There are lots of things about American cuisine that can be tough to defend. Yes, we fry a lot of things. But have you been to Ireland or Scotland? And yes, we eat a lot of fast food. But have you had the pancake sausage bites?
However, when the Guardian decided to lambast the Hershey's Kiss -- which will finally cross the pond and be sold in Britain -- they went too far. Hershey's Kisses are an American classic and I will not let the foil-wrapped chocolate be called a "tapering terror."
I get the argument against Hershey's. There is richer chocolate and more expensive chocolate and even smokable chocolate. But Hershey's Kisses will never stand up to comparison. Although if you want to go down this road, I'll be glad to take a few swings at Kinder Surprise Eggs.
Hershey's Kisses are meant to exist for three purposes -- Peanut Butter Kiss cookies, Valentine's Day, and S'mores. The cookies are mentioned in the Guardian article, but it's important to reiterate the immense satisfaction of eating your way through a crusty peanut butter cookie to get to the soft Hershey's Kiss in the middle.
And when it comes to Valentine's Day, who didn't dream of giving that special girl or guy an oversized Hershey's Kiss as a sign of love. It's was the adolescent version of an engagement ring. If you saved up six months of allowance, maybe you'd have enough to buy that massive triangular hunk of chocolate.
But ultimately, Hershey's Kisses and chocolate bars are best utilized in S'mores. The chocolate acts like mortar, holding together the toasted marshmallows and graham crackers. I believe that gooey S'mores are the reasons I love sweet and savory sandwiches today.
Hershey's is a gateway chocolate. It's what lets you discover the Christoper Elbows and Andre's of the world. We don't have to be pretentious about chocolate or pretend that it's an exclusive club that requires a certain cocoa content for entry. So approach a Hershey's Kiss the way you have experienced it as a kid.
Dance it across the table. Play with the paper logo. Unwrap the foil. Then pop one in your mouth and remember that chocolate is meant to be fun.
[Image via Flickr: bfishadow]