A friend once asked me why Reese’s Pieces taste so much different than Peanut Butter M&M’s. I had wondered the same thing. They are both peanut butter candies, but their flavors are extremely different. Apart from being produced by different companies, (Hershey’s produces Reese’s Pieces and Mars produces Peanut Butter M&M’s) they have distinctly different tastes.
Over the years, I have eaten both candies many times. I am particular in the way that I eat them. I eat the candy one at a time, biting each in half to inspect the insides. It may be strange, but it's the way I like to eat them. I like to see what's on the inside. How much peanut butter is inside the candy shell? How thick is the shell? How much chocolate is there? These are a few things I ponder as I enjoy my bags of candy.
Reese's Pieces are circular candies made up of peanut butter with a candy shell. Reese's only come in certain colors, mainly orange and brown, which make them easily recognizable. This candy hit the big time when it was used in the movie ET, which is where I first learned of this candy. My love for Reese’s Pieces began after watching ET at the movies with my brother when we were small kids. Elliot pulled a genious move, using Reese's Pieces to lure the alien from the shed sparking an everlasting friendship. We both cried when we thought ET had died, but thankfully, he survived and went back to join his family. When the movie ended, my brother and I were left with the memory and a love for Reese’s Pieces.
A few years ago, Reese’s Pieces met a rival on my favorite candy list when the Mars Corporation came out with Peanut Butter M&M’s. I absolutely love Peanut Butter M&M’s!! (I have a bag hidden above my stove right now.) Peanut Butter M&M’s are large peanut butter and chocolate filled candies wrapped in bright, colorful candy shells. It doesn’t matter to me if they’re ogre colors at times; it’s all about the chocolate and peanut butter party on the inside. I could eat an entire bag of those candies, and I’m not talking about the small bag you pick up last minute at the checkout counter. Peanut Butter M&M’s are addictive! Let me say this again...I love this candy!! It's at the top of my favorite candy list.
So, to get back to the original question about why they taste so different, this is what I found. When I was enjoying a bag of Peanut Butter M&M’s, biting them in half to look at the inside, I noticed the chocolate around the peanut butter. This isn’t unusual for M&M’s, it’s what they do. They cover almonds and peanuts in chocolate. However, when I thought about Reese’s Pieces, remembering that they are made of a peanut butter mix and a candy shell, it dawned on me that there was no chocolate. That was it! That’s what made the two taste so extremely different. Reese’s Pieces are a small spherical candy teasing you with the taste of peanut butter in every bite. Then you eat a Peanut Butter M&M that is much larger in size and surrounded by chocolate in its overstuffed glory and it causes your taste buds to erupt in celebration. Aaahhh, so delicious!!
I still love my Reese’s Pieces and eat them on occasion. Picking up the little orange bag and popping the brown and orange candies in my mouth bring me a sense of nostalgia. And when I bring a bag with me to the movie theater to share with my brother, it takes me back to childhood, where in the theater we first saw ET as he followed the candy trail out of the shed sparking a love of both an alien and a peanut butter candy.