For more than 90 years a debate has raged in the City of Baltimore: which hometown candy maker sells better homemade, hand-packed chocolates – Rhebs or Wockenfuss? The response you get from generations of Baltimoreans falls fairly predictably along geographic lines – those in North and East Baltimore pledge their loyalty to Wockenfuss while those in South and West Baltimore have the same fanatical allegiance to Rhebs. Wockenfuss devotees like to point out that they have been around since 1915, unlike the “Johnny-Come-Lately” Rhebs, which opened in 1917. Rhebites sneer that Wockenfuss has gone corporate, adding shops in such far-flung regions as Columbia, MD, and Ocean City. They, on the other hand, still sell their candy from the tiny shop next door to the house where it is made fresh every morning.
In a quest to lay this age-old question to rest, I took a box of each into the office (I’ve taken Rhebs at the holidays many times, and Wockenfuss occasionally, but never both Rhebs & Wockenfuss). I asked my co-workers to try a piece of each (chosing from vanilla & chocolate buttercreams, caramels and coconut creams) and vote which candy should reign supreme. By the end of the day, the tribe had spoken – Wockenfuss crushed Rhebs by a two to one margin: 16-8. Which proves to me that my co-workers don’t know what good chocolate is. It figures – they’re a bunch of Washingtonians.