Crappy Chocolate Is Better When Aerated

Hershey's Air Delight

Hershey's Air Delight

I Paid: 79 cents for a 1.44-ounce bar (prices may vary by region)

Taste: 4 stars

Marketing: 4 stars

There may be no classic American brand more depressing to a patriotic brand-watcher like myself than Hershey's. Their chocolate bars are mostly sugar, with no depth. In fact, if I may continue my rant, I believe Hershey's chocolate is to real chocolate what American cheese is to real cheese: consistent, but the soul's been taken out. Yet just as American cheese makes a swell grilled cheese sandwich, Hershey's chocolate makes a good s'moreā€”it melts uniformly, and doesn't overpower the mild flavors of the graham cracker and the toasted marshmallow.

So it was interesting that Hershey's launched an aerated milk chocolate bar equivalent to the European Aero bar, though it didn't necessarily inspire a lot of hope.

But as it turns out, aeration is a very good thing for low-grade chocolate. The little micropockets of air mean that the chocolate melts much more readily on the tongue, and what little cocoa depth is present gets brought to the forefront. Hershey's Air Delight has a smoother, silkier texture than its conventional cousin, and while it's not a brilliant chocolate bar in absolute terms, it bests many of its gas-station-checkout rivals.

James Norton edits the Upper Midwestern food journal Heavy Table. He's also the coauthor of a book on Wisconsin's master cheesemakers. Follow CHOW on Twitter, and become a fan on Facebook.