RIP, Sweethearts

This Valentine's Day, you won't find the nostalgic Sweethearts of elementary school crushes past. Instead, you'll find a new, fruitier version of these classic American icons. After 145 years, NECCO has decided to "upgrade" the flavors of its conversation hearts. Here is a list of the new flavors: green apple, blue raspberry, strawberry, lemon, grape, and orange. No, you're not going crazy. The wintergreen and the white are now long gone, off to conversation heart heaven.

We don't uncontrollably pop these chalky candies into our mouths like M&Ms, but the little kid in us still wants to get a box of NECCO Sweethearts that will stay unopened on our desk until next Valentine's Day. While eating the candies isn't the point for us, we still think changing the flavors is blasphemy.

Of course, the New England Confectionary Co. has been changing the actual messages on these super-sweet Valentine's Day treats for years. This year, they've taken a more techie approach. Messages like "tweet me" and "text me" can be found decorating your nostalgic conversation hearts. You can even download a new iPhone app that will let you personalize a heart and send it digitally to your sweetheart. But the company is also bringing back some historic messages, like "love bug" and "sweet pea."


We've gotten accustomed over the years to these changes in messaging. But it's the change in flavors that has everyone in an uproar. Facebook alone has multiple groups boycotting these new flavors, begging NECCO to bring back the old flavors. We even received an e-mail yesterday encouraging us to write a letter to NECCO asking them to bring back the old-school flavors, including the now-missing white heart.

Very few things stay the same these days. We can't even count on our candy. Who knows? Maybe these boycotting campaigns will be successful. Until then, RIP Sweethearts. We will miss you.

KEEP THE HOUSTON PRESS FREE... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Jane Catherine Collins