Monday, March 11, 2013

Review: Easter candy from Hershey
Easter is upon us once again, which means candy is also upon us.  (And, shortly thereafter, within us.)  Normally my favorite thing about Easter candy is buying it the day after Easter when it's drastically discounted for no other reason than being in a different color package.  This year, however, I decided to try a different approach and pay attention to some of the varieties that are sold specifically for the holiday.  Indeed, these are probably the varieties which don't last until my discounted-purchase-day, so perhaps this will be a new experience of sorts. Hershey supplied us with the Easter themed candy to try and talk about and they out did themselves again!


 The first thing I picked up was a bag of Hershey's Eggs.  They're basically like oversized M&M's, and I approve of that.  It's as if somebody took a candy made for a child, and made it for an adult.  (Think about it, as you got older you started eating M&M's by the handful.  As it turns out, what you really wanted was Hershey's Eggs.)  And the increased size is a vast improvement over the competing confection.  More chocolate means more flavor on the palette.  You can genuinely taste it and think to your self, "Well, this is what milk chocolate should taste like."  It doesn't just take up space.  It's not just a snack for the sake of snacking.  It's a ball of milk chocolate, and that's exactly what I wanted.

Additionally, the increased size means a proportionally increased candy shell.  So rather than just being a transport vessel which for no other purpose than preventing the candy from melting, it actually adds to the texture of the snack overall.  As the surprisingly large ball of milk chocolate is crushed by my mighty jaws, the thicker candy shell shatters and mixes throughout the chocolate, providing a nice crunchy texture to the whole thing.  It's basically everything that's good about its competitor, but big enough to be noticed.

Next was a supposedly-not-as-new-as-I-thought take on the chocolate bunny.  I'd always assumed that chocolate bunnies were well defined and very finite in their nature.  There's solid, and there's hollow.  (More specifically, there's the one the kid wants and will last in the fridge for a week or in the freezer for a month... And there's the one the kid actually gets.)  But I'm told that this new variety has apparently been around for a while now.  Guess I haven't been paying attention.  Anyway, the bunny I'm talking about is Hershey's Snapsy Snap-Apart Bunny.

I applaud the concept.  First of all, it's solid.  Which means it's one of the good chocolate bunnies.  But the one single drawback of solid chocolate bunnies has always been the inability to properly break them apart.  Sure, the ears are easy enough, but then what?  One person gets the ears and another gets the rest?  That's not good enough.  So Snapsy pre-cuts the chocolate to make it easier to, well, snap apart.  It's not a contrived effort, either.  The lines along which the snapping is intended to take place are legitimately part of the design of the bunny itself.  So finally, at long last, after decades of giving someone the ears and keeping the rest, I can now easily break apart the chocolate bunny into a handful of relatively even pieces.

I won't, of course.  Because it's my chocolate.  But I can, and that's the important part.

Third and last (because I can really only eat so much candy while I write this) is the Reese's Peanut Butter Egg.  Now, it's not secret that I love Reese's peanut butter and chocolate.  Did you know that they make a half-pound Reese's Peanut Butter Cup?  It dwarfs their "Reese's Big Cup" and even comes in twin packs.  Seriously, it's like something out of Charlie And The Chocolate Factory.  If you want to both live and die by the peanut butter cup, that's the way to go.

But I digress... This is the Reese's Peanut Butter Egg.  It's sizable, weighing in at 6 ounces.  And the packaging really sells it, too.  The picture on the front of the package is the aforementioned egg sliced for serving sizes as though it were a Friendly's Jubilee Roll.  It's a Reese's Peanut Butter family dessert serving.  Removing it from the box finds it encased in a form-fitting plastic tray.  The shape of the tray reminds me of a fat king lying in bed, undoubtedly plump from satisfying his royal appetite for Reese's.  The egg resting upon the tray has the essence of FabergĂ©.  The entire experience of this dessert is decidedly regal.

Eating it is like eating any oversized Reese's candy.  (Except perhaps a ridiculously oversized Reese's Pieces.  Or, um, Reese's Piece.  I don't think they have those.  But they should.  Now.)  It's expected.  Which is good, because I expect Reese's.  It's what I want, and it's what they deliver.  Nay, this variety isn't about bringing anything particularly new, it's about decorating an existing experience with frills and elegance.  The only advice I can give is to prefer the center of it over the ends.  The ends are too chocolate-heavy, lacking in the peanut butter experience that defines Reese's.  It's not unlike the undesirable ends of a loaf of bread.  The real treat is in the middle, leave the ends for the kids.
I hope some of these are left over the day after Easter.