This year, The Hershey Company unveiled a series of limited edition candies—the Hershey Flavors of America—that featured the candymaker’s flagship confectioneries gene-spliced with stereotypically accurate regional flavors for a handful of U.S. states. There are coconut almond Kisses (Hawaii), key lime pie and orange cream pop Twizzlers (Florida), strawberry Kit-Kats (California), cherry cheesecake Hershey bars (New York), and BBQ Payday bars (Texas). One other state was graced with a sugary shout-out. If you haven’t guessed yet, it’s us.
Our special flavor? Honey-roasted peanut Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. We assume this decision came after marketing executives were disappointed to learn that most peaches actually come from California or South Carolina, or after an ill-fated focus group responded poorly to Vidalia onion-flavored Kisses. Perhaps a chance encounter with Jimmy Carter and his peanut farm sealed the deal. Or maybe a simple Wikipedia search revealed our state crop as peanuts and our state insect as the honeybee. The world may never know.
On the surface, these candies look no different than your ordinary, run-of-the-mill Reese’s. If it wasn’t for the special packaging, you’d think nothing of them side by side. Even split open, the cups are only shades different, hardly noticeable to the human eye. It’s the bite alone that gives away the honey-roasted flavor.
These things are sweet. Like, Georgia sweet tea-levels of sweet. It’s almost overpowering, even superseding the tang of the honey. It’s a rich candy, that’s for sure.
With Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, I find there’s a delicate balance in the ratio of chocolate to peanut butter. Try tasting a regular cup, then a miniature, and finally, a mini. None will taste exactly the same—the miniatures are more peanut buttery, the regular are more chocolaty, and the mini strikes the perfect balance. After trying both the honey-roasted peanut and the regular cups side-by-side, I noticed a much stronger peanut butter taste in the special flavor. In fact, it made the original cup seem dull in comparison.
All in all, the special Georgia honey-roasted peanut Reese’s Cups are a solid choice for a quick indulgence at QuikTrip or RaceTrac. Long term, they’re far too sweet, but do shed some light onto the hidden shortcomings of the regular cups. Ideally, I’d like to see a mixture of the two. Keep the honey-roasted flavor, but tone down the sugar. It’ll make for a better tasting peanut butter cup, as well as give us Georgians one more thing to brag about.