Peanut Butter Face-Off: Reese’s Pieces Vs M&Ms

Posted by in Chocolate Reviews on July 13 2008 | Leave A Comment

I’ve always heard about Reese’s pieces and knew that they were powerful enough to lure ET out of the garden shed, but seeing as they’re only available in tiny and expensive little boutique choccy shops and cost a fortune, I’ve avoided trying them until now. Peanut butter M&Ms on the other hand, I have tried and raved about for chocablog before, but have also relegated them to the ‘expensive import’ basket – even though I was desperate enough to write to Mars Confectionery Australia to find out why they don’t make them here (something to do with not being bothered enough to import the machinery required, the mean sods).

One day however, they called out to me from my local specialty chocolate shop. That and a PMS-led craving for peanut butter saw me at home with both bags ready to try and compare.

As with the Ferrero Rocher garden ‘crème filled confections’, I realised after nearly inhaling half the bag of Reese’s pieces that they don’t contain even a tiny skerrick of chocolate. Not that I minded; they still tasted pretty nice and creamy to me and if I was blindfolded, I doubt I’d be able to tell that there wasn’t some chocolate underneath the candy coating and between the peanut butter. The ingredients do not make for relaxing reading – sugar, partially defatted peanuts, partially hydrogenated vegetable oil, reduced minerals, whey, corn syrup and lots of artificial colours and wax and glaze for the sheen. Hmm, I didn’t feel quite so chipper after that.

And so it was time to drown my disappointment and sorrow with a bag of peanut butter M&Ms. Before, when I considered that Reese’s pieces tasted as though they had chocolate in them, I had not yet had the chance to remind my all-too-eager-to-be-pleased taste buds of what the real chocolate and peanut butter combination was like.

Bloody brilliant. These little gems make Reece’s pieces look like the unfortunate combination of de-fatted, partially hydrogenated, carnauba waxed and glazed imposters. Or an explosion of techno monkey poop. Even M&Ms ingredients were initially more real sounding with chocolate and sugar at numbers one and two per volume, but then those creepy sounding ‘partially defatted peanuts’ popped up again, along with the ‘partially hydrogenated palm kernel oil’. How on earth does one partially de-fat something? Is it like confectionery liposuction but some of it is pumped back? Or the poor little nuts are placed in seaweed wraps and forced to sweat some of their oils out?

Perhaps it is best for this process to remain a mystery but I will continue my lament to Mars Australia – please can’t you make peanut butter M&Ms here and maybe just with normal-sounding, unadulterated peanuts? Please??


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Comments On This Post

  1. Improfane

    I haven’t seen any peanut M&Ms in the UK for a while. Do they even do them anymore?

  2. anabels

    Maybe it is like they make them into peanut butter then let all the oil come to the top and scrape it off so it doesn’t come out of the coating? You know like you ahve to stir the oil back into the jar of peanut butter all the tim. Just a thought, Bels

  3. Kath (Chocablog Staff)

    Er, thanks Anabels – sometimes, especially with chocolate that I like, I wish that I’d never read the ingredients label!
    “Too much information” and all that 🙂

  4. Toddsy

    I just printed off a few good recipes that have Reese pieces in them from I can not wait to try them.

  5. Marcia

    I agree, they are delicious, however, in Portugal, they’re not available… Had them when a friend brought them over from the US.

  6. Cheers to chocolate!

  7. Kath (Chocablog Staff)

    Well said Andrew. My thoughts exactly, 24/&7

  8. Look on the bright side…if they sold these in Australia you would eventually have to buy bigger pants! I live in the states, and you can get a 12 oz bag here for a couple dollars. When I first discovered these, I developed an out of control PB M&M eating habit…I could down quite a few of those big bags a week! I eventually had to go cold turkey…I haven’t touched them in over a year. sniff.

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