Thursday, September 7, 2017

I want... this candy?

Nestle and Hershey. Two of the greatest fighters in the chocolate wars. Two unstoppable titans of confection, rolling over the landscape with rich chocolaty goodness.

And yet, they still make some candy that makes me wonder what they were thinking.

Hershey has been promoting its Flavors of America products all summer. This campaign extends to various product lines and regions, such as Strawberry Kit-Kat (California), Key Lime Pie and Orange Cream Pop Twizzlers (Florida), Coconut Almond Kisses (Hawaii), and this:

Cherry Cheesecake white chocolate Hershey's bar for my home state of New York.

I liked the concept, cherries being a great New York crop and the city having its own style of cheesecake. In that way it combined the agriculture of upstate with the cuisine of the Big Apple. But this candy bar is pretty meh. Hershey's white chocolate doesn't usually taste like much but sugar, and this one has a weird almond flavor that overwhelms any cheesecake taste it might have. There's no almonds listed in the ingredients, so it had to be an artificial flavor added for no reason. The "crispy cookies," which presumably take the place of the crust, should have been sponge or vanilla or even graham, nothing almondy. You get some cherry flavor, but it's not too good. Got to give this one a D, Hershey.

On the higher end of the scale we have Damak, by Nestle.

Looks fancy, huh?

Damak has actually been around since 1933, but not in the United States, not until last year. When I saw it I asked myself, "Self, have you ever had a pistachio chocolate bar?" And I thought that while I might have had chocolate-covered pistachios in a boxed assortment, I could not say for sure. So, Damak was purchased.

And with this, too, I was disappointed, but for totally different reasons.

The chocolate was indeed very nice, a cut above Nestle's normal chocolate, which is quite good already. But to my surprise, the pistachios disappeared in it. I've always loved pistachio nuts, which have a flavor quite distinct from other nuts, but the chocolate was too much for it. And I got the milk chocolate, not the dark, which usually has a stronger flavor than milk. What would you taste then?

Of the two I'd say I liked the Hershey bar less, but it was cheap, so the investment was small. I just think that the Damak bar was missing something, but since Nestle's been at it since 1933, someone must love it, and Nestle's probably not going to mess with it because I said something.

As always, I'd love to get your opinion on these (or anything else) in comments, or at frederick_key AT We need to improve our empty calories, and our only chance is if we pull together.

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