Battle Peanut Butter Cup: Reese's Vs. Butterfinger

Someone dared contest the primacy of the Reese's Peanut Butter Cup.

Well, I shouldn't be too dramatic. This isn't the first time, for Paul Newman and others have offered some competition.

Never before, however, in (my) recent memory has another major candy manufacturer issued such a direct smack-you-in-the-face-with-a-glove challenge to Reese's monopoly on the peanut butter cup.

Enter Butterfinger, which, in addition to offering America's favorite "crispety crunchety peanut buttery" candy bar, is now proffering its own version of the cup.

Good thing I'm here to tell you which is better. Wouldn't want you to suffer from debilitating indecision paralysis next time you're perusing the candy counter at H-E-B.

Actually, if you base your purchase decisions purely on price, then (as of press time) the choice at H-E-B at least is clear. A two-pack of Butterfinger Peanut Butter Cups is on sale two for $1 or 50 cents each, and the equivalent Reese's is 68 cents.

But let's look beyond the 18-cent gap, shall we? Promotions, we know, are ephemeral.

I bought one of each and first conducted a side-by-side visual comparison. You will notice immediately that Butterfinger has eschewed the traditional circular cup model for a square cup with rounded edges. Bold move, Butterfinger.

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Cross-sections of the cups easily reveal a color distinction. Reese's peanut butter filling is of the traditional mustard-yellow, while that of Butterfinger's is burnt orange, similar to its candy bar.

And the respective flavors? Of the Butterfinger peanut butter cup, Jeremy Vandervoet, a spokesperson for Nestle USA, has been quoted as saying: "It's the classic peanut butter cup, only Butterfingerized." Well, my goodness, I hope so, Jeremy. A Hersheyized peanut butter cup would be confusingly redundant.

But I should hold back my snark. He is right in a way. Reese's peanut butter cup is overall sweeter with a strong nut flavor, and its texture is softer due to a smoother, blended filling. Butterfinger's peanut butter cup offers a similar milk chocolate coating, but the interior is flakier, more buttery than sweet, and less recognizably nutty. Not so much a "peanut butter" cup.

I prefer Reese's and you will, too, if you value strong notes of legume in candy that purports to celebrate the peanut.

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