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11 Delicious Facts About Reese’s

They’re arguably America’s favorite candy, so you could always know a little more about this divine marriage of chocolate and peanut butter. 

1. THEY'RE THE BRAINCHILD OF A FORMER HERSHEY EMPLOYEE. 

When Harry Burnett Reese needed a job in 1916, he ended up landing a spot at one of the Hershey Chocolate Company’s dairy farms, where he rose from a gig milking cows to managing the part of the Hershey milk operation known as the Round Barn. While he was working at this job, Reese realized the financial rewards the candy industry could offer—but when the experimental Round Barn facility closed in 1919, he found himself unemployed.

2. REESE'S FIRST CRACK AT THE CANDY BUSINESS WAS A FLOP.

Banalities, Flickr // CC BY 2.0

The newly jobless Reese tried to get back on his feet by opening the R&R Candy Company in Hummelstown, Penn. This new venture made chocolate almonds and raisins, but Reese didn’t have any luck. Even after he sold stock in the company under the name Superior Chocolate & Confectionery in order to afford modern machinery, he couldn’t edge into the candy game. The company went under, and after bouncing around in other jobs, he ended up back at Hershey, where he worked in the shipping department. This time, his work ethic earned him a promotion to foreman, but Reese still wasn’t satisfied. 

3. REESE'S NEXT CANDY COMPANY STARTED IN HIS BASEMENT. 

Even after striking out on his first attempt to crack the industry, Reese looked at Milton Hershey’s success and realized there was enough money to go around in the candy business. He began experimenting with new formulations and treats in his basement, and soon he was making a variety of sweets. The flagship in those early days was the Lizzie Bar, a chocolate-covered union of caramel and freshly grated coconut that was named after Reese’s daughter. He also sold a Johnny Bar named after his son that was made with molasses. These goodies found enough traction that in 1923 Reese was able to quit his job at Hershey’s plant and again strike out on his own with the H.B. Reese Candy Company. 

4. THE BIG BREAKTHROUGH CAME IN 1928.

m01229, Flickr // CC BY 2.0

While Reese’s early efforts with his new company proved popular, the real game changer arrived five years after he incorporated the new venture. When Reese created the new chocolate-covered peanut butter cup that would become synonymous with his name that year, even he didn’t know what a milestone the moment was. Far from receiving a flashy product rollout, the cups were packaged in 5-pound candy assortments that shopkeepers bought in bulk. The Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup began its life as an ensemble player.

5. THE PEANUT BUTTER CUP BECAME A BREAKOUT STAR. 

As anyone who’s tasted a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup knows, the new sweet was just too tasty to toil in obscurity for long. As demand for the cups picked up, Reese began selling them as a freestanding item at some point around 1935. Stores could stock boxes of 120 cups that sold for a penny each, with larger two-cent and five-cent varieties also available. Soon, the former component of a bulk candy mix was a runaway hit. 

6. WORLD WAR II LED TO REESE DOUBLING DOWN ON THE PEANUT BUTTER CUPS. 

Sugar and chocolate were hard to come by during World War II, which led to trouble for many candy makers. Luckily for Reese and his company, peanut butter was not rationed, and the process of making Peanut Butter cups could be automated. The company abandoned the rest of its product line to become a juggernaut that focused on Peanut Butter Cups alone, and the cups’ popularity only grew after the war. 

7. HERSHEY EVENTUALLY BROUGHT REESE'S COMPANY BACK INTO THE FOLD. 

Reese’s company ended up back where the inventive executive had started. Harry Reese passed away in 1956, and in 1963, Hershey acquired the H.B. Reese Candy Company. It turned out to be a savvy move by Hershey—Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups would go on to become the company’s bestselling offering

8. REESE'S PIECES WERE A RELATIVELY RECENT BREAKTHROUGH. 

In 1978, the Reese’s brand got another shot in the arm. Five decades after Harry Reese developed the peanut butter cup that made him famous, Hershey introduced Reese’s Pieces. The bite-sized treats were originally saddled with the forgettable name PBs before being dubbed Reese's Pieces and enjoying a successful product launch.

