We all love giving and receiving Valentine's Day candy, but do you know the origins of where it all came from? The backstory to Valentine's Day is mysterious, multi-faceted, and no one can really agree on exactly where it came from. But the origin of Valentine's Day candy is easier to pin down. From heart-boxed chocolate, to the printed candy hearts, Teresa Strasser looks at the history of these sweet-loving treats.
We're starting out with heartfelt words of love. Sweetheart Candy "conversation" hearts were first made in 1866 by Necco, which is still going strong today. They were originally used in weddings until the early 1900's when they became a Valentine's Day staple. They account for more than 40 percent of all Valentine's Day candy sold each year.
2. Heart-Shaped Chocolate Boxes
The chocolate box of hearts was invented by a company more famous for its Easter treats. Richard Cadbury created the world's first heart-shaped box of chocolates in 1861. Not all chocolate is the same so Tony Cerreta of Cerreta's Candy Company says to choose your Valentine's Day chocolate of choice wisely. He recommends going for milk chocolate for its sweetness – you know, given the occasion.
3. Heart Pez Dispenser
Pez first introduced its heart-shaped Valentine's Day themed dispensers in 1996. And this year, they're bringing it back, along with emojis and a teddy bear. Because, like love, bears can be cuddly or grizzly.
4. Hershey's Kisses
Finally, we're sealing our list with a kiss – a Hershey's kiss, that is. These tasty treats first rolled off the line back in 1907, but they didn't get their sweet pink and red Valentine's wrappers until 1986.
Whether you hand them out or save them all to yourself, learning the sweet history of Valentine's Day candy is simply fascinating.
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