Whozeewhatzit doesn’t outshine Whatchamacallit, but it’s still a pretty good candy bar

Illustration for article titled Whozeewhatzit doesn’t outshine Whatchamacallit, but it’s still a pretty good candy bar
Photo: Aimee Levitt

Whatchamacallit, like PayDay, has always been a dark horse among candy bars, relegated to the lower shelves of the candy counter, never shrunk down to “fun” size for Halloween or decked out for Christmas. Sometimes it’s even been hard to find, though I do remember some nonsensical “Who’s on first”-style commercials from the ’80s. (“What are you eating?” “Whatchamacallit.” “What do you call it?” “Whatchamacallit.”) Whatchamacallit was originally a peanut butter crisp covered in chocolate; in 1987, when it was nine years old, Hershey’s added a thin layer of caramel. And so Whatchamacallit remained, with a few slight alterations to the outer layer—from “milk chocolate” to “chocolate candy”—when the price of cocoa butter rose in the early 2000s and Hershey opted to keep the price low.

But maybe somebody over at Hershey’s felt that Whatchamacallit was feeling lonesome all by itself: after all, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and Hershey Kisses and Kit Kats have all spawned large and ever-growing families. Even the humble PayDay got a chocolate-covered partner last summer. So now Whatchamacallit has been given a companion of its own: Whozeewhatzit.

Illustration for article titled Whozeewhatzit doesn’t outshine Whatchamacallit, but it’s still a pretty good candy bar
Photo: Aimee Levitt
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Whozeewhatzit has the same basic framework as Whatchamacallit: a crispy base with a layer of another flavor on top, all coated in chocolate. But in the case of Whozeewhatzit, the crisp is chocolate and the flavored layer is peanut butter creme instead of caramel. The chocolate is still chocolate.

It took a team of 100 Hershey’s and ad agency execs to name Whatchamacallit, but only one to name Whozeewhatzit: Lisa M. of Framingham, Massachusetts, the winner of a social media contest Hershey’s held last summer. In addition to getting to see her name on every Whozeewhatzit bar, Lisa M. also won $5,000 and a year’s supply of candy bars. (Which, I am sure, cost Hershey’s considerably less than hiring an ad firm like it did back in 1978.)

Whozeewhatzit, like Whatchamacallit, is on the lighter side of candy bars. Neither is weighted down by extra layers of nuts or nougat. The outer layer is thin. The interior is crunchy and compact, more like a granola bar than a Snickers or Milky Way or even a Rice Krispies Treat. This is a candy bar you can eat while driving or working, especially if you keep it in its wrapper so it doesn’t melt on your fingers. The chocolate coating doesn’t have the deep cocoa flavor of really good chocolate, but there’s very little of it, and it doesn’t have the slightly sour flavor of Hershey’s milk chocolate. The crispy base is pleasant, and exists more for texture than for flavor. The layer of peanut butter creme is thin, though, and not creamy as the wrapper advertises—I wish there were more of it. Instead it’s very shy and drowned out by the chocolate, more of a hint than a vital component.

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Anyway, I always liked Whatchamacallit, and I like Whozeewhatzit, too. I hope it lives and thrives and does better than Thingamajig, which had the exact same components, down to the cocoa crisp base and peanut butter creme, but quietly launched in 2009 or so and just as quietly died two years later. Or maybe 10 years from now, we’ll be hearing about another crispy cocoa and peanut butter bar called the Whatchamajoozie.

Aimee Levitt is associate editor of The Takeout.

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from “milk chocolate” to “chocolate candy”—when the price of cocoa butter rose in the early 2000s and Hershey opted to keep the price low.”

A finer condemnation of the Hershey company oeuvre I can hardly come up with myself.

I suppose if you’re the kind of person who eats candy bars as a habit, any old trash will do, but if you eat them as an infrequently-enjoyed treat, “you get what you pay for” is in full effect when buying higher-end products from better brands that don’t sell their wares in front of the register at the gas station.