It seems as though we are in a brilliant period in history, when we can get multiple varieties of the same item. For example, Coke. Here, we have one product with many different variations to it: regular Coke, Diet Coke, Cherry Coke, Caffeine-Free Coke, New Coke (which lead to Classic Coke), along with several that are only available outside the U.S.: Orange Coke, Black Cherry Vanilla Coke, Raspberry Coke, Lime Coke, and others. However, when we purchase a Diet Coke, we know it’s different from ‘regular’ Coke. Then, we run into the item we think is the same as the original, but is clearly very different: Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups.
People love the original chocolate and peanut butter combination. But just before the holidays (say…around the beginning of October), we are treated to the special shapes of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. This ‘special’ period runs from around the beginning of October through spring. Then we are left with just the original. During this special time of year, we have pumpkin-shaped Reese’s, Christmas Tree-shaped Reese’s, heart-shaped Reese’s for Valentine’s day, and the grand finale of the special Reese’s season: Easter Egg-shaped Reese’s. We think the special Reese’s shapes are the same as the original, but they are not. There appears to be a difference in the chocolate-to-peanut butter ratio. The delicious creamy peanut butter layer appears to be thicker in the shapes than the original Reese’s. A thicker layer of peanut butter, yet less dense than the original. The Reese’s shapes appear to be a bit more airy and lighter. Then, we need to consider the Reese’s Mini’s, which have a different density and chocolate-to-peanut butter ratio than the previous two varieties. Although closer to the ratio of the original Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup, the mini version appears to fall somewhere in the middle, between the original and the holiday shapes.
So, the next time you decide you need to scratch a chocolate-peanut butter itch, consider your options: a lighter peanut butter filling, or a more dense center. If you would rather go back to just one choice (which is no choice at all) then you’ll have to wait until after Easter, when the holiday varieties of Reese’s get packed away (or eaten) until next fall. Maybe we should add more Reese’s-worthy summer-time holidays.