The story of Reese's peanut butter cups begins humbly in a small town in Pennsylvania. Now available in a variety of different shapes and flavors, the candies have grown to worldwide fame.
Reese’s peanut butter cups are milk chocolate candy cups filled with creamy peanut butter. Today they are distributed by Hershey Foods Corporation, but they were created in the early 1920s by a man named Harry Burnett Reese. Reese was born into a farming family in Frosty Hill, Pennsylvania in 1879. Deciding to get out of the family business, Reese moved out of Frosty Hill and ended up working for the owner of Hershey Foods as a dairy employee. His exposure to the candy industry encouraged him to quit his job and try making candy of his own. He created peanut butter cups, along with a few other candy bars, and marketed them as “a product that both the young and old alike can eat and enjoy." Reese’s peanut butter cups become immensely popular, and in 1963, Reese sold his candy company to his former employer, Hershey Foods, for 23.5 million dollars. Hershey Foods is still located in Hershey, Pennsylvania and produces Kit Kats, Milk Duds, Whoppers, Rolos and many other candy bars.
Over the years, Hershey has developed several variations on the Reese’s peanut butter cup. Perhaps the best known of these, Reese’s pieces, debuted in 1978. These bite-sized candies consist of peanut butter coated in a chocolate shell. Hershey has also created white chocolate and dark chocolate versions of the peanut butter cup, as well as an “inside out” Reese’s and the larger sized Big Cup. While most of these varieties are limited-time promotions, the white chocolate cup has become permanently available. Other popular variations on the Reese’s theme include the Nutrageous bar and the Fast Break. Reese’s peanut butter cups are available in different shapes during certain holidays, including pumpkins for Halloween, hearts for Valentine’s Day and a tree for Christmastime.
Reese's candies contain both nutritional benefits and drawbacks. The classic milk chocolate Reese's peanut butter cup contains 210 calories and 13 grams of fat. The white chocolate version has the same fat content but checks in slightly higher with 220 calories. Reese's candies also have some healthy qualities, as both items contain 5g of protein. Additionally, both flavors of peanut butter cups have small amounts of both calcium and iron.