Three years ago, I confessed my affection for turkeys when reviewing Splendid’s Thanksgiving turkey place settings. My lukewarm reaction must not have been alone since I haven’t seen them again. This Thanksgiving, I decided a wider turkey analysis would be in place. So I brought together a Godiva turkey and two from World Market, made by Sweet Works and The Madelaine Chocolate Company. Perhaps it would be enough to say that the only thing special about this cocoa flock is that they’re turkeys, but I will take a more detailed approach.
I mentioned that Splendid’s turkeys might be something for guests to take home, but those were unwrapped turkeys and needed to be put in a small bag to be brought home. All three of these turkeys, which I christen Godiva, Sweet, and Madelaine, come already wrapped in foil. That makes things simpler. Plus, since these are all sold separately, you can buy however many you need or want without having to work with the number that come in a box.
As for the numbers, Godiva is a 2 oz., $6.50 turkey; Sweet is 1 oz. and $1.99; and Madelaine is 3/8 oz. and $0.74. Assuming they were priced the same way but all 2 oz., Sweet would be $3.98 and Madelaine would be $4.67. So Sweet is the least expensive and Godiva is the most.
There is a direct parallel between foil shininess and turkey size. Godiva’s foil is closest to matte, giving it a more refined air; Madelaine’s high shine sends it into the candy category. Of the three, I want to say that Godiva would look nicest on a semi-formal Thanksgiving table except for a couple of key points. While in resting position, it is the only one to show lettering. The ingredients are listed on both sides of the rail, and one side of the foot section says, “Godiva,” while the other marks that this is a 2 oz. milk chocolate. None of it is hugely prominent, but it sort of ruins the effect for me, nonetheless. Sweet, instead, carries a collar on his neck that’s attached to a tag with the company and ingredients info. It can be left on or easily removed before setting the turkey to decorate place settings. Madelaine just has a simple sticker on the back where the foil edges come together. The other difficulty with Godiva is the slight bump on the bottom part where the two pieces of attach; Sweet has this, too, but not to so great a degree. It doesn’t keep Godiva from standing, but would make him fall more easily.
As I began unwrapping the turkeys, I was (once again) reminded of what a horrible person I am. After I adopted Godiva at the mall, I put him in my purse while going about to some other places for the rest of the day–now he appears to have melted slightly and taken on the pattern of the foil. I would regret this more if Godiva’s own pictures of the turkey don’t seem to show a terribly detailed mold, anyway. Not, say, like Sweet’s mold. I wasn’t sure what to think of the bright colors of Sweet’s foil, but he’s molded beautifully. Every feather is clear, and there are many. The two halves of the turkey come together in a very fine line, finer than Godiva’s. There isn’t much to say about Madelaine: he barely even looks like a turkey.
Despite all three being milk chocolate turkeys, there are still flavor distinctions. Madelaine comes out the weakest, with both a low cocoa content and quality. It isn’t compounded chocolate, but it does have artificial vanilla. Godiva’s standard milk chocolate is very sweet, maybe even more than Madelaine’s, though in a different way. I enjoy it every so often as an indulgent thing. Sweet, ironically, is the least sweet of the three–which you must not take to mean that it isn’t sweet. It just has more to it. The caramel notes move into a milky richness, and it becomes a decent chocolate affair.
So what kind of chocolate turkey do you want? If you want tiny ones to put on the kiddie table, The Madelaine Chocolate Company works. If you’re giving gobbling gifts, Godiva will serve. I would recommend either Godiva or Sweet Works if you’ll be putting these on your Thanksgiving table. It depends on what colors work better for you and also what size you want. The smaller 1 oz. offering is more likely something guests will finish at the table, whereas the 2 oz. size is probably one to take home along with leftover pumpkin pie. Anyway, does Godiva’s foil design really even look much like a turkey?