Now that I eat Cadbury’s chocolate on a regular basis, I’m in a better position to comment on something that I kind of understood before I moved to the UK. Hershey’s chocolate isn’t great. Let it be confirmed. On a standard gas-station candy bar grab, the Brits are going to win hands down. Even their Kit Kats have better chocolate coating the wafers than our Kit Kats. It’s not that you can’t find good chocolate in The States–we have local chocolatiers and higher end sweets available…it’s just that British chocolate has better BASIC standards. The same rationale lies with the cheese comparison. What’s an American standard? A Kraft slice? Take that vs a standard mature English cheddar. The Brits win hands down. We might make award winning boutique chocolates and cheeses but you aren’t going to find them at a 7-Eleven. Whereas you could buy a decent bar of chocolate at a corner shop over here. It’s called a Cadbury’s Dairy Milk.
But, in our defense, the US is still tops when it comes to the world’s best flavor combinations (buffalo wing pizza and maple syrup and bacon for two delicious examples). Now, a British candy bar might give you a toffee filling (not bad), or a nut and raisin filling (does what it says on the tin) or a vanilla fudge filling (chalky and boring)–but, thanks to today’s great thing, we can never be bested.
America might still be terrified of the gays getting married, but we care a nation that can ALL stand behind the blessed union of chocolate and peanut butter. In fact, I might try to sell my girlfriend on the idea of a choco-peanut butter wedding cake for our big gay wedding.
Almost as famous for their memorable ad campaigns (previous slogans include “You’ve got chocolate in my peanut butter! You’ve got peanut butter in my chocolate!” and “There’s no wrong way to eat a Reese’s”, Reese’s was the brainchild of Harry Burnett Reese. Harry was a dairy farmer from Frosty Hill, Pennsylvania. He eventually sold his properties–including Reese’s Pieces (which are also blog-worthy)– on to Hershey’s (in 1963).
Though you can experience similar euphoria simply by dipping a block of milk chocolate into a jar of Jif or Skippy peanut butter, Reese’s pb filling has a certain grainy and candied consistency that isn’t easy to substitute. I think it has something to do with the artery-drying levels of salt that they inject into the normally quite oily peanut butter. That’s something that this heroic snack-pimper found out when he made his own giant Reese’s peanut butter cup. Worth a look here– Giant Reese’s
That gorgeous giant Reese’s was actually made by a British cup-fan, which is strange because they aren’t as popular over here as they are in The States. They’re considered a novelty that you either love or you hate. Peanut butter in general is underused as a dessert option in The British Isles. They even had to change the candy trail in E.T. from Reese’s Pieces (in the Yankee version) to M & Ms in the Brit version so they would know what the heck the little alien was going on about. The UK imports select Ben & Jerry’s flavors and went with Cherry Garcia INSTEAD of Peanut Butter Cup. Wha? I don’t know why they embrace Marmite (see Twiglets) and shun peanut butter. Peanut butter is magical. Heck, it’s the ONLY thing that can make a vegan dessert REMOTELY tolerable.
Come on Britain. Even a camp-raiding bear knows where the goods are.
Sigh…you always want what you can’t have. Oh George Washington Carver, how I miss you!
Though there are several variations on the theme, including the addition of caramel to the peanut butter and a hazel-nut whip incarnation, the only reason to part from the original Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup is if you wish to engage in the holiday specials. Basically, they’re just bigger and fatter…and possibly in the shape of a Christmas tree or something.
For further adventures in chocolate and peanut butter, check out this glorious website. chocolate and peanut butter gallery I like the looks of the devil’s foodcake peanut butter-filled Twinkies and the chocolate peanut butter martini… Two things that can help me on my way to being a fat drunk. Thanks Internet!