Opening Advent calendar doors can be a thrill for children (and many adults), particularly if there’s a chocolate hidden behind them.
But many people think the chocolate concealed behind those 24 doors tastes different to ‘normal’ chocolate.

[Read more: Cheapest places to buy 2017's most popular advent calendars]

Does it, or is it just our festive imagination?

Choose wisely

The answer is that it largely depends on which calendar you’ve bought.

If it’s a branded calendar by a well-known chocolate manufacturer like Cadbury or Lindt, the chocolate will be the same as in their chocolate bars and tubs.

A Cadbury spokeswoman confirms: “Our Cadbury Dairy Milk Advent calendars are all made with Cadbury Daily Milk chocolate which is exactly the same as all of our other Cadbury Dairy Milk products. Of course, our Heroes Advent calendar is made with Heroes, again exactly the same as our Heroes tubs.”

Cheaper chocolate

However, if you’ve got a generic, cheaper Advent calendar, chances are it’ll be hiding cheaper chocolate too.

[Read more: 5 alternatives to chocolate]

Such chocolate is often ‘compound’ and made with cheaper fats, like vegetable oil or palm kernel oil, instead of creamy cocoa butter.
Not only is this type of chocolate cheaper, with a slightly different flavour and texture to ‘normal’ chocolate, but it’s easier to mould into the festive shapes that fit behind Advent calendar doors.

So, if you’re happy with a taste of any type of chocolate every day of Advent, there’s a huge choice of cheap ‘n’ cheerful chocolate Advent calendars. But if you want guaranteed good quality chocolate in the run-up to Christmas next year, be sure to buy the more expensive, branded versions.

Savour the flavour

Nevertheless, if you’re a good boy or girl and only eat one Advent chocolate per day, even quality branded chocs might taste a little different to normal.

That’s simply because the fact you’re only having one small piece (and let’s be honest, that never happens if you have a whole bar in front of you) means you’re more likely to take your time with it and savour the taste, rather than wolfing it down before anyone else can get their mitts on it.

Plus, Advent calendar chocolate is usually thinner but wider than normal chunks of chocolate, which means it’ll melt quicker on your tongue, and the slightly larger surface area allows your taste buds to register the rich chocolateyness more.

And whatever the quality of the chocolate, that’s got to be a good thing.