Monday, February 14, 2011

The History of Sweetheart Candies and Some Personal Favorites

So, I just got through reading a piece in the Smithsonian magazine about the history of Sweetheart candies.  First off, I had no idea that they had been around for so long, and they have always been popular, in heart form and the many other forms they have had in the past.

Did you know that sweetheart candies were first made in the shape of a large scalloped shell, which was a very popular wedding favor in the early 1900 and had long messages written on them-- entire lines even.

It also seems that many folks like things to stay the same and when their childhood favorites are messed with, they tend to get upset.  The text and sayings on the hearts have always changed, usually it is thematic, but sometimes it is changed by things in pop culture.  However, last year, Necco, the company that makes the hearts, decided to mess with the flavors, because today's children like a little more kick in flavor than most adults are used to their sweetheart candies having.

Entire pages on Facebook, and other sites, were dedicated to protest and complain about the flavors that were added and Necco has responded by changing the formula in their test kitchens for this years batch.  I have yet to try any, and I don't recall eating any myself last year, but I gave a box to each of the girls and they didn't say anything so they must not have minded the flavor changes.

One thing we do do every year, well starting a few years ago, is head over to Acme Hearts and make our own hearts to email each other, or print out.  Here's mine from this year.

And even though he hates when I mention it, several years ago, my baby brother sent me a very special valentine when I was away from home.  He had cut out a large red heart, made a little pocket on the front and tucked in a sweetheart candy that said "I love you".  When I called home to thank him for the valentine he said that Mommy told him that his heart was the most important thing he could give anyone, so he sent me his heart.  It was the sweetest, cutest, most loving thing and I still have his heart :)

Anyone else have any sweetheart candy stories to share?

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