Tuesday, November 22, 2011

A Hershey Christmas

When I think of Christmas candy, there are a few things that instantly come to mind.  The first are Reese's Peanut Butter Cups.  When I was a kid, the candy cane shaped tube of Reese's was always the first thing I pulled out from my Christmas stocking.  They're classic and, even today, they haven't changed a bit.  We'll discuss them sometime soon, but today we're talking about the second treat that comes to mind -- Hershey Kisses!  I'll admit, I'm not crazy for Kisses, but they're definitely traditional and have always been a part of the season.  I love the flavor, I've just always rathered candy bars over Kisses.  So, in this entry, we're going to look at both!

I'm tired of the boring, old, milk chocolate Hershey Kisses, so I decided to focus on two of the more unique bags out this season.  The first, pictured above, are Hershey's Kisses with Almonds.  The bag, much like the Hershey Kiss commercial, is absolutely perfect for Christmas.  Green, white, and red.  That either screams "ho ho ho" or Columbus Day.  Thanks to those tiny snow flakes, all confusion is erased and we're ready to dive into our bag of Christmas goodness.

What I've always liked about Hershey Kisses, especially around Christmas, is that they're exceptionally wrapped.  Look, Hershey could have won me over with all-green foil.  That would have been more than enough to make me happy.  But no, they added red and gold, too!  Now, when you pour these classics into a candy bowl, you actually have another decoration.  Up close, they look so good that you don't know if you should eat them or let them sit there for Santa to admire on Christmas Eve.  That's why Kisses have become so traditional in my family.  For years, they've been more about atmosphere than anything else.  Their imagery makes more of a memory than their flavor.

Just look at them for a second.  They're so Christmassy I could scream.  But I won't, because that would be girly and embarrassing.  The fact that I even wrote that knocks my man points down a few pegs, but I had to express my emotion and that was all I had.  I could go back and delete it, but then we wouldn't be able to laugh at how sad this paragraph is.  Anyway, admire them for another second before we begin to unwrap harder than Mark Summers.  Oh yeah..

The only difference between milk chocolate Hershey Kisses and Hershey Kisses with Almonds is.. you guessed it... the latter has almonds!  But don't scoff and X out of the Holidaze so quick!  That little almond makes all the difference.  Now every bite is different.  First, you may get all chocolate but, oh, wait, now I'm getting a little almond.  Now I have to actually chew more.  Yeah, now I'm on a roller coaster of flavor and emotion.  See, you can't discount that almond so fast.  That almond is like the unexpected.  Without it, life is just boring.

This bag is going second because I like it a lot better than the first and I always try to build up anticipation before disappointing you with the lack of anything important.  Here, we have Hershey Kisses Candy Cane.  Like the bag says, these little guys are mint candy with stripes and candy bits.  That, along with the unwrapped Kiss graphic, is just too awesome to pass up.  This bag is just yelling at you to buy it, experience a bit of winter, and, while you're at it, have an old-school barber cut your hair.

Unlike the bag of Hershey Kiss Almonds, the Hershey Kiss Candy Cane wrappers are all the same.  But that's not a bag thing, that's a good thing.  We're focusing on red and white stripes here so, really, anything else would just be stupid.  What they did with the traditional silver wrapper and red candy cane graphics is just enough to give you an illusion of a spiral.  As a fan of graphics, and somebody who appreciates the attention to detail, I really enjoy this bag of Kisses and their wrappers.

While the graphics and color scheme are great, I actually didn't know what to expect from their flavor.  I was thinking they'd fall somewhere between Junior Mints and Andes, but really wasn't sure.  However, I was pretty pumped to see what they looked like and give my taste buds a new sensation.  While you may have seen or tried these Kisses before, I haven't and I was looking forward to it.  Let's go!

