The old adage "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" ... is apparently not one to which modern candy companies subscribe.
These days, you can buy a Hershey's bar that doesn't have any chocolate, Butterfinger Peanut Butter Cups and candy bars studded with M&M's. It's candy-inception chaos, as if Willy Wonka just found out about turduckens and doesn’t think poultry should have all the fun. Sometimes ideas for new candies come from fans.
And Reese's Peanut Butter Cups have a lot of fans. Reese's, in particular, has a lot of super fans, like this guy.
And this guy:
Decked out in Reese's gear from head-to-toe, he was among the crowd which showed up to Reese's Swap Shop this week to give New Yorkers a sneak preview of two new cups the company is debuting in April: Chocolate Lovers and Peanut Butter Lovers.
If you love Reese's Peanut Butter Cups but always thought the ratio was a little off (apparently, plenty of such people exist? You monsters!), now you can choose a chocolate quotient that is more to your taste, or go heavier on the peanut butter.
The top layer of the Peanut Butter Lovers cup is made from the filling of a Reese's Pieces candy. Yes, you read that correctly. Reader, what kind of journalist would I be if I didn't set aside my research on the Mueller report to investigate? Don't answer that.
The storefront is ... heavy on the orange. If I were to think of a compliment for it, I would say that you definitely can't miss it.
Oh, and of course there was a catch. To try the new flavors, candy fans had to pay — not in money, but by swapping something they loved with the candyman behind the counter.
I watched as a well-dressed fellow handed over a planter filled with several thriving cacti. To me, this was a marvel. Firstly, because I struggle to keep cacti alive and haven't seen a healthy one in many moons. Also, these Reese's will retail for $1.11 when they hit the market — and cacti are pretty pricey these days.
But you can't put a price on love. Or on the Instagram likes you'll get when you're among the first to try a cool new candy that’s already more famous than you on Twitter. So I understand you, cactus man.
Those who came unprepared got creative. One girl tried to get a taste by trading her boyfriend, who, like the cacti, appeared to be thriving. I understand you too, hungry girl. Boyfriends are nice, but can you eat them? You know what? Don't answer that either.
Personally, I traded the first thing I grabbed from my office junk drawer, which turned out to be a tiny shovel with no discernible purpose. The Reese's man very generously gave me a Peanut Butter Lovers cup and a Chocolate Lovers Cup, because I am charming — and also happen to work for the TODAY Show.
So, what's the verdict?
Reader, they were both good.
The extra-chocolatey one was luscious, with a texture that reminded me of a rich truffle. The extra-peanut-buttery one, meanwhile, was pure salty bliss. The candy peanut butter shell is just different enough from the peanut butter filling to make you think, "Wow! These folks sure do know a thing or two about peanut butter."
I will certainly be forking over $1.11 to buy these cups when they hit stores mid-April.
But while I was babbling on in the shop about trying to figure out if I am on "Team Chocolate" or "Team Peanut Butter," a Hershey's rep reminded me that these are limited-edition releases and the company is expected to run out by July.
So I won't get too attached. Even though I already am.
Anyway, by July I'm sure the good folks at Hershey's will have cooked up something new for us all to lose our collective minds over.
By the way, I've decided I'm Team Chocolate and Team Peanut Butter.
And they say women can't have it all!