wrapper, circular)

This one lives up to the name. The creme? A delight. The choice to coat this one in dark chocolate, rather than milk? A delight. The seemingly random studs on the top of the chocolate, and the crossed pattern on the bottom? It’s a strawberry delight all round. You’d be hard-pressed to find another confectionary company producing a strawberry chocolate as widely enjoyed.

The Purple One  (purple wrapper)

There’s a reason these are sold in their own separate boxes. This is the classic, the protagonist. Something about that tiny crunch of hazelnut makes the caramel taste that much more exciting. This is a sweet you can absorb yourself in. It stands apart from the generic Milk Choc Block and Caramel Swirl by actually having an identity. Clearly, since it was voted the nation’s favourite Quality Street, it’s doing something right.

The Green Triangle (green wrapper, foil)

This is it. The magnum opus of selection box chocolates. Sitting among the Coconut Eclairs and the Milk Choc Blocks it must think it has been accidentally birthed in the wrong factory. Surely, this smooth hazelnut praline, with just the right amount of crunch and just the right amount of chocolate coating, should’ve lived out its pre-Christmas-sweet-feast life among classier company. In a Lindt selection, perhaps, or Thornton’s, at the very least? Thankfully for us chocolate reviewers, though, it ended up a tenant on Quality Street. And it’s the classiest sweet on the (Milk Choc) block.

There we have it. After an arduous, pain-staking process, we have drawn up a definitely-objective, not-at-all disputable ranking of all twelve Quality Street sweets. Happy holidays to you all, take care, and always remember; root through the box for all the Green Triangles before the rest of the family gets a look in. 

Jon Deery & Oren Brown

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AUTHOR: Oren Brown
English student. @orenajb

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