Ehh... They're okay.  They're not great, but they're not bad.  My girlfriend said I should have taken a picture of a bitten Hershey Kiss Candy Cane so it would match the almond photo, but I didn't and, by the time she suggested it, I was too tired to take any more pictures.  Just trust me when I tell you that I tried these and wouldn't buy them again.  I liked the minty flavor, but I wasn't digging those candy bits.  What type of candy was that?  I thought they were candy cane pieces, because that made the most sense, but after looking closely, I can't be sure.  Either way, I'm done eating Hershey Kisses Candy Cane.  I'm just happy that they look awesome in, and out, of their wrapper.  I mean, really, look at how cool the Kisses are.  I'll knock how they taste, but no way will I knock that red and white design. 

As I mentioned, my favorite aspect of Hershey Kisses are the fact that they can be used to decorate your table.  They add an extra hint of Christmas that more extravagant decor doesn't deliver.  You can go out and buy the most expensive decorations you can find, but Hershey Kisses will always do their best to stand out even more.  Maybe that's the child, in all of us, who is still attracted to bright colors and candy.  I can't be sure, but I can bet you can't look at the above photo without feeling happy.  You're here because you love the holidays and, as the blog implies, Hershey Kisses will guarantee a Holidaze.

There are additional Hershey Kiss varieties that I've seen in stores since the time these photos were taken, but I've yet to pick them up.  I probably will, but haven't decided whether or not they're worth it yet.  If I do, you know they'll be here to check out.  For now, let's move on to my tongue's favorite.

We have two Hershey Bars to talk about here and, the first, is this milk chocolate Snowman.  Now, whenever I see a Christmas candy bar, I hesitate to buy it because I never know what to expect once it's unwrapped.  Even though I know what to expect in terms of taste, I've always enjoyed looking at the candy bar designs even more.  I used to hate opening a wrapper only to find the same, crappy, Hershey logo embedded into the bar.  But, if you wanted it, you had no other choice but to take the risk.  Either way, you were guaranteed a candy bar.

However, in this case, I never had to question the inside because the outside told me exactly what to expect.  This is where I really have to tip my Santa hat to Hershey.  They must be well aware that people, of all ages, appreciate the designs on candy bars because they advertised the fact that it was present right on their wrapper.  Way to go, Hershey people!

I just can't explain how happy that Snowman makes me.  He's the reason why I bought this bar at all and he was worth every penny.  Could you imagine how boring this would be without the design?  I love the wrapper, but no way will I support your product on a consistent basis if you're not willing to go the extra mile.  It's Christmas, guys!  It only comes once a year and is the greatest holiday of them all.  This snowman isn't really asking for much. 

I never tried the Cookies n Cream Hershey Bar before, but this Nutcracker enticed me with his mustache and seductive smile.  He wasn't taking no for an answer so, I knew, I just had to give this new flavor a shot.  I had always heard good things about Cookies n Cream candy and my girlfriends little brother goes crazy for it, so it was worth the minimal risk.  For the sake of the Nutcracker, it was time to get cracking.. poorly used pun intended.

Because it's white chocolate, you can't see the design as well as we could with the Snowman, but it's there and I'm happy about that more than whatever flavor I was about to experience.  After taking a bite, I'm pleasantly surprised.  I honestly didn't think I'd like it as much as I do.  It's not something I'd eat on a consistent basis, because I feel as though it's a bit overwhelming, but maybe that's because I'm new to white chocolate.  But overall, it's good and I'd recommend it to anybody who's never tried it.  I'm probably in the minority, but there may be a few nerds left out there.  If you're reading this blog, chances are it's you..

To conclude, I present to you a Christmas Tree I made out of Hershey Kisses.  Okay, I'll be honest, I was trying to make the Hershey Kisses look like one giant Kiss, but that wasn't working, so I'm calling it a tree instead.  Had I never told you, you'd never know, so now you know how honest I am.  So whenever I tell you to try something new, or buy a product you've never seen before, take my word for it and use this moment as your reference.  Now, check out my tree and enjoy your day!

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