In the town I grew up in, there was a mystical man who had a psychic ability to guess your favorite candy just by looking at you. He worked at the kind of gas station that sold the full suite of Corn Nuts flavors and hard-to-find sizes of Modelo, and I’d watched him work his magic many times before.
One day, I went in with some friends to buy a Red Bull before a party. He looked at Friend A and said, “Snickers!” She shrieked in delight. He looked at Friend B and just knew it was Twizzlers (it was). Then, he turned his sugary third eye at me, furrowed his brow in concentration and, as if a spirit were speaking through him, whispered, “Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups.”
I was all like, “WhAaAaT?” Deeply insulted that he’d peg me for a Reese’s girl, I sulked out of the gas station and spent the rest of the night checking my reflection in store windows and bathroom mirrors. Is that what people thought of me?
I should back up. I think chocolate’s great. Peanut butter’s okay, too. But chocolate and peanut together, congealed into a dry and distressing paste and passed off as candy? Get the hell out of here! I’ve never liked it, I never will and I don’t care if the entire state of New Jersey has designated chocolate-peanut butter as one of the greatest flavor combinations ever made. I think it sucks, and it can kiss my ass in perpetuity.
Let’s start with the obscene and senseless lengths people go to get chocolate-peanut butter inside of their bodies. It’s not just Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups I’m talking about either, it’s Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups stuffed with Reese’s Pieces (pronounced “Reeceees Peeceees” if you’re a demon). It’s Reese’s Puffs, a cereal you pour milk on. It’s Reese’s pretzels. It’s Reese’s popcorn. It’s a Reese’s burger. It’s homemade Reese’s vodka, the nectar of mindfreaks. Clearly, people will go to extremes just to force this “flavor” into a different shape or state of matter, but for what? So they can dehydrate themselves with a cloying, sticky and vaguely doo-doo-scented sludge?
The whole problem with chocolate-peanut butter, as my colleague and fellow hater Andrew Fiouzi expertly explains, is that both components are “warm” flavors. A truly delicious bite of food should have a balance of both warm and cool elements — picture a fatty carne asada taco topped with a bright, fresh salsa — but chocolate-peanut butter is a warm-on-warm sensory overload that fucks itself with its deranged combination of salt and a sweet.
“When I eat something good, I want the flavor to sort of travel down a road and take in the scenery,” Fiouzi continues. “With chocolate-peanut butter pairings, there’s no time to take in anything. As soon as you start going one way, another, opposing flavor just comes out of nowhere and totals your taste buds.”
The chocolate-peanut-butter lobby loves to counter this with the argument that “two good things are better than one,” but this is a slippery slope. Unless you’re planning a threesome with Keanu Reeves and Jeff Goldblum, you should be very wary of the tendency to combine things you like simply because you like them; that’s how we arrive at traumatic foods like pineapple pizza, the holiday turducken and the infamous KFC Double Down, three stains on humanity we’ll have to atone for in hell.
It’s not just the flavor or mouthfeel of chocolate-peanut butter that’s so offensive, though: It’s the symbolism that really grinds my gears. It’s the absurd assumption that I’m supposed to be happy about this two-for-one double whammy of pain, and it’s the premise that I’m supposed to think it’s “fun” and “decadent” when it’s nothing more than Halloween half-assery.
Also, what’s with this tendency to smother every edible thing in chocolate and pass it off as some sort of sinfully indulgent treat? That little trick might have worked 4,000 years ago when cacao was a rare regional speciality, but in case you haven’t noticed, chocolate has become the most abundant mass-produced substance known to humanity. And I don’t mean good chocolate, I mean bullshit chocolate — the chalky, insincere kind that tastes like a color, turns your teeth to mush and has been known to promote cancerous growth in rats.
Speaking of which, not one, but two separate respondents to a chocolate-peanut butter inquiry I posted on Twitter and Instagram told me that eating a peanut butter cup sent them to the dentist. Much like razor-sharp corn chips and the unpopped kernels hiding in your popcorn, this horrible combination isn’t only gross, but a pawn in the dental-industrial complex, too. Who do you think profits off your candy-coated root canal, my friend? It’s not the little guy — it’s whoever’s rich enough to have an illuminati bunker beneath Denver International Airport where they can ride out the next apocalypse with Kanye West and the rest of their uber-rich lizard-people friends.
Oh, and if you needed any more evidence that chocolate-peanut butter is a cult conspiracy, this should clear it up for you:
Not that anyone agrees with my completely correct and infallible arguments. When I posted the aforementioned call for chocolate-peanut butter opinions, I got messages like “Kill yourself,” and “What a sad life you must lead” from my closest family and friends, many of whom subsequently reached out to me to ask whether someone had kidnapped me, stolen my phone and was now trying to defame me as blackmail. It’s like, “Okay, sheeple! We don’t all believe what the candy corporations want us to believe!”
Now that I’ve had a small mental breakdown in front of you, I’ll leave you with this: There’s a full-length ASMR Reese’s movie on YouTube, that 666,000 people have watched on YouTube. That’s 666,000 people who spent nearly 90 minutes of their lives watching and listening to people unwrap and eat Reese’s, and if that’s not proof that this whole chocolate-peanut butter thing has gone too far, nothing is.