Hershey, Pennsylvania, as we’ve reported before, is kind of a magical place. What’s not to love about an entire town devoted to the production of candy? The very air smells like chocolate.
It’s probably not surprising, then, that people in Hershey, especially those who work for the Hershey company, take the major chocolate-eating holidays very seriously. We’re now in the middle of the seven-month lull between Easter and Halloween, a long, quiet stretch of time during which there are no holiday symbols that can be filled with peanut butter (unless you consider that the original Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups look like Fourth of July fireworks). And so Hershey’s decided to unveil its Halloween lineup a little earlier this year, via a Zoom call to which employees showed up in costume. Why should a global pandemic ruin an opportunity to dress up and eat candy?
The new offerings are:
The fangs are pre-stamped on the bars, so if you nibble carefully, they’ll be selfie-ready. If you already like the Cookies ‘N’ Crème bar, you will like this. (I personally do not, but several of the people I shared my stash with did. They liked it a lot.) The crème is very sweet and tastes like vanilla. The cookies are, of course, Oreos, or a chocolate wafer very much like Oreos.
The red filling is not blood, in case you are wondering (though that would be quite an extreme move on Hershey’s part). It’s strawberry crème, a little brighter and gooier than the crème used to cover candy bars. It tastes more like sugar than like strawberry, but it’s still a great visual effect. The kiss flags are helpfully labeled “Vampire.”
These are not alive—though if you feel like testing with an electrical current, we won’t stop you—but they are two coverings mixed together: milk chocolate and vanilla-flavored green crème. (Yes, Hershey’s is going very hard on the crème this year.) They contain the same amount of peanut butter as regular cups, not as much as the pumpkins, and the crème is only there for cosmetic purposes, not flavor.
What does witch’s brew taste like? In this interpretation, marshmallow. I was a bit skeptical at first, and it took a few bites for the flavor to work its spell on me, but eventually it did. Of all the new Hershey’s Halloween products coming out this year, this one was my favorite. The Kit Kat wafers gave it a slightly toasted flavor. And now I wonder, when you eat it with a regular Kit Kat, if it will taste like s’mores.
Returning this year will be the much-loved Reese’s Pumpkins, eaten by a full 10% of the U.S. population last fall, or 33 million Americans, and also Monster Kisses (regular Kisses in monster-themed wrapping), Hershey’s Miniatures in glow-in-the-dark wrappers, and Pumpkin Pie Kit Kats, which taste, for better or worse, remarkably like pumpkin pie. I’m really happy to see how Hershey’s has been stepping up its Kit Kat game. And the year is only half over!