Missing Sweethearts This Valentine's Day? Try Jelly Belly's 'Conversation Beans' Instead

Shaunacy Ferro
Shaunacy Ferro

If you've been mourning the loss of Sweethearts candies, let Jelly Belly fill the void in your heart—and stomach. Following reports that Necco's Sweethearts wouldn't be sold this year as the brand transitions to new ownership, the Jelly Belly Candy Company stepped in to save Valentine’s Day by offering boxes of "Conversation Beans."

Sure, they're more kidney- than heart-shaped, but they serve the same purpose. The beans come in five sour flavors—apple, cherry, grape, lemon, and orange—and feature a few different Valentine's Day sayings. Your classic "HUGS" and "XOXO" messages are represented, as are internet-speak acronyms like "LOL" and "ILY."

The company has also released Love Beans (heart-stamped jelly beans) and Sparkling Cupid Corn (like candy corn, but pink, red, and strawberry-flavored) in time for the holiday.

A box of Jelly Belly conversation beans
Jelly Belly

As for those Sweethearts we've all come to know and love—even if some don't actually enjoy eating them—there's hope on the horizon. The Spangler Candy Company, which now owns the rights to Necco Wafers and Sweethearts, previously released a statement indicating that Sweethearts would be back on store shelves by Valentine's Day in 2020.

However, that press release has since been removed from the company's website, and a new statement promises a Sweethearts return under more ambiguous terms. "We wish we could have Sweethearts out for the 2019 Valentine season, but it's just not possible," the company said Thursday, according to CandyStore.com. "We are committed to making sure these brands meet consumer expectations when they reenter the market. Doing it right takes time."

Until that day, there will be plenty of "SWEET" and sour conversation beans to go around.

The ChopBox Smart Cutting Board Has a Food Scale, Timer, and Knife Sharper Built Right Into It


When it comes to furnishing your kitchen with all of the appliances necessary to cook night in and night out, you’ll probably find yourself running out of counter space in a hurry. The ChopBox, which is available on Indiegogo and dubs itself “The World’s First Smart Cutting Board,” looks to fix that by cramming a bunch of kitchen necessities right into one cutting board.

In addition to giving you a knife-resistant bamboo surface to slice and dice on, the ChopBox features a built-in digital scale that weighs up to 6.6 pounds of food, a nine-hour kitchen timer, and two knife sharpeners. It also sports a groove on its surface to catch any liquid runoff that may be produced by the food and has a second pull-out cutting board that doubles as a serving tray.

There’s a 254nm UVC light featured on the board, which the company says “is guaranteed to kill 99.99% of germs and bacteria" after a minute of exposure. If you’re more of a traditionalist when it comes to cleanliness, the ChopBox is completely waterproof (but not dishwasher-safe) so you can wash and scrub to your heart’s content without worry. 

According to the company, a single one-hour charge will give you 30 days of battery life, and can be recharged through a Micro USB port.

The ChopBox reached its $10,000 crowdfunding goal just 10 minutes after launching its campaign, but you can still contribute at different tiers. Once it’s officially released, the ChopBox will retail for $200, but you can get one for $100 if you pledge now. You can purchase the ChopBox on Indiegogo here.

Mental Floss has affiliate relationships with certain retailers and may receive a small percentage of any sale. But we choose all products independently and only get commission on items you buy and don't return, so we're only happy if you're happy. Thanks for helping us pay the bills!

Move Over, Mister Softee: Margarita Trucks Are Bringing Cocktails to Your Doorstep

The margarita man cometh.
The margarita man cometh.
Camrocker/iStock via Getty Images

If anything could possibly rival the appearance of an ice cream truck on a sweltering day, it would be the sight of a similar automobile emblazoned with the word margarita heading down your street.

Residents of San Antonio, Texas, can now make that dream a reality. La Gloria, a restaurant owned by chef Johnny Hernandez, is bringing its signature margaritas and other popular menu items right to people’s doorsteps by way of bright pink “Margarita Trucks.”

MySA reports that the first truck has already started making deliveries within 3 miles of Crockett Park in downtown San Antonio, but additional trucks will venture as far as Dominion, Stone Oak, Alamo Heights, and other neighborhoods in the coming days.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Chef Johnny Hernandez (@iamchefjohnny) on

“Today, safety is top of mind for everyone, and many of our customers are simply not ready to dine out,” Hernandez said, according to KSAT.com. “However, we know that doesn’t mean they don’t crave one of our famous margaritas.”

Those famous margaritas include La Gloria’s house recipe (on the rocks or frozen), as well as a variety of other refreshing flavors like prickly pear, mango, cucumber, and strawberry. The truck will also be stocked with a selection of taco kits and snacks like street corn, chips, salsa, and queso, and customers must purchase at least one food item with their alcoholic beverage.

Unlike ice cream trucks, the margarita trucks won’t exactly be cruising around town, ready to pull over for any spontaneous customer. Instead, they’ll operate more like regular food delivery services—you have to order and pay online in advance, and there’s an order minimum of $40.

While you’re waiting for some enterprising restaurateur to launch a fleet of margarita trucks in your city, learn how to make your own margarita at home with these priceless tips from a cocktail pro.

[h/t mySA]