Thursday, September 15, 2016

Best Variety - Reese's Peanut Butter Cups

Every week this month we're featuring treats that have special varieties.  The last two weeks we've looked at Kit Kat and Pocky.  While Kit Kat is a western candy bar, invented in England, and very popular all over the world, most of its varieties have come out of Asia.  Pocky, is truly an Asian creation and has only come to North America recently, and in limited flavours.  This week's candy on the other hand is truly an a North American treat, Reese's Peanut Butter Cups.  In fact all of the varieties of this treat have been released in North America, and few have ever left.

For those in North America the Peanut Butter Cup is a real classic, but outside of North America it's really a niche treat. In most countries, if you can find Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, you'll find them in airports and candy specialty shops.  The reason they're not so popular all over the world? Peanut butter.  Peanut butter is a very divisive product, some cultures love it, many can't stand it. For those cultures that can't stand it, combining it with chocolate is about the silliest thing in the world. I've been told "why would you put peanut butter with chocolate, it just ruins the chocolate".
Because of this, the variations  in Reese's Peanut Butter Cups are all North American.  In fact, I can't say that I've ever seen a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup variation that isn't strictly American.  The varieties of this bar are a clear indication of that.  For the most part, Reese's Peanut Butter Cup varieties are based in changing up the size or ratio of the chocolate and peanut butter in the cup.  Some have more peanut butter, some have less, some are huge, some are tiny.  There's also the variety of the size of the peanut pieces in these cups.  Some of the peanut butter is smooth, some is chunky, and there's even a few with full peanuts inside. The other common difference is shape of the cup.  In some cases we can't really call them cups, but instead you have chocolate bunnies or bells filled with the same peanut butter you'd find in the classic cups.

I would say that there's only been one slightly "out there" Reese's Peanut Butter Cup ever made, and that's the special edition Elvis commemorative peanut butter and banana cream cup.  Other than that most of the cups have simply been playing around with the same ingredients.  It's not to say that these variations are any less than Kit Kat or Pocky, there's just a different take on change.

Of the approximately 18 Reese's Peanut Butter Cup variations I've tried, I've been really impressed with many of them.  This is because Reese's makes something good, and they stick to it.  Some might say that this is a prime example of American cuisine next to Asian cuisine.  America takes what they know and stick to it because it's what they like.  Asian cuisine likes to challenge itself, and often they go too far.  It's not better or worse, it's just different.


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