product review

“Never Again” Was What You Swore, The Time Before.

at least you're not inside out, right?

nothing draws attention to the delicacy of balance of disparate elements like a succession of unnecessary spin-offs wherein such balance is clumsily dispensed.

as in the case of the Reese Peanut Butter Bar. no good. i mean, not awful, but really just not right. not right in one’s head. you can’t really hold it against them, because such  is the nature of the beast, and chocolate bar novelty marketing can be kind of cute in a sad way, because you’d think that they, if anyone, should have a well established sense of what about their product works and why. but no, those flavour scientists and stuff-suit junior execs seem to miss the boat a good 60% of the time.

we all remember the grotesquerie of the Bizarro Cup, which if you don’t (because probably you really don’t), was the Reese cup where the peanut butter was on the outside, with a chocolatey filling within. beyond the already unsettling suspicions about what one has to do to turn peanut butter into a container, the fundamental flaw of this Cronenbergian abomination was the sweetening of the peanut butter, thus disrupting the interplay of savoury and sweet so necessary to the success of the peanut butter cup/most of Thailand, etc.

the mini cups (remember when those were like 15¢) were surprisingly successful, despite an apparently higher pb:choc ratio, and conversely, so too are the Big Cups, which at a whopping (insert unresearched but believable grammage here)g, i was ready to write off. oh, and i mean “successful” in terms of embodying a good thingness/ideal relationship (ie: tasting good, succeeding at being a Reese Peanut Butter Cup, as we understand the Reese Peanut Butter Cup), not so much a commercial success that would turn the Big Cup into a candy aisle mainstay, because i’ve noticed the Big Cup is not all that easy to find.

a little nauseating of course, in a way that i think has more to do with a psychic affront to our sense of proportion, resulting in disorder to the faculties, than anything else, because the Big Cup sure disorders you in a way that 3 normal cups do not. but at least you feel like you’ve really done something with your day.

and then you have this bar thing, which we knew from the outset was a pretty bad idea, but a man’s gotta write, right? again, i think that a big part of the failure is owed to the sweet-savoury being out of whack (the chocolatey connective tissue between the cells results in too high a mediocre chocolate content), but what has struck me still more is the textural factor. it seems incredibly obvious in retrospect, but as with all that one takes for granted, the absence of the acute-angle ridges on the periphery radically affects the whole deal. possibly of parallel importance to the sweet-savoury ratio, which i never would have believed until i experienced firsthand the honestly disturbing smoothness of the Reese Bar.

and therein lies the awful. or not quite. and from there proceeds the awful. because it is not the bar itself that is bad, but it makes you feel bad. it is what is missing from those rounded corners that, once apprehended, settles like a cloud of unease over your consciousness, like the absence of a birthmark on a body under exploration shocks you into the sort of dull, low-level ache of the realization that you are cheating with someone you don’t even really like, even if no one will ever know.

does anyone else ever get the impression, reading things like that, of some delicate piece of mechanics, like a sewing machine, which has been dropped and now the thread tension is just horribly skewed? because i feel fine.

Reese Peanut Butter bar. 2/5 stars.

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2 thoughts on ““Never Again” Was What You Swore, The Time Before.

  1. emily says:

    i’ve got to say, while i agree with you on the disrupted balance of the taste of the Reese bar, i really like to hold it? it’s got a pleasing heft. i mean, that’s not the primary purpose of chocolate, but still. it seems almost throwable.

    Reese[‘s] seems inordinately fond of riffing on their classics: http://www.typetive.com/candyblog/category/reeses (i’ve never seen half of these, and i like to consider myself Well Informed). the one that’s all over the place here is Nutrageous, which Cybele hasn’t reviewed, who knows why. it does the mix of textures particularly well – that distinctive sandy/salty Reese PB in the centre, ribbon of firm caramel, half-peanuts and ‘chocolatey coating’.

    this last ingredient, of course, throws the whole business off the rails. as far as i know, the other Reese products don’t stoop to this chicanery (i can’t check, as for some reason Nutrageous is almost the only Reese product that is findable in Scotland, cups are available only rarely). poor maligned carob is relegated to the status of ersatz chocolate, and this palm-oil ridiculousness is allowed to stand?

  2. samara says:

    i felt similarly about the kit kat grande or whatever they called it. dis-proportionate, ill-porportioned, disappointing. it’s a desperate attempt to stay in the public eyemouth. and it works! i try new everything, even if it’s a joke at my expense (lime doritos, banana kit kat). because life is shit

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