9. REESE'S PIECES' MOST SUCCESSFUL PRODUCT PLACEMENT COULD HAVE GONE TO M&M'S.

Reese’s Pieces came out of the gates quickly, but they really took off when they made an iconic appearance in Steven Spielberg’s 1982 blockbuster E.T. the Extraterrestrial. While everyone’s favorite alien nibbled Reese’s Pieces, if Spielberg had gotten his way, E.T. would have devoured Reese’s bite-sized rivals. As the story goes, Spielberg and his team wanted to use M&M’s in the spot, but Mars declined the opportunity to partner up. Hershey, on the other hand, was happy to accept the product placement deal and pledged $1 million in ads to support the movie. It was a strong bet—after E.T. became a hit, Reese’s Pieces sales soared by at least 60 percent

10. COOKS HAVE A FIELD DAY WITH THE CUPS. 

Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups are tasty on their own, but inventive cooks have found all sorts of ways to upgrade the sweets. From cookies to ice cream to cheesecakes, Reese’s cups can be redeployed in all manner of decadent desserts. These chocolate-and-peanut-butter life hacks have gotten so popular that Hershey’s even maintains a page of Reese’s recipes. 

11. THEY MAY BE THE MOST POPULAR HALLOWEEN CANDY. 

Ginny, Flickr // CC BY-SA 2.0

To the delight of trick-or-treaters everywhere, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups have established themselves as Halloween favorites. By some estimates, they’re the top Halloween candy in America, which jibes with the finding that Reese’s leads all candy in sales of snack sizes. Across the entire year, Hershey sells more than $500 million worth of Reese’s annually, so if you’ve been known to sneak a cup or two, you’re not alone.

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Tamtik
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Design
Chocolate Maps Turn the Streets of Famous Cities Into Edible Art
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Chocolate map of Tel Aviv.
Tamtik

At first glance, the gourmet chocolate squares below look like works of modern art. But if you’re familiar with the streets of London, Tel Aviv, or New York City, you might notice that the abstract designs actually look a lot like the maps of these iconic cities.

According to My Modern Met, Tamtik chocolate has partnered with online retailer Nisnas Industries to bring their gorgeous, edible maps to Kickstarter. Each creation is made by pouring liquid dark chocolate into a mold of an urban landscape. Once it has hardened, the treat shows every block, park, and city street as fine chocolate contours and intricate geometric shapes. The three varieties—London, Tel Aviv, and New York City—are each crafted by chocolatiers from their respective cities, further connecting the products to the places they represent.

Making of chocolate city map.
Tamtik

Each chocolate map comes wrapped in artisanal packaging, making it the perfect gift to remind a loved one of their favorite city. There’s also nothing stopping you from opening the box and enjoying the delectable artwork on your own.

Tamtik is currently raising funds on Kickstarter to make these masterpieces, with more than a month left to reach their $10,000 goal. You can reserve a chocolate city map of your own with a pledge of $45 or more. A pledge of just $1 allows you to vote on which city Tamtik should add to their lineup next.

Opening a box that contains a chocolate city map.
Tamtik

[h/t My Modern Met]

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Barry Callebaut
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Food
Ruby Is the Newest Addition to the Chocolate Spectrum
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Barry Callebaut

Dark, milk, and white are the three main types of chocolate recognized by the Food and Drug Administration. But following an exciting new development from a Swiss chocolate maker, a fourth variety may soon be added to the lineup. As Bloomberg reports, the rosy-hued product, dubbed Ruby, is the first chocolate to come in a new, natural color since white chocolate debuted more than 80 years ago.

Ruby chocolate comes from Barry Callebaut, an international chocolate production company with headquarters in Zürich, Switzerland. The new breed of chocolate was the result of about a decade of development from researchers at Barry Callebaut and Jacobs University in Bremen, Germany. To make the chocolate, they used ruby cocoa beans, which grow in Ecuador, Brazil, and West Africa’s Ivory Coast. The final product “offers a totally new taste experience, which is not bitter, milky, or sweet, but a tension between berry-fruitiness and luscious smoothness,” according to a press release.

Along with its unique taste, the company hopes the chocolate will interest consumers with its alluring appearance. The CEO of Barry Callebaut, Antoine de Saint-Affrique, told Bloomberg that tests with international markets have been successful, even in China, where traditional chocolate is less mainstream than it is in the West.

Pink chocolate on display.
Barry Callebaut

Barry Callebaut revealed Ruby chocolate to the world at a launch event in Shanghai, China, on September 5. The company is now working on making it available to manufacturers and consumers, which means that any sweet item that comes in dark, milk, and white chocolate may soon come in red as well.

[h/t Bloomberg]

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