This time last year, Hershey’s launched its “Flavors of America” campaign. I thought this was a genius way to introduce new flavors – appeal to our national spirit and highlight the diverse agriculture and local/regional culinary specialties of our fair country.
While I had issues with the Flavor of New York Cherry Cheesecake bar, for the most part I enjoyed the products that came out of this promotion – Orange Creme Pop and Key Lime Pie Twizzlers, Strawberry Kit Kat, etc.
I thought the Flavor of Hawaii Coconut Almond Hershey’s Kisses were the standout of the bunch. They were superbly light and the enrobed almonds added a nice crunch. I nearly ate a whole bag in one sitting.
When I heard that Hershey was retreading these Kisses as Pineapple Coconut, I was excited but confused. I didn’t understand why it was having another go at Hawaii when there were plenty of other flavors and states it hadn’t hit yet. I love pineapple, though, so I definitely wanted to try them.
On breaking open the bag, I inhaled a lung-ful of suntan lotion. It smelled like whatever tropical-fruit-scented concoction I was slathering on my translucent skin during my family’s summer 1987 vacation to Honolulu. In that sense, it was definitely a flavor of Hawaii for me. But a food-scented lotion is more appealing than a lotion-flavored food. My hopes were starting to deflate like a pool float with a slow leak.
While last year’s Coconut Almond Kisses were a subtle affair with a classy coconut and a smart almond textural bump, Pineapple Coconut were like 12-year-old me in Hawaii – frizzy, permed hair, Jamz shorts in a seizure-inducing pattern and geometrically abstract sunburn lines. Just wrong.
The same lovely coconut remained, but these Kisses were mostly pineapple. Not an authentic “I just came from the Dole Plantation tour” flavor, but more of a “Check out these gummies I found at It’s Sugar.” I’m not against fake-fruit flavors – I prefer fake watermelon to the real thing – but in this case, the artificiality didn’t mesh well with the low-key coconut. I wouldn’t even say I disliked the pineapple on its own merits – I think it would have been great as a Twizzler.
These Kisses also lacked a nut filling, which I really missed. I decided to make some of my go-to crafty snacks – I call them Flying Saucers. One round pretzel, one Hershey’s Kiss, bake at 250F for 3 minutes exactly, press one M&M into the center to flatten it out.
For me, the pretzels fixed the flavor imbalance and gave it texture. I had more appreciation for the Coconut Pineapple afterwards.
Overall, these weren’t bad and would be a nice treat for a luau-themed patio party this summer, but if the Coconut Almond Kisses are available – choose them instead.
Now, can we PLEASE move on to some other states’ great flavors? How about Vermont Maple Kisses? New Mexico Chili Chocolate Kisses? Massachusetts Cranberry? Louisiana Bananas Foster?
(Nutrition Facts – 7 kisses – 170 calories, 9 grams of fat, 6 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 35 milligrams of sodium, 20 grams of carbohydrates, 0 gram of dietary fiber, 16 grams of total sugars, 13 grams of added sugars, and 2 grams of protein.)
Purchased Price: $4.75
Size: 10 oz. bag
Purchased at: Hershey’s Chocolate World
Rating: 6 out of 10
Pros: Same light, lovely coconut flavor as last year’s model.
Cons: Pineapple that isn’t in tune with the coconut. Why are we going to Hawaii again? This kiss needs nuts (or pretzels or something crunchy and savory)!