SweetHearts Are Back This Valentine’s Day, But More Than Half of Them Are Blank

KURJANPHOTO, iStock via Getty Images
KURJANPHOTO, iStock via Getty Images

Valentine's Day 2019 was a dark time for anyone used to expressing their feelings through candy. Following the demise of the New England Confectionary Company, or Necco, in 2018, SweetHearts were missing from shelves. This year, SweetHearts have a new owner, and it was so eager to get them out in time for Valentine's Day 2020 that many of the conversation hearts are missing their familiar sayings.

Spangler Candy Company acquired the former Necco candy in September 2018, which means manufacturers have had more than a year to perfect their production of SweetHearts. But some kinks still need to be worked out; according to CandyStore.com, 97 percent of the conversation hearts it reviewed didn't have a complete, legible phrase on them. Some bore partial prints or illegible markings, but the majority—65 percent—were totally blank. This data was based on 10 boxes containing more than 230 SweetHearts altogether.

Transporting the candy-making equipment from the old Necco factory in Boston to Spangler's headquarters in Ohio was just one challenge the company faced. When the machines were reassembled, Spangler realized the printer necessary to make SweetHearts's cutesy sayings was broken. It had to settle for a replacement printer, which as CandyStore.com's review shows, also didn't work according to plan.

Spangler's production hiccups spell bad news for fans of the candy. Fewer boxes are being shipped to stores, which means that you may have trouble finding them if you wait to do your Valentine's Day candy shopping until February 13.

Though their signature feature is missing, the SweetHearts still have their classic taste; Spangler used the original recipe from 1902. The production errors might also make them more desirable to collectors of rare candy, so unless you want to miss out on SweetHearts two Valentine's Days in a row, pick them up sooner rather than later.

[h/t CandyStore.com]

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


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

- 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.

- 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.

- 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]