Like everyone, I have had a lot of strange feelings these past six months—hell, this past week. The human soul contains multitudes, especially in turbulent times. I have been feeling sad, frustrated, and angry, but also sometimes content and even happy. (I feel these last two things most often when I am in the presence of my dog and live in the moment, just as he does.) A press release I received last week attempted to address my inner turmoil.
“Finally,” it read, “a product that represents how we’re all feeling in 2020.”
Oh, goody! I thought. A corporation has found a way to make money off our national mood. Is capitalism great or what?
I kept reading: “We’re keeping it together on the outside, but we’re salty on the inside.”
Okay, yes, I’ve been feeling salty, too. (See my initial response to this press release.) Conveniently, it’s an emotion that translates very literally and easily to food.
“Let’s face it, we’re all feeling a little bit salty this year,” said Ian Norton, the senior director of the Reese’s brand. “In true Reese’s fashion, we channeled our feelings into sweet and salty deliciousness with new Reese’s Big Cups with Pretzels.”
Reese’s, did you say? Peanut butter cups? Big ones? With pretzels? Farewell, comrades. Forget all my talk about the evils of capitalism. Just shove more salty sugar down my throat.
Which of course made me hate myself more. But then a few days later, a box arrived at my door with a big sticker that announced its contents to be Reese’s Big Cups with Pretzels and I got excited again, because when it comes to chocolate and peanut butter, I am hopelessly craven.
Still, I don’t regret it, because these are probably the best variation on the Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup format I’ve ever had. The big cups have even more peanut butter than the regular size, and that is a good thing. The best thing about the Reese’s peanut butter, and the reason Reese’s cups are better than all their imitators, is its saltiness. The pretzel bits add to that without any of the malty flavor of actual pretzels. I’m not sure the maltiness would be a bad thing, but it would add some complexity to the flavor, and saltiness is an emotion/flavor that stands up perfectly all right on its own, especially when it’s covered in chocolate.
The most satisfying part about the whole thing is that the pretzel bits make the peanut butter cups crunchy. One really satisfying thing about salty food is that a lot of it, particularly the junkier kind, is crunchy, and it’s very satisfying to grind something to powder between your molars. The pretzels are crunchier—and therefore more satisfying—than Crunchy Peanut Butter Cups, which rely on peanuts for their texture.
They made me very happy. Especially when I read to the end of the press release and learned first, that they are a permanent addition to the peanut butter cup family and second, that in March there will be peanut butter cups with potato chips. Now that is something to live for.