The Flavor of New York. That’s a big promise – and an invitation for a loud “Yeah, right” from a New Yorker. We’re a cynical bunch.
As any local knows, there are two New Yorks. One is the tourist-packed landmark areas like Times Square. While this might be the dominant image of the city, it’s the last place New Yorkers want to spend time. We avoid it like the plague – unless one (like myself at the moment) happens to be working for a media conglomerate that insists on making you wade through a sea of human road cones twice daily. This loud, inauthentic, unsubtle chunk of real estate is where I found the Flavor of New York Cherry Cheesecake bar – at Hershey’s Chocolate World.
The other New York is where locals really live, eat and shop – the quiet side streets and less-traveled neighborhoods. On one of these surprisingly bucolic stretches, I purchased a true New York cherry cheesecake to compare Hershey’s bar to. Eileen’s Special Cheesecake has worked the same tiny storefront since 1976.
These would be my base “Flavor of New York.”
Back at the office, I zipped open the Hershey’s bar. The creamy white chocolate with dark pink crunch balls looked close to what I expected. Some red speckles mixed throughout like the Cookies & Cream bar, wouldn’t go amiss, though.
The first sniff was cheesecake, then my nose broke the bad news: faux cherry. I’m often down with artificial fruit flavors, but one molecule of fake cherry and it’s flashbacks of disgusting medicine for me. Blek. Apparently I’m very sensitive on the cherry front.
It carried over to the taste as well – cream cheese, white chocolate and cough syrup – albeit much less grimace-inducing than a shot of Robitussin. Let’s call it cough-syrup-adjacent. A bite of Eileen’s cherry cheesecake reminded me that actual cherries are delightful. I’d hoped that with modern technology, the flavor masters at Hershey’s could make a GOOD 2017 fake cherry. Sadly, these are 80s-era fake cherries and I’m not having it.
I do love a bar full of Hershey’s crunch balls, however, and the cream cheese / white chocolate combo was a pretty good interpretation of cheesecake. I just had a hard time forgiving the crime against cherries.
To me, this candy bar is like Times Square. It has an underlying greatness, obscured by the flashing lights and garishness of chemical cherries.
(Nutrition Facts – 1 bar – 220 calories, 100 calories from fat, 12 grams of fat, 7 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, less than 5 milligrams of cholesterol, 55 milligrams of sodium, 27 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of dietary fiber, 21 grams of sugar, and 3 grams of protein.)
Purchased Price: 5 for $5.00
Size: 1.5 oz. bar
Purchased at: Hershey’s Chocolate World Times Square
Rating: 4 out of 10
Pros: Good cheesecake taste! Nice crunchy balls! The Hershey store smells like chocolate!
Cons: Medicine-y taste, but won’t stop a cough. Doesn’t capture the “Je ne sais WHAAAT” of New York. Made me walk through Times Square.