Taste Test: Milk chocolate bars

In a sampling of popular grocery items, we pick the best out of three. Items are evaluated for flavor and presentation. Price is not a factor, as it is too subject to change. This week: milk chocolate bars.

This Taste Test is inspired by the embarassment of riches we have in grocery/drug store candy aisles. The sheer variety of crunchy, chewy, responsibly traded, dark, organic and other treats at the casual shopper's fingertips is enough to send anybody off a pre-bathing-suit-season diet.

Calories aside, chocolate is a commodity at my and, I suspect, numerous other offices. Small pieces provide a quick lift, a pause, and happy break in the most mundane of work days. Chocolate is so important, we owe it to ourselves to ascertain the best brand from a smorgasbord of options (she said, justifying her purchases). In that spirit, I sampled three common milk chocolate bars (read: no Godiva, despite its increased supermarket presence. It just wouldn't be fair to place other bars in competition with a boutique brand product) - whose makers also produce individually wrapped little treats and sweets crafted from that very chocolate.

Cadbury Dairy Milk: Its package notes that Cadbury's Dairy Milk bar is "velvety smooth," and that's 100 percent correct. This softer than most chocolate melts in one's mouth and actually conjures the flavor of the milk it purports to be made of, and the depth of cocoa flavor is entirely satisfying.

Dove milk chocolate: Dove opts for the descriptor "silky smooth" on its packaging, and indeed, the texture is fantastically smooth. As for the flavor, it's enough to ensure a successful fix. Very good.

Hershey's Symphony: Since my other two brands were of the smooth and silky variety, I opted for Hershey's "creamy milk chocolate" bar, under the subtitle brand "Symphony" (versus the standard milk chocolate block in the dark brown wrapper). The chocolate is creamy, indeed, and presents a brighter chocolate flavor than the others.

Winner: Cadbury Dairy Milk bar. The delightful texture and sweet, milky flavor of this bar set it apart from the others. When applied to Cadbury's Mini Eggs and Creme Eggs, this chocolate is downright addicting.

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