Browsing Tag

Valentine’s Candy

Holiday Candy, Lollipops, Valentine's Candy

Get Creative with Candy this Valentine’s Day

January 19, 2012 by

Candy for Valentines Day 2012Valentine’s Day is kind of a polarizing holiday. Young lovers love it, and lonely curmudgeons hate it. And so do a lot of normal people. The legendary stories that inspired the celebration vary widely, and the only really clear thing is that people have been getting romantic once a year for centuries. But a holiday about love in the middle of winter makes sense. Celebrating loved ones might be the best thing to do when you’ve been stuck inside with them for months. Just imagine what it would be like if you shared a hovel with them. Or a Conestoga wagon. These days, we’ve got it easy, so let’s stop grumbling and focus on showing people some love.

When you think about candy all the time, Valentine’s Day is super fun. It’s a time for surprises and the joy of delighting people you love. As a relatively “small holiday,” there aren’t that many gifts to choose from — it’s candy, flowers, jewelry, or a mix tape.  And anything that’s not candy goes better with candy. But there are plenty of ways to mix it up and get creative. You can find out your crush’s favorite candy from childhood, then shock them with a whole box. If you’re ambitious, you could even fill a locker or a car with candy.

We’ve got all the traditional candies, like all kinds of conversation hearts and hand-poured mixed chocolates. Valentine’s Day is an opportunity to celebrate true love, or friendship, or family. Just find your favorite way to make someone feel special. Here are some interesting options, and you’ll find lots more in our Valentines Candy section.

Valentine’s Day Favorites

stocking stuffer lollipops
lollipops that spin


Candy Reviews, Valentine's Candy

Conversation Hearts from Brach’s, from NECCO and from the Enlarging Machine

February 1, 2010 by
Whether you prefer Brachs or Necco, one thing that everyone can agree upon is that Valentine's day wouldn't be the same without Conversation Hearts

Whether you prefer Brachs or Necco, one thing that everyone can agree upon is that Valentine’s day wouldn’t be the same without Conversation Hearts

Sharability: 10

Denture Danger: 2-7

Convenience: 10

Novelty: 10

Overall: 5

The classic Valentines Day candy… these candy hearts are so popular that both The New England Confectionary Company (NECCO) and Brach’s manufacture them, and now they are even made in an enlarged size. The candies themselves are definitely more of a novelty item than a tasty candy. In fact, eating too many can induce side effects of nausea.

Even though Brach’s and NECCO both make these conversation hearts they aren’t identical candies. The differences start with aesthetics. NECCO takes the gold in this category.

The Brach’s Conversation Hearts have a greater width making them look more generic and almost like their shape has been a mistake. The second difference is consistency; this award goes to Brach’s. Your teeth can sink right into the Brach’s hearts while the NECCO hearts put up a strong fight creating significant amount denture danger.

The third difference is taste. The corresponding colors don’t even have all of the same flavors. Both types of hearts have white wintergreen, purple grape, orange orange, green lime, and pink cherry, but the yellow in the NECCO group is banana while the Brach’s side steps the banana and chooses a somewhat more tasty but virtually indistinguishable flavor.

Another difference between the two is the short sayings printed on the hearts. Not only are the Brach’s sayings sloppier and harder to read, but some of the sayings are quite inappropriate, especially for Valentines day. While the NECCO hearts have classic sayings such as, “Let’s Kiss,” “Miss You,” and “Cutie Pie,” Brach’s hearts spread negativity with “No Way,” “See Ya” and “Good Bye” and aren’t as appropriate for the young ones with “Too Hot” and “So Fine” mixed in with the usuals.

I don’t understand why a Valentines Candy would have sayings on it that promote negativity.

The Large Conversation Hearts have a solely aesthetic advantage. They make reading the saying a little bit easier (even though many are still off-center or illegible), but eating one is way too much gross sugary flavor for one bite.

The first idea for conversation hearts originated back when Abraham Lincoln was president. Mottoes were a candy that contained a rolled up piece of paper inside the shell shaped candy that sported the sayings that influenced today’s conversation hearts.

Daniel Chase (the brother of NECCO’s founder, Oliver Chase) experimented with the idea of putting messages on candies with hand tools in the 1860s. He soon realized this process would be much too tedious to continue and thus he created a machine to print messages on the candies.

The first conversation candies were especially popular at weddings with their witty sayings such as “Married in satin, Love will not be lasting,” “Married in pink, He will take to drink,” and “Married in white, You have chosen right.” These long messages were not printed directly on the candies but were written the original way on rolled up pieced of paper inside the candies.

The idea for the modern day hearts came about in 1902 along with candies in other shapes such as baseballs and horseshoes. Today the heart shaped candies are so popular that during NECOO’s peak production periods, approximately 100,000 pounds of conversation hearts are made each day and all of these hearts sell out in about six weeks. Eight billion candy conversation hearts are produced every year just by NECCO; that is enough hearts that if lined up they would stretch from Rome, Italy to Valentine, Arizona and back twenty times… that’s a lot of hearts.

Despite the unsatisfactory taste of these little candies they still remain an almost necessary purchase for the Valentines Day season. Though the Brach’s might taste better, I’d recommend buying the not-so-negative classic NECCO Conversation Hearts; these candies aren’t really for eating anyway.