Hershey's Chocolates

The Hershey Foods Corporation is perhaps the worlds most well known maker of chocolate. This, however, doesn't make them the best. I find that something of a shame, since more than anyone else, they are responsible for introducing solid chocolate bars to the general populace. Read more about chocolate for more details.

Hershey's Special Dark

Hershey's special dark is ok. As a bittersweet chocolate goes, it's too sweet and not bitter enough. At room temperature it's pretty soft (for a dark chocolate, anyway), which suggests that it has more cocoa butter than most dark chocolates. But, you give the market what it wants, right?

On the other hand, if you need a chocolate fix right away and you can only go to the local quickie-mart, you could do a lot worse than to get a bar of Hershey's Special Dark. It's not especially smooth, it doesn't have the powerful chocolate kick that I look for in a good dark chocolate. It has a more roasted flavor to it than some others. The flavor is reminiscent of peanuts, and is similar to the flavor of a Mr. Goodbar in that respect.

Anyway, Hershey's Special Dark isn't truly great, but the fact that you can get it just about anywhere makes it something of a benchmark against which to test other dark chocolates.

Hershey's Milk Chocolate

As far as I know, this is the chocolate that goes into most Hershey products, such as milk chocolate bars, Hershey's kisses, etc. As milk chocolate goes, it's pretty average. It's not very smooth, and even has a bit of a chalky feel to it. I can't tell whether this is due to insufficient conching or whether this is due to the inherent nature of the milk components of the chocolate.

This chocolate is very sweet and not especially chocolaty. It's light brown color (in addition to the ingredient list on the wrapper) betrays the fact that there aren't a lot of cocoa solids in it. In fact, "chocolate" is fourth on the ingredient list, after sugar, milk, and cocoa butter, but before soy lecithin and vanilla. One thing I notice about this chocolate is that the time between when you put a piece of it in your mouth and the time you can actually taste the chocolate is a lot longer than with many other chocolates.

Again, the ubiquitous nature of the Hershey's Milk Chocolate bar makes it something of a benchmark. But in all honesty I can't give it more than a 2 rating.

Hershey's Symphony

Hershey's Symphony is marketed as a creamier milk chocolate than their regular milk chocolate. And they're right, it is creamier, but not by much. In fact, the ingredient list is exactly the same as Hershey's Milk chocolate: sugar, milk, cocoa butter, chocolate, soya-lecithin, vanillin. I suspect that they put less sugar, more milk, and a little more cocoa butter in the Symphony bars than in the regular milk chocolate bars.

Honestly, I can't decide whether this is a better chocolate or not. It differs in a number of ways from Hershey's Milk Chocolate, so while the eating experience is clearly different for each of them, the overall enjoyment I get is about the same.

To sum up the differences for you:

Hershey's Milk ChocolateSymphony
texturenot bad, a little grittysmoother, creamier
sweetnessa little too sweetjust about right
chocolatinessenoughnot quite enough
flavormore complex; nuttiersimple, a little more tart

Overall I can't really give Symphony a rave review because it's nothing terribly special. However, if your preference is for smooth and creamy chocolates, you could do worse than to give Hershey's Symphony a try.