Circus Peanuts and Necco Wafers are Forming a Deliciously Disgusting Candy Alliance

iStock
iStock

We have some good news and bad news. The good news is that the maker of Circus Peanuts has stepped in to save Necco Wafers from certain death. And if you don't have a sweet spot for hard, chalky candy, this is also the bad news.

As Grub Street reports, the bankrupted New England Confectionery Company (and their Necco Wafers and Sweetheart Candies) have been bought by the producer of Dum Dums and Circus Peanuts. The new owner, Spangler Candy Company, says both the Wafers and Sweethearts will be back on store shelves by 2020.

Yes, people love to poke fun at Necco Wafers—just consider this Cracked headline: "America's Worst Candy Is Saved By Its Second-Worst Candy" (which sounds as though they forgot about Necco-owned Mary Jane candies)—but there is clearly a market for these confections. Last March, when news broke that the New England company faced massive layoffs and was in desperate need of a buyer, it spawned what some have dubbed "The Great Necco Wafer Panic." Fears of a wafer-less future spread, and sales of the candy spiked 63 percent in a single month.

There's also the nostalgic appeal. Founded in 1847, Necco Wafers are the oldest continuously manufactured candy in the U.S. "It is a love/hate type of candy and people are super passionate about it," Clair Robins of Candystore.com told Mental Floss in April. "They are perceived as an old-school classic, and even patriotic—soldiers ate them in the World Wars. But others think it's dry and gross and should die a painful death."

The New England Confectionery Company, which shut down in July after filing for bankruptcy, was also responsible for some of your grandpa's other favorite sweets: Sky Bars, Haviland Thin Mints, Clark Bars, Mighty Malts Malted Milk Balls, and Peach Blossoms. The Clark Bar brand was sold separately to Boyer Candy Company, which said the chocolate bars will start being produced again in about six months.

[h/t Grub Street]

Wayfair’s Fourth of July Clearance Sale Takes Up to 60 Percent Off Grills and Outdoor Furniture

Wayfair/Weber
Wayfair/Weber

This Fourth of July, Wayfair is making sure you can turn your backyard into an oasis while keeping your bank account intact with a clearance sale that features savings of up to 60 percent on essentials like chairs, hammocks, games, and grills. Take a look at some of the highlights below.

Outdoor Furniture

Brisbane bench from Wayfair
Brisbane/Wayfair

- Jericho 9-Foot Market Umbrella $92 (Save 15 percent)
- Woodstock Patio Chairs (Set of Two) $310 (Save 54 percent)
- Brisbane Wooden Storage Bench $243 (Save 62 percent)
- Kordell Nine-Piece Rattan Sectional Seating Group with Cushions $1800 (Save 27 percent)
- Nelsonville 12-Piece Multiple Chairs Seating Group $1860 (Save 56 percent)
- Collingswood Three-Piece Seating Group with Cushions $410 (Save 33 percent)

Grills and Accessories

Dyna-Glo electric smoker.
Dyna-Glo/Wayfair

- Spirit® II E-310 Gas Grill $479 (Save 17 percent)
- Portable Three-Burner Propane Gas Grill $104 (Save 20 percent)
- Digital Bluetooth Electric Smoker $224 (Save 25 percent)
- Cuisinart Grilling Tool Set $38 (Save 5 percent)

Outdoor games

American flag cornhole game.
GoSports

- American Flag Cornhole Board $57 (Save 19 percent)
- Giant Four in a Row Game $30 (Save 6 percent)
- Giant Jenga Game $119 (Save 30 percent)

This article contains affiliate links to products selected by our editors. Mental Floss may receive a commission for purchases made through these links.

Wax Paper vs. Parchment Paper: What’s the Difference for Cooking?

Wax paper is great for keeping your counter space clean (as seen above).
Wax paper is great for keeping your counter space clean (as seen above).

When it comes to kitchen accessories, there are utensils like ladles and spatulas, bakeware like cupcake pans, and then covers and wraps like aluminum foil and plastic bags. But one kitchen item can result in some confusion—paper. Specifically, wax paper versus parchment paper. Despite similar appearances, they're not the same. What’s the difference between the two?

It’s pretty simple. Parchment paper tolerates heat and wax paper does not. Parchment paper is a sturdy, kitchen-specific item made with silicone that resists both grease and moisture. It’s perfect for cake molds or for wrapping fish. (So long as you don’t reuse it for those tasks.) You can safely use parchment paper in an oven.

Wax paper also has a non-stick surface, but it’s not intended for use around any kind of heat source. The wax on the paper could melt. It’s better to use it to cover countertops to make clean-up easier. You can also use it to roll out dough or pound chicken breasts into submission.

Though parchment paper is typically more expensive, it’s far more versatile. You should opt for wax paper only if you plan on making a mess and want to discard it easily. But don’t get the two mixed up, as wax paper near heat could require another kitchen accessory: a fire extinguisher.

[h/t MarthaStewart.com]