(Gonna Grab Some) Hershey's Air Delight: A Review

 Godiva, Ghiradelli, Lindt, Fererro Rocher – these brands conjure up an haute-couture decadence in my mind in which I can’t resist closing my eyes, as though I really had a morsel of their chocolates melting in my  mouth that very moment. A mental image of a molten chocolate cake with pure white, vanilla ice cream succumbing to the temperature of the warmed, gooey center has virtually the same effect. Give me dark chocolate and my heart goes aflutter; give me white chocolate and the little girl in me, the one who loved anything coated in this blanched “chocolate” – comes alive. I am a chocolate lover, and though I fully admit to never having the luxury of tasting some of the more lavish varieties – the ones that make Lady Godiva herself look like cheap Hannukkah gelt – I can appreciate the more mainstream chocolate indulgences.

Now, with that being said, I have a confession: I will forever be loyal to a trusty bag of m&m’s and a classic bar of plain Hershey’s chocolate. I love how rewarding they both are in their simplicity. There is just something insurmountably enjoyable about possessing a handful of M&M’s or breaking into a segmented bar of Hershey’s – something that even the highest quality of chocolate can’t compete with. So, naturally, when I heard about Hershey’s new aerated chocolate bar, so-called “Air Delight,” I knew I had to try it. The purist within me was skeptical, but ultimately I am a food risk taker, and a new concoction intrigues me beyond belief. I tracked one down last weekend at a local Target, paid the friendly cashier, and marched out, new chocolate treat in-hand. I placed it in my car’s cup holder and rolled my windows down, letting the breeze be my air conditioner on a very warm (most people would call it hot), sunny day. I dropped L off at his house and drove to my sister’s new apartment – I had told her I would take a look and possibly help set up if need be. I arrived after driving for maybe 20 minutes, pulled into a parking spot, closed my windows, and reached down to grab my chocolate…liquid? What? In the 20 minutes of sitting in the car, not even closed up or abandoned, Hershey’s Air Delight had turned into a packet of fluidity. There was not a speck of solid chocolate to be found. My heart sank a little, fearing that in melting it I had ruined the chemistry of the aeration. At least the advertisements were true, I thought as I marched toward my sister, the air bubbles really do make the chocolate dissolve easily…just not, in this case, in my mouth!

I stuck the bar in her freezer, but then had to bring it back home with me. Of course, it melted again, and so into the freezer for a second time it went. Surely I had ruined it – surely all of my efforts in searching for this new candy would turn out to be futile, and I would be left with a regular (albeit still delicious) Hershey bar. Finally, I made a third trip – to L’s house – where we would share it for a post-dinner treat. This time, it melted just sitting in his cool basement, and so it met the refrigerator for a few minutes to firm up. We were convinced we would open the wrapper and find a standard Hershey bar. What we really found, though, was so much different…

 Yes, those are gaping holes – we had on our hands a cratered bar of chocolate, like the moon had been packaged into confectionery form and dyed a light, creamy brown. Still, we broke into it, and were amazed to find that many places still had the small bubbles advertised by the company – apparently this little bar was sturdy enough to withstand the relentless abuse I subjected it to that day! Happily, we each sampled some, and I have to admit, it was very enjoyable. The air bubbles give it a volume uncharacteristic of a typical Hershey Bar. While the thin rectangles are perfect for s’mores and ice cream mix ins, it can be nice to have a little more heft to bite into when you’re eating it on its own. Two thumbs up for that part. Aside from that, the taste of the chocolate is virtually indistinguishable from a standard bar, and so the novelty may wear off to reveal a buy that isn’t worth it in the long run.

The other point I’d like to make is its potential lack of versatility, what I fear is this candy’s biggest pitfall – and really, if you’re just buying it to eat on its own, it’s completely irrelevant. However, being me, and incapable of leaving things alone (I’m working on it, kind of), I broke the bar up into pieces and stirred it into a small bowl of coffee ice cream, thinking it would create a pleasant mocha flavor. What it actually did, however, was harden up the Airy Delight into an almost chalky, flavorless, certainly-not-chocolatey confection, and the bar lost all of its appeal. Being as temperamental as it was earlier to the heat, I should have guessed that the opposite temperature extreme would wreak just as much havoc on this poor, sensitive chocolate bar.

So, with all of that in mind, what’s the verdict?

Well, Hershey’s Air Delight will certainly be a welcome addition to any Hershey’s chocolate-lover’s arsenal of treats – it is creamy and smooth, and doesn’t stray far from the tried-and-true original. Moreover, its added volume helps make even a small serving of chocolate feel satisfactory and filling, making it even better for a diet-conscious chocoholic who wants to enjoy a taste of the real thing without derailing his/her entire day of hard, nutritious work. However, anyone looking for a novel twist on a classic s’more or a mix in for another dessert may want to look elsewhere. This chocolate bar was made to stand alone. Take a page out of a book that I’m still trying to grasp – some things in life are better off enjoyed simply, purely, without pomp. Hershey’s Air Delight is a perfect example of this, so do go out and try it – and enjoy it to its simplest, 100%-unadulterated fullest. Bon Appetit!

Note: This review was written entirely on my own accord. Hershey's has absolutely nothing to do with this blog or this entry; the views expressed here are entirely my own. 
Second Note: Please excuse my heavenly photographs. They were taken with my phone in a basement - not the best situation for photography, but I couldn't post a review without any pictures at all!

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