It is my opinion that peanut butter, following peanuts, is one of the best foods out there. It is dense in protein and healthy fats — so nutritious that it is good for you. I apologize if you have a nut allergy. In fact, I would stop reading now, since this is a very anti-nut-allergy, some would even say pro-nut, opinion.
Peanut butter is even better with the combination of chocolate. There is just something about that combo that will be timeless. I think it’s the saltiness — something primordial in our brain that needs the saltiness to boost water intake… who knows. Needless to say, it is even better as the Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup. This is the perfect usage of the perfect combination. The hard, chocolate outside perfectly mixes with the creamy peanut butter inside. (“Powerglide” by Rae Sremmurd joke).
So, this candy — nutritious — is the perfect creation. The saltiness of the peanut butter harmonizes with the sweetness of the chocolate (preferably milk chocolate). Reese’s knows this, and that is why they have a whole web page dedicated to the multiverse of peanut butter-products.
As a child, I remember trading candy with my siblings at the dinner table after Halloween, arguing and debating the exchange rate of the candies we had picked up on our route of the neighborhood. I was always willing to trade an Almond Joy or Twix for two Reese's cups. I had my whole family convinced that was the proper exchange rate value of the Reese’s.
My obsession started because of my dad, who would always take his “dad tax” in the form of various Reese’s products. My dad would also always buy each and every single one of the holiday themed Reese’s products he saw in the store (excluding the Marshmallow Creme cups Reese’s makes around Easter — those should be avoided at all costs). My dad stands firm in his belief that the Christmas tree is the best shape, and all due respect to him, but he is wrong.
My obsession is with trying all of these products. Each time I see a new one, I have to try it. But this article is about which themed Reese's Peanut Butter Cup is the best. The qualities that make the best Reese's cup are as follows: individual shape (often associated with a specific holiday or season), volume of total peanut butter, chocolate to peanut butter ratio, and overall appeal (most fun to eat).
Considering these factors, these are my rankings of the top 3 peanut butter “cups,” if you will:
3. The Pumpkin
2. The Christmas Tree
1. The Easter Egg
In third place, we have the pumpkin.
The ratio of PB to chocolate is way off in this cup. The pumpkin shape demands a certain height of the “cup,” but this means it is packed with peanut butter and ultimately has little chocolate to compare. The shape is okay: it often looks more like a blob than it does a pumpkin, but then again, who has a desire to eat a pumpkin-shaped peanut butter blob coated in chocolate? This also answers the final criteria, which is that it isn't fun to eat. But it wins style points just because Reese’s tried to make a shape nobody would dare make. I usually bite the stem off first, but once that’s done, the “cup” might as well be eaten like any other ordinary Reese’s cup because there’s no fun to it.
In second place is the Christmas tree. This is the perfect thematic shape, because it is a tree. It does not look like anything else but a Christmas tree — a coniferous shaped Reese's cup is unbeatable, shape-wise. However, the ratio is off. It is too much chocolate for the amount of peanut butter there is. Following that, there is also not actually that much peanut butter in the actual cup because of the shape it is in. The nooks and crannies of the tree drastically take away the space for the peanut butter. That being said, the eating appeal for this shape is off the charts. You get to eat a tree… that is made out of chocolate and peanut butter. I mean, who can say that doesn't have an appeal (besides those people who would say it doesn't have an appeal)? I personally start at the top of the tree, taking small bites all the way down until I finish it.
The coveted first place position, or Pole Position if you are a race fan, goes to the Easter Egg Reese’s “Cup”. It is the best shape of the Reese’s cups. There are no nooks and crannies to work around, no weird pumpkin-esque ridges either. It is just an egg-shaped blob of peanut butter coated perfectly in a layer of chocolate. It also is the most fun to eat, as every bite will include the perfect ratio of chocolate to peanut butter (I typically start eating it at the skinnier end of the egg, which could be considered the top of the egg). The egg does not have to be specifically associated with the holiday it is attached to either. I would rather eat a Reese’s Egg during the summer than a Christmas tree or pumpkin, because I associate the egg with spring rather than Easter whereas the Tree and Pumpkin are very specific and have no other times of the year where they can be thoroughly enjoyed the same.
Lastly, does size actually matter? For Reese’s Cups, it absolutely does. A normal Reese's cup is smaller than the Egg, which is smaller than the Christmas tree (21g for the egg vs 35 grams for the tree) But with that added weight, the Christmas tree’s peanut butter-chocolate ratio is ruined. The volume of peanut butter is important because it must match the amount of chocolate used as coating to create this perfect ratio. With the egg, you get more peanut butter per egg, as the volume of the egg shape is greater than the peanut butter cup.
The Golden Ratio
It is the most appealing mathematical formula (RATIO) and is found in everyday life. It can be seen with the pyramids of Giza, but more importantly, the Reese's egg has a golden ratio.
While everyone might have their own favorite candy, whether it reminds them of their childhood or it’s a candy they started snacking on in college is irrelevant. All that matters is that peanut butter and chocolate is the best combination for sweet treats because of that mixture of salty and sweet. As a Cup Connoisseur, the Reese’s Egg is the best adaptation of this perfect combo. If you disagree with this, please feel free to stand strong in your opinion and contest my cup claims — but know I will not give in, out of principle.
Aidan Sara is a photographer for The Beacon. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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