I purchased something called a Reese's Whipped today and, sadly, was surprised at the sheer number of Reese's options young folk have before them today.
Back in my day, you had a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup and that was it. Oh sure, you could eat a Butterfinger if you wanted to spend the rest of the day picking peanut butter bark out of your teeth, but if you wanted the simple pleasure of peanut butter and chocolate, the Reese's cup was it. In fact, they pretty much built an entire candy empire out of this idea, and many 30 second intervals of my youth were spent watching people of all walks of life carrying open bars of peanut butter and opened chocolate bars, completely unaware of each others' presence until they collided in the most serendipitous of personal injury situations. Only by collapsing upon one another, could the brilliance of their candy situation be realized, and lo, a classic was born. For the record, taking a chocolate bar and dipping it in peanut butter tastes nothing like a Reese's. It's kind of gross, actually.
Aside from Easter, when the greatest piece of candy known to human existence, the Reese's Peanut Butter Egg, would drop on an unsuspecting populace, the Peanut Butter Cup was top dog in candy melding circles. Then, ET the Extra Terrestrial arrived in theaters, and with it, Reese's answer to the M&M. Actually, the Reese's Pieces are the answer to the question, "Name something that looks like off-color M&M's and tastes like ass pills." I have no idea how well these Pieces did, but for years and years, they and the Peanut Butter Cup were the only Reese's products out there.
Recently though, the Reese's family has experienced an explosion in peanut butter themed candy. Every possible combination of chocolate, peanut butter, peanuts, krispies, wafers, nougat, steak, asparagus and tanned moose hide has been combined, whipped together and shaped into a bar. Today's concoction was basically a Three Musketeers bar, only with a semi-brittle layer of peanut butter between the chocolate and the nougat. It was tasty, however lacking the punch that comes from a full blown peanut butter cup. My personal favorite is the Nutrageous which has something like thirteen different candies in it. Unfortunately it's like less than an ounce in total weight, so you have to eat at least a dozen of them to feel even remotely satisfied.
Thrilling stuff, I know, but I think it's important to stop every once and a while and take stock in where we are, where we've been and how far we've come. If you're ever in a convenience store or gas station, lamenting the lack of candy choices, think back to when all Reese's offered was the simple peanut butter cup. Truly, we have ventured out of the stone ages and into the glorious days of prosperity. I look forward to the days when everyone can enjoy a delicious Reese's Peanut Butter Pork Chop.