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Sunday, December 14, 2008

A Holiday Miracle

For decades, Hershey's has been the premiere brand of mainstream American chocolate. And they have some real classics in their line; Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, for example. Kit Kats. But for some reason, one fairly basic chocolate variation has eluded them: Hershey's has never had an idea how to make mint chocolate.

Oh, they've tried. It's not as if they're unaware of this gaping hole in their product line. Sure, they market the York Peppermint Patty, but they don't manufacture it - it's on license from Peter Paul. But that's not enough. It's clear that they want a definitive mint chocolate that bears the Hershey's name. For years, every product they've test-marketed has avoided hitting that - forgive the pun - sweet spot for mint chocolate lovers. Either too sweet, or with a chemical taste, or not minty enough, or the wrong kind of mint.

In the past, mint chocolate from Hershey's has tasted of nothing more than desperation and flop sweat, and I can tell you, those are not ingredients a mint chocolate lover wants in their special treats. Nothing to compete with the Peppermint Patty, After Eights, Andes, or Junior Mints, or even the holy grail of mint chocolate, Russel Stover's Mint Dream (which I've heard favorably compared with Heroin). But still they try.

Mint chocolate lovers, are you sitting down? Hershey's just got it right. I give you: Hershey's Mint Truffle Kisses.



Nicely waxed dark chocolate with a firm consistency, perfect mint flavor in a creamy filling in exact proportions. I'm vaguely disappointed in the decision to tint the truffle a neon green, but I understand it from a marketing angle, and, really, it's not like this is something that I need to eat in more than one bite.

The holiday angle is nice, too - the green and silver wrappings look good sitting in a dish on the coffee table or sideboard. So break out the acne medication and buy yourself a bag. These things are pretty addictive.

D.

12 comments:

Ansley said...

Nice... I love that shit.. My entire childhood I was plagued with After Eights... my father couldnt get enough of them.. and I hated them.. now as I get older I love the mint chocolate combo...

Dave Kopperman said...

I think you win the award for fastest comment, ever. You must have me on RSS.

My big mint hit as a kid (other than Junior Mints and Mint Dreams) was Baskin-Robbins Mint Chocolate Chip ice cream. I don't think it's held up as well as some of the others in my esteem, but who else was making that flavor back then? Not in vogue, really. They were the lone standard-bearers, for which they have my eternal gratitude.

D.

Ansley said...

Its not as good because its not the same as it was.. totally chemical tasting now.. I loved that flavour when I was a kid too.. that and the pink bubble gum flavour...

Dave Kopperman said...

Yeah, but thankfully, others have now stepped in to pick up the mint chocolate ice cream dream.

D.

bran said...

have you tried the 3 musketeers mint bars? They're kind of hard to find, but very refreshing especially if you freeze them!

Dave Kopperman said...

Yeah - Karl (the other mint chocolate enthusiast) and I are both pretty impressed by the 3M bar. Good chocolate, good consistency. I prefer refrigerated to frozen, myself.

D.

Dave Kopperman said...

I should say that the Hershey's Mint Truffle Kiss is probably on a par with, but not better than, the 3M mint bar.

D.

shaunian said...

Sorry if I sound like a chocolate snob...especially because I'm not as much of a chocolate nut as you guys, but I bought a bags o' these and I don't share your enthusiasm. They are definitely better than the russel stover stuff which (here comes the snob part, I suspect) taste like they've been on the shelf in the cvs for about 3 years. At best they are sugar and stale goo. So the kisses are bettr than that, but that I no great feat.

Have you guys not tried the Lindt mints? Or hey, have you tried the Lindt chili chocolates?
-yours truly,
chocolate, beer, and dog snob.
P.S. Remind me to tell you about how the whole crew got sick after filming in the m&m/mars factory in NJ.

shaunian said...

But then again, I eat "hot pockets" and instant grits, so what the hell do I know?

Dave Kopperman said...

Don't confuse the run-of-the-mill Russel Stover's mints with the elusive Mint Dream. I promise that it is worth the hunt.

D.

Christine said...

Did you get a chance to try the limited-edition Indiana Jones Mint Crisp M&Ms earlier this year?

Dave Kopperman said...

Yes. Yes I did. Me no like the M&M mint.

D.