If you're like me (and who isn't) there's nothing more satisfying than a fresh Reese's Peanut Butter Cup. On the other hand, there's nothing more disgusting than a Reese's Peanut Butter cup that's past it's prime: the shiney patina on the chocolate becomes dull, the normally wonderfully moist and chewy peanut butter filling becomes dry and crumbly.
Unfortunately, the Hershey's distribution system is not particularly well run, and I suspect that some distributors intentionally traffic in stale Peanut Butter Cups. How do you know what the expiration date of the Peanut Butter Cups is? It turns out that every package is stamped with a code, a number and then a letter - for example "4D". The number refers to the year (2004) while the letter refers to the month (D = April, the fourth month and the fourth letter of the alphabet). Why precisely Hershey's keeps this coding a semi-secret is a bit mysterious.
Never buy a Peanut Butter Cup that's past its prime! I recommend inspecting your local retailers and reporting those that sell old product to Hershey's (as I have been doing).
We will solve this problem together!