I spent the last week on vacation in Chicago, and one of my goals for the visit was to find some regional candy bars. Despite stopping in a dozen or so corner stores to study their candy racks, I wasn’t able to find anything more interesting than a Chick-O-Stick (which I like, but that’s a Texas candy.)
But I did luck out in stumbling across a new nationally-distributed, limited-edition bar: Hershey’s Thingamajig. It’s basically Hershey’s Whatchamacallit, the peanut-wafer, caramel, and mockolate bar, which they first introduced in 1978. (It used to be chocolate, but it is now made out of faux chocolate, chocolate that lacks the cocoa butter that makes chocolate chocolate. Hershey has switched many of their products from milk chocolate to what the FDA requires that they call “chocolate candy” or “chocolate-flavored.” The result is that many Hershey bars now suck. Also, Whatchamacallits had no caramel when I was a kid, which I preferred.) The Thingamajig is made with cocoa butter, replaces the peanut-flavored crisp with cocoa-flavored crisp, and uses peanut butter instead of caramel. I’m a Whatchamacallit fan (or at least I used to be), but the differences in the Thingamajig weren’t obvious to me upon eating it, other than the real chocolate. A side-by-side comparison would have been more obvious, I guess. Still, it was good, and it’s too bad it’s a limited edition. For more reviews, see Cocoa Heaven and A.V. Club’s particularly impressive review.
Today, back in Charlottesville, I found that CVS was selling Wildly Cherry M&Ms, another limited edition candy. (Note that, unlike Hershey, Mars uses real chocolate.) These aren’t very impressive. They’ve got a strong cough-syrupy cherry flavor, though I think Bliss Tree’s description of them as tasting like cherry cordials is probably closer. I found the cherry overpowering enough that I bit one in half to inspect it for chocolate content, wondering if perhaps they were just full of cherry flavoring (sort of the opposite of the awful chocolate Skittles). These I will not be buying again. For more reviews of Wildly Cherry M&Ms, see Candy Addict and Chocolate Obsession.