May 3rd: Hershey's Miniatures

Before I dive in to the review today I must first thank the suppliers of today's product of focus AmericanSoda whose online shop can be found HERE. These guys are big fans of the site and provide an American food importing service from here in the UK.

The first product sent in my direction by AmericanSoda were these Hershey's Miniatures - a selection pack of Hershey's chocolates that promise 'a little something for everyone'. The 150.0g pack included twenty mini bars of some of Hershey's most popular bars - their milk chocolate, Mr Goodbar, Krackel and their Special Dark offering.

All the chocolates came in a bright yellow plastic packet and were each wrapped in a combination of foil and paper sleeves. Presentation wise, everything was all pretty spot on and I additionally liked the size of the bars which were a comfortable fit for either a single mouthful, or a more refined two bite approach. Below are my thoughts on each of the variants.

Hershey's Milk Chocolate (Full Review HERE) - What more can I say about this chocolate that I haven't said already!? It's a chocolate that mostly divides opinion, though I like to sit firmly on the fence as one of those people who is neither repulsed or overly in love with it. Like many, I'm really not a fan of the either the yoghurty aftertaste or the 'offish' milk aromas it's emanates, however for me it's not as catastrophic as I know some other feels. Truth be told it's just a fair standard milk chocolate, and I would defend it by saying its at least unique compared to the other more generic mass market offerings we get from the likes of Nestle and Mars. Standard.

Hershey's Mr Goodbar (Full Review HERE) - The Mr Goodbar is pretty simple in construct and is fundamentally just the original Hershey's milk chocolate with added peanuts. Whilst this may sound unexciting and very basic in proposition, I actually find it to be a much tastier experience. Although not implemented as well as in the original bar (the peanut particles are much larger in the normal size!), they still brought an additional level of flavour depth with their salty, roasted nutty flavours. These were easily my favourite of all four flavours. Good.

Hershey's Krackel - This was the one I was most looking forward to trying as a little check on Wikipedia told me that this was an original creation by the Hershey's founder, and that it could only now be found in this 'mini' format (i.e. the larger bar no longer exists). The Krackel has the same proposition as the Nestle Crunch and is a chocolate that contains crisped rice. Crisped rice has never been one of my favourite chocolate enhancers ever, but this bar took things to new levels ... bad, bad levels!!! Indeed, the crisped rice felt like nothing more than complete filler, and did little for me either texturally or taste wise. The chocolate tasted blander, and each piece was totally unfulfilling - this was the definition of a waste calories. Thank god they removed the big bar - I threw three out of the five away here. Awful.

Hershey's Special Dark - For reasons unknown this wasn't a chocolate I had previously tried from Hershey so I was looking forward to seeing what I would make of their dark chocolate recipe. Suspicions of the validity of the 'dark chocolate' experience were raised from the outset what with the communication on the wrapper 'Special Dark - Mildly Sweet Chocolate'. Despite it's Special Dark name, this just wasn't dark chocolate at all and place it as a figurehead of my group of dark chocolates that I like to dub 'mass consumer friendly dark chocolate'. The totality of the sweet cocoa flavours wasn't necessarily poor, but the chocolate just came across as a slightly more acidic, lighter of the original milk chocolate recipe. As a chocolate it wasn't particularly bad, but as a dark chocolate it was Poor.

Overall Hershey's chocolate are always going to divide opinion and although I have given this product a pretty low score here, I would still say that all of these chocolates are at least worth trying in some form if only for the experience. Your enjoyment of the pack as a totality will largely be driven by your opinion on the original Hershey's milk chocolate recipe, though I fail to see how anyone who likes nuts could possibly like the Mr Goodbar since it is the nuts which 90.0% control the taste. I'm of the opinion that both the Special Dark and Krackel chocolates are both really rather poor offerings, though I will reserve being too harsh on the 'Special Dark' as it is hardly uncommon for a mass produced chocolate brand to hold back on making a serious dark chocolate. No matter what you make of Hershey's one thing you have to say is that their chocolate is at least unique - thats a commendable quality to have in its self.

5.8 out of 10