Photo: Taste of Home
From chocolate cakes to brownies, chocolate chip cookies and pies, Hershey’s products have long been major players in everyone’s favorite decadent desserts. This year, the company is unveiling a brand-new candy bar, Hershey’s Gold—the first new flavor since 1994, when the Cookies ‘n’ Creme bar came out. The Gold bar is a departure from what you’d expect from Hershey in that it contains absolutely no chocolate. Instead, the Gold bar is caramel creme-flavored, with bits of peanuts and pretzels throughout. When I heard about this new treat, I knew I had to get my hands on it and try a bite. Here’s what you need to know:
The First Impression
From the first glance, I could tell the Hershey’s Gold bar wasn’t going to be like any candy bar I’d had before—primarily because I hadn’t seen packaging that looked like the Gold bar’s, especially from Hershey. The wrapping definitely plays up the bar’s caramel flavor with its cream, beige and brown hues, and the blue, orange and cream retro stripes at the sides add an element of fun. The wrapper also accentuates the bar’s main ingredients with a small picture of peanuts and a pretzel, but the real star is a caramel wave and splash along the bottom of the wrapper. Because of the caramel decoration, as well as the term “caramelized creme” above the bar’s name, I was anticipating major caramel flavor and appreciated Hershey taking an extra step to hammer home that this was a candy bar, not a chocolate bar.
Photo: Taste of HomePhoto: Taste of Home
When I opened the packaging, I was hit with the sweet smell of peanut butter, with only a lingering scent of caramel and pretzels. I was a little surprised the caramel aroma didn’t come through as much as I thought it would, but the aroma was a perfect balance of sweet and salty, so I was super excited for my first bite.
Before that initial nibble, though, I checked out what the bar itself looked like. The Gold bar is a darker beige-brown color, chock-full of peanut and pretzel chunks. Since all three of the main ingredients are shades of tan and brown, the bar’s muted color wasn’t too surprising, but the added variation of the peanut and pretzel pieces definitely helped it look more appetizing.
The segmentation of the bar strayed from a traditional Hershey’s chocolate bar. The Gold bar has only nine pieces that alternate between horizontal and vertical placements. This layout made the bar seem like it would yield less candy than other Hershey bars, since you would have to break off a third of the bar for just one piece. But since the Gold bar is only about a tenth of an ounce lighter than a regular chocolate bar or the Cookies ‘n’ Creme bar (1.4 oz versus 1.55 oz), the candy yield is still high.
The Taste Test
Caramel lovers, rejoice, because the Gold bar is definitely for you. With my first bite, I got a major caramel flavor with a salty peanut taste coming in a little after. As I kept chewing, the sweet of the caramel and salty of the peanut and pretzel kept alternating, making the bar not taste overly sweet or salty, but striking an amazing balance between the two.
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While the pretzel doesn’t add much flavor other than saltiness, it definitely provides texture. The Gold bar has a crisp crunch with each bite. Coupled with the caramel and peanut flavors, it reminds me a lot of a homemade toffee. And paired with the rich caramel creme, this bar definitely left me reaching for another piece.
The Final Verdict
If you’re someone who can never seem to decide between a sweet and salty snack, you’re going to want to stock up on Hershey’s Gold bars. The delicious balance between these two flavors, plus the fun texture, makes this candy bar one you’ll definitely want to pick up on your next grocery store run.