HERSHEY’S GOLD – IT’S THE FIRST NEW HERSHEY BAR FLAVOR IN 20 YEARS!!! At least that’s what the press release and news articles screamed.
But didn’t I review a new Hershey’s Cherry Cheesecake bar flavor. a few months ago? And wasn’t I snarfing down Candy Corn and Candy Cane flavors recently? Yes, but Hershey’s says it’s the first non-chocolate flavor release since Cookies ‘n’ Creme in 1995. Like the C&C bar, Hershey’s Gold is a creme-based bar.
How is that different than a flavored white chocolate bar? I fell into a rabbit hole of internet research on what’s considered real “chocolate” and comparing ingredients from various Hershey’s bar flavors.
Three hours later, I realized there was a candy bar next to me, being NOT eaten. Focus! Let’s just say it’s a new Hershey’s bar flavor and consume it already.
This bar is a deep golden hue, as promised. The peanut and pretzel bits mixed in were tiny shards. I expected larger peanut chunks and hoped for crunchy pretzel balls in the style of the Cookies ‘n’ Creme cookie balls.
A fun surprise was the new pip layout (yes, that’s what those squares are called, apparently). Instead of the standard uniform rectangles, these are offset with some larger ones. The design initially looked asymmetrical, but came together to satisfy my sense of geometric justice.
On first smell, this thing is ALL peanut butter. On first taste, same thing. Overwhelmingly peanut butter. I can’t discern any pretzel taste beyond a slight burst of salt. Same with the caramelized creme – a little toasty sweetness. These are flavors I associate already with peanut butter and PB-flavored foods, however, so to me they’re hard to separate out. What they do is blend seamlessly to make a really nice peanut butter bar. It’s creamy and salty and sweet, but not too much of any of those things.
The texture was slightly crunchy, but a far cry from what I’d expect from peanuts and pretzels. As a big pretzel fan, I was disappointed in their shallow presence here. Had this been billed just a peanut butter bar, I’d say this was a great entry.
But the larger issue was — was it s’moreable? I grabbed some holiday Peeps and graham crackers and headed to the microwave. (Yeah, I’m one of those.)
18 seconds later – Holy peanuts, Batman. These are great. I think this bar is far more interesting as s’mores than as a candy bar.
(Nutrition Facts – 1 bar – 220 calories, 14 grams of fat, 7 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 5 milligrams of cholesterol, 85 milligrams of sodium, 22 grams of carbohydrates, 20 grams of total sugars, 17 grams of added sugars, and 3 grams of protein.)
Purchased Price: $1.39
Size: 1.4 oz. bar
Purchased at: Duane Reade
Rating: 7 out of 10
Pros: Good peanut butter flavor. New artsy pip design. Incredibly S’morable.
Cons: Are you there pretzels? It’s me, Rachel. Still haven’t figured out the whole “first non-chocolate bar in 20 years” thing.