So, let’s talk about candy. Specifically, Necco wafers.
I uswed to think they were “nickel wafers,” becausae they were about the size of a nickel. You could get them for a nickel back then, too.
Oliver Chase created the Necco Wafers, then called “hub wafers,” with a lozenge-cutting machine he invented. Union troops used to carry them during the Civil War, no doubt to have something to give a kid after they burned down his house. At the turn of the century, Chase merged with two other confectionary companies and formed the Northeast Confectionary Company, so Necco is an acronym for their name.
They are still being produced, in eight flavors: lemon (yellow), lime (green), orange (orange), clove (purple), cinnamon (white), wintergreen (pink), licorice (black), and chocolate (brown). Legend has it that, if you take the wintergreen (pink) ones into a dark room and break them in half, sparks fly. I could never get it to work, though. A bunch of them are wrapped in a waxed-paper package. They’ve reformulated them in the past few years, eliminating artificial colors and flavors and making them softer with the addition of glycerine, so they aren’t hard as a rock anymore. Whether that ruins the whole “taking the pink ones into a dark room and breaking them in half” thing, I don’t know. Evidently, they had to eliminate the lime wafers because they couldn’t get the color right. (They could dye them yellow and make them key lime-flavored, but that would probably confuse kids.) Since tropical flavors are all the rage these days, they also make a tropical-flavored version. They also sell the chocolate and licorice ones separately, for people who like those flavors.
I couldn’t find any TV commercials for Necco Wafers, for some reason; I don’t think they ever ran any. I liked them, but most kids learned after the first time they bought them that they’re an acquired taste. Still, there are a few videos on YouTube about them, so go have a look.
Do you like Necco Wafers?