Happy Valentine’s Day!
I wish for you a day of sweetness and joy… and may you be surrounded by those you love!
Exciting Post Tomorrow!
I have asked several friends to participate in a special segment that I have planned for tomorrow. It will be called “Creations Under Glass”
I just love looking at little displays of pretty things under glass, and you will be amazed at what these gals have come up with!
The History of the “Conversation Heart”
Ever Wonder How Long Those Little Conversation Hearts Have Been Around? As I was walking down the candy isle to pick up some candy for my teenagers to pass out to their friends today at school, I was asking myself that very question…
Nothing brings back memories like candy! And whether you’re only 9, or already 90, you’ve probably received your share of conversation hearts on Valentine’s Day!
Did you know… The new England Confectionery Company (or NECCO), is America’s oldest multi-line candy company, and it still produces 8 Billion candy hearts each Valentine’s Day! That boils down to 100,000 pounds of candy hearts every day!
From the moment they were introduced, the candy hearts were a huge success! The tradition of giving these sweet little treats as gifts on Valentine’s Day has been passed down from generation to generation, which the company says, is the secret to their success.
The original concept of the conversation hearts, which were originally called “Motto Hearts”, goes all the way back to the late 1800’s. Back then, the sayings were printed on colored paper, and placed inside of small crisp candies that were called “cockles” – because they were formed in the shape of scalloped shell. Then, in 1847, one of the founders of NECCO, Daniel Chase, invented the process that allowed the candy company to actually print directly on the candy itself.
Although originally cut in various shapes such as; postcards, horseshoes, and baseballs, the heart was the shape that had the most room for the longer sayings. And when I say longer… I mean longer! If you were to receive one of the original candy hearts, you might see a saying such as;
“Please send a lock of your hair by return mail”
” How long shall I have to wait? Pray be considerate”
Although today’s sayings are short & sweet, “Be Mine”, “Be Good”, “Be True”, “My Man”, “Kiss Me”, and “Sweet Talk” are some of the original sayings that are still used. In the early 1990’s, the company decided that every year, they would add new sayings to their familiar line up. Every year people from around the globe send in thousands of romantic suggestions. Although some people have a hard time seeing different phrases on their much loved candy, many younger fans welcome the new changes.
There’s nothing better than a good recipe that you can depend on, and NECCO feels the same way about their closely guarded secret recipe. However, they will share this much… they use; 90% sugar, a dash of corn syrup, gelatin, gums, and artificial colors and flavorings. The dough is rolled out, printed with the sayings, then stamped into the little heart shapes. After 45 minutes of drying, they finally reach the semi-hard consistency needed.
* If you’re a NECCO wafer fan…. Did you know… they use the SAME recipe for conversation hearts as they do the wafers?
If there’s one thing that you can always count on at Valentine’s Day, it’s seeing the colorful little conversation hearts in a store near you. And hopefully… a few of those 8 billion little candies make their way to your house 😉