Most people enthusiastically embrace the hallmarks of their favorite season when it rolls around. Girls with Facebook statuses rife with country music lyrics and poorly Photoshopped photos relish the day that summer starts so they can don their bikinis and fake Ray Bans. The elderly like spring because they can start making floral-themed crafts. And fat people love the goddamned winter because goose down coats, that’s why.
But my favorite season is fall, and to be honest, I’m a terrible ambassador for it. I stubbornly insist on wearing button down shirts with the sleeves rolled up and can’t stand the idea of a pumpkin latte. Falling leaves make me whirl around and twitch like a paranoid Rain Man. Plaid makes me look even more gay than Brooks Brothers does, and don’t get me started on turtlenecks. Picture actual turtles without necks. That’s how I look in one. I’m terrible at determining the weather before I step outside and often end up wearing a bulky leather jacket in 80 degree weather in October or a wife beater in pouring rain.
Finally, I think I’ve found a candy to redeem my cardinal sins for so poorly representing the season I love. Although I’m two years late to the game, I’ve tracked down the latest from Hershey’s Kisses, pumpkin spice. Again, not a huge fan of pumpkin. It’s a hair too close to squash, and squash is a vegetable, but I always make sure to have at least one slice of pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving. But these are a whole different ball game. These are freaking delicious. First, off, these are cuter than six black kittens jumping out of brightly colored gourds that happen to also have kittens carved on them. Wearing witch hats. The candies themselves are a dull orange, not unlike a pumpkin after Halloween, but this color is somewhat misleading. In actuality, they do not contain pumpkin. Inside, they have a white center, although the package gives no indication to what that flavor may be. Texturally, they are a cross between a Hershey’s Hug with a singularly solid filling made of two types of chocolate and those shortlived Hershey’s New York Cheesecake kisses with the cheesecake filling. The center is more solid than creamy, but yields more than a typical solid hunk of chocolate would. For the life of me, I cannot tell what flavor it is- it seems to be just a center of white chocolate, which, for the harvesty theme, is a little disappointing. It’s just a flat, sweet flavor. I would have much preferred a yogurty tang to offset the sweetness of the entire thing.
The outer shell is where this really starts to shine. I could be biased after two years of living in close proximity to the horrendous Yankee Candle Factory. It could have numbed and warped my taste buds, but this flavor is comfortingly close to a particularly delicious votive candle. All the spices of fall are prominent in this candy- allspice, cinnamon, and nutmeg are especially strong, and meld seamlessly with the chocolate. I guess it’s a bit of picayune stickling, but technically, the name “Pumpkin Spice” delivers exactly what it says it will deliver- the spices in pumpkin. For whatever reason, Hershey’s opted against going “full pumpkin” and didn’t include it in the candy at all. Regardless of what’s in it, these are the perfect candies to get you in the mood for fall. Not too sweet, not too overbearingly autumnal, and perfect with a mug of hot cider or mead if you’re a neckbeard, despite their somewhat murky content, they’re one of Hershey’s most successful seasonal offerings so far.