When I lived in England, there were three things I did routinely for fun: Drink, watch reruns of The Simpsons, and eat chocolate. Not necessarily in that order, but often during the course of a single day. There was this milk chocolate candy bar called Wispa, which was very fun to say in a British accent and unique to my American chocolate sensibilities due to the fact that it was “aerated.” The chocolate had tiny air bubbles in it, which didn’t change the flavor of the bar in any way, but did make the texture a little creamier. Cadbury’s Wispa bar was sort of interesting for what it was at the time (it was discontinued after I left and renamed Dairy Milk Bubbly, which sounds HORRIBLE), but it was still a plain old chocolate bar that melted in me gob faster than I could say “Bob’s-your-uncle.” Gov’na.
Inexplicably, aerated chocolate has been a trend in Europe for a long time (see also: Aero bars), and now, it’s finally landed on our shores. Hershey’s has released a similar milk chocolate bar that they have dubbed “Hershey’s Air Delight.” Just like the Wispa, it’s chock-full o’ holes. Irregularly-shaped holes. Now let’s get something nice and sparkling clear. I happen to be one of those people who has an unpleasant visceral reaction to the sight of many irregularly-shaped holes or circles clustered together on an object. Things like sea sponges and rashes make my skin crawl. I don’t believe I’m alone in this. OK, maybe I am… But at least I know that it could be a lot worse.
One of my very good friends can’t stand the sight of bubbles or a mound of beads when they are evenly-spaced and of equal shape and size, which you are probably far more likely to encounter in daily life. As a clean freak, the possibility of constantly getting the creepy-crawlies from dish bubbles would mean I was destined for a lifetime of discomfort, so I’m grateful for the small (evenly-shaped) things.
That being said, Hershey’s Air Delight Aerated Milk Chocolate uses these misshapen air bubbles to make you think they’ve packed more chocolate into the same package when they’re actually giving you less. Half of the candy bar you just bought is air. The Air Delight bar is divided into several rectangular pieces, just like the original Hershey’s bar, but the pieces are slightly thicker. When you bite into it, it feels a little bit crumblier and crispier than a normal chocolate bar, but that could be because the holes (ergh!) are collapsing upon each other. The aerated milk chocolate itself tastes like regular milk chocolate and seems a bit creamier.
Now, let’s get to the uncomfortable part. The holes (gah!) are like honeycomb. Teensy little bubbles in the chocolate. I tried not to look too closely lest I would want to scratch off my own flesh, but it was actually not that bad. I guess the knowledge that the bubble/holes are edible and not caused by pestilence makes it more tolerable.
Anyway, Hershey’s Air Delight is a fine milk chocolate bar with a nice milk chocolate flavor, even if the aerating process doesn’t really add anything to it but a slight crunchiness when you bite and a smooth creaminess when you chew — a small reward for blowing air holes in my candy. Now if they had been speed holes to make the chocolate bar go faster, that would have been awesome.
(Nutrition Facts – 1 bar (1.44 ounces/40 grams) – 200 calories, 12 grams of fat, 7 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0.5 grams of polyunsaturated fat, 0.5 grams of monounsaturated fat, 10 milligrams of cholesterol, 30 milligrams of sodium, 300 milligrams of potassium, 24 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, 22 grams of sugar, 3 grams of protein, 8% calcium, and 2% iron.)
Item: Hershey’s Air Delight Aerated Milk Chocolate Bar
Size: 1.44 ounces
Purchased at: CVS
Rating: 6 out of 10
Pros: Delicious Hershey’s milk chocolate flavor. Fanciful chocolate bar names spoken in foreign accents. Bigger, thicker candy bar pieces. Has a nice crunch. Melts in your mouth. Speed holes.
Cons: Irregularly-shaped holes. Aeration process does nothing more than inject air into the candy and siphon money from your wallet. Creepy-crawlies. European candy trends that don’t really make sense. Candy bar holes are not speed holes.