Tuesday, February 12, 2008

St. Valentine's Day - Sweethearts

Everyone seems to have a sweet tooth when it comes to St. Valentine's Day candy. Chocolates, cinnamon hearts, fancy truffles -- these are just a few of the varieties of sweets that we give to our loved one. Along with a mixture of fine candy, probably everyone has tasted the candy called Sweethearts Conversation Hearts.

This staple of St. Valentine's Day is a product of the New England Confectionery Company. The candy hearts, as we know them today, began a little over 100 years ago. Similar candies had been produced for 40 years prior, but the candies took their present form in 1902.

The distinctive feature of Sweethearts is the short and sometimes pithy sayings that are embossed on the candy. Traditional sayings such as "Be Mine" or "Kiss Me" have been staples of the candy since their inception. In 1990, additional, more contemporary sayings such as "Fax Me" or "E-mail Me" have been used. The company uses customer input to determine new sayings to use. You can even order the candies with your own message on them; provided that you order a full production run ... about 1 million candies!

The U.S. Post Office issued a 37-cent stamp featuring Sweetheart candies in January 2004. It was the perfect stamp to use to send St. Valentine's Day wishes.

Trivia: In case you think that Sweetheart candies have a familiar taste, they do. The New England Confectionery Company, abbreviated NECCO, makes the world famous NECCO wafers using the exact same recipe.

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