Archive for November, 2010

A Review of Hershey’s Dark Chocolate Pieces vs. Dark Chocolate M&M’s

I just had the new Hershey’s Dark Chocolate Pieces and I’m torn on whether I like them better than the Dark Chocolate M&M’s. They are basically the same thing. Now the chocolate in Hershey’s is far superior to M&M’s and that goes in any candy bar. Hershey’s simply makes better chocolate than anyone else.

The problem however is the candy shell. Hershey’s is new to the candy shell business and you can tell. The taste of the candy shell on the M&M’s is simply better.  M&M’s have been making thin candy shells since the end of the Spanish Civil War and over 70 years they have perfected it.

One thing that hurts a thin candy shell is the addition of food coloring. particularly Red 40. Both Hershey’s and M&M’s have red pieces and you can taste the dye in them sadly. It isn’t just red that is the problem. You can taste the dye in the blue M&M’s as well. Purple and orange are other colors that have this problem but purple isn’t in the normal M&M’s rotation. The problem is that while I like bold colors for clothing pastels are better for eating candy because less dye is used and therefore isn’t tasted as much eating the candy. Green and yellow aren’t nearly as bold of colors as they could be and therefore taste better than the other colors, particularly the ones that utilize Red 40 such as red, orange and on occasion purple. This why I enjoy the Easter candy M&M’s more. There is no Red 40 used except for the small amount in the pastel purple.

The best color in the M&M’s line-up is brown due to the lack of food coloring needed to achieve  this color. Hershey’s has the best color brown along with the worst color red. They also have black which also uses a lot of food coloring in it. I understand why Hershey decided on these colors since they mirror the colors on the packaging of a normal Hershey’s Dark Chocolate bar much like Reese’s Pieces do. But how many people are going to see a bowl of these and think that they must be Hershey’s Dark Chocolate Pieces. They’re going to wonder where you found a bag of funky M&M’s and think they have to be rip off M&M’s because there is no “M” (or “W” if you are a blonde) on them.

Red 40 is currently being phased out of foods in Europe due to concern about health effects and it is not recommended for consumption by children across the pond. This is toward a dye that was used to replace the previous red dye (Red 2) was taken off the market in the lat 1970s due to the fear of health effects and caused a ten-year period of no production of Red M&M’s untils the late 1980s when Red 40 began to be used.

Overall while I really enjoy the dark chocolate in the Hershey’s Dark Chocolate Pieces the sub par candy shell and the 2/3 chance of a bad color makes the better choice the Dark Chocolate M&M’s even though it has the inferior dark chocolate. If there was some easy way to peel off the thin candy shell on the Hershey’s Dark Chocolate Pieces they would take the win. Therefore the winner here is the old guard, Dark Chocolate M&M’s.