Have you bought any Necco Conversation Hearts (also known as Sweethearts) yet this year? If you have, you may have noticed a difference in this familiar candy--this year Necco changed the formula of their Sweethearts, giving them brighter colors and different, more assertive fruit flavors. Gone are the mellow old favorites like watermelon and banana, and in their place are tangier, more "modern" flavors like green apple and blue raspberry. My personal opinion is that the new flavors are too artificial and aggressively fruity--I didn't enjoy eating more than one at a time, because the flavors clashed and lingered in my mouth. It seems I'm not alone, either--lots of bloggers are voicing their displeasure, and there's even a facebook group
for people who hate the new Sweethearts. If you want to learn more about this change and see a side-by-side comparison between the new and old flavors, Cybele at Candy Blog
has an in-depth look at the Sweethearts switch.
Now, just because I don't love the Sweethearts by themselves doesn't mean I can't use them in other recipes, right? I played around with them in the kitchen and found that I liked them best when paired with other (artificial) fruit flavors. For instance, they seemed to go well with the raspberry chips I used to make the pink swirls in this
Conversation Hearts Bark. I also really liked them in these Conversation Hearts Treats, because the combination of fruity hearts and crunchy cereal made them taste suspiciously like Lucky Charms. So no need to fear, if you've bought some already and don't love eating them out of hand, you can turn them into a tasty candy yet.
Have you tried the new Conversation Hearts? If so, leave a comment and tell me what you thought!
Conversation Hearts Bark Photo ©2010 Elizabeth LaBau, licensed to About.com, Inc.