by The Chocolate Dictionary

A chocolump is the last chocolate left in a box: specifically, the one that nobody wants. The popular view is that chocolumps are the result of poor taste sensations conceived by the manufacturer. In the Milk Tray assortment of the 1960s and early 70s, the chocolump was usually the Lime Barrel, considered to be so sweet and sickly and uninspiring it has entered folklore as the most disappointing chocolate ever made.

But chocolumps can also be the result of too much handling: a chocolate repeatedly touched by warm, eager fingers before deciding it’s not worth the effort and 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 – referred to as “an exotic Turkish delight locked in chocolate” – that got the thumbs-down. With Quality Street the chocolump was the Toffee Deluxe. And in Thornton’s Continental Assortment, it was the unfortunately named Amour – a curious blend of marzipan and orange liqueur –  that resides at the bottom of the list.

In December 2009 a discussion on The Student Room, the UK’s biggest online student community, considered the possibility that Cadbury deliberately included one or two chocolumps in their Roses selection to make the other chocolates look even better. Alex Benady, formerly of Cadbury’s product development department, has given a more prosaic explanation. “Tastes have changed, and chocolate is no longer the luxury it once was. People are pickier”. So while cheaper boxed assortments are not 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.