by The Chocolate Dictionary

A chocolump is the last chocolate left in a box: specifically, the one that nobody wants, even though all the others have been eaten, and even though there may be no other choice.

The popular view is that chocolumps are the result of poor taste sensations conceived by the manufacturer. In the Milk Tray assortment of the 1960’s and early 70’s, for example, the chocolump was usually the Lime Barrel, a sweet so sickly and uninspiring it has entered folklore as the most disappointing chocolate ever made. Since then, Cadbury have worked hard to ensure such mistakes  never arise again.

But chocolumps can also be the result of too much handling: a chocolate distorted by hot, eager fingers giving it a once-over, a twice-over and even a third time-over, before deciding it’s not worth the effort and then slinging it back into the box.

A recent survey involving several widely available boxed assortments found that with Nestlé’s Black Magic, Cadbury’s Roses, Nestlé’s Dairy Box, and Prestat’s Jewel Box, it was the citrus flavoured truffles and crèmes that were least favoured. With the updated Milk Tray assortment, it was the Eastern Delight – “an exotic Turkish delight locked in chocolate” – that seemed to get the thumbs-down. With Quality Street the chocolump was Toffee Deluxe. And in Thornton’s popular Continental Assortment, it was the unfortunately misnamed Amour – a curious blend of marzipan and orange liqueur –  that always made it to the bottom.

In December 2009 a discussion on The Student Room, the UK’s biggest online student community, considered the possibility that Cadbury’s deliberately included one or two chocolumps in their Roses selection to make the other chocolates look even better, though Alex Benady, who once worked in product development for Cadbury’s, explained it more prosaically, “Tastes have changed, and chocolate is no longer the luxury it once was. People are pickier”. Indeed, it would seem that while cheaper boxed assortments aren’t supposed to be all things to all people, chocolate eaters are less accepting of the ones that don’t measure up, and therefore more inclined to discard them than before.