What Are Conversation Hearts?

Let’s dive into the treats that are synonymous with February 14th: conversation hearts. I personally can’t wait to write about them, because if my hands are busy typing about them, it means I have a good excuse for not eating them. Because even though I love complimentary candy, I find conversation hearts to be disgusting. That said, I’m a professional and won’t let that get in the way of reporting the facts on these little guys. I promise!

What are conversation hearts aka Sweethearts?

Conversation hearts are a Valentine’s Day staple. They’re little sugar hearts with holiday-appropriate sayings on them. Some popular examples include,, “KISS ME,” “SWEET TALK,” and “BE MINE.” Some unpopular sayings include, “THIS FELL ON THE GROUND,” “POISON: DO NOT EAT,” and “EXP: 2/14/1922.” 

Much like candy corn, conversation hearts are divisive. In fact, some folks just flat-out dislike the chalky, dusty texture of these pastel-hued seasonal stalwarts, and, furthermore, those folks include me among their ranks. I don’t want to editorialize too much, but if you ask me, these things are for folks who want the gritty texture of Pez without the fun of the cartoon-shaped dispenser. And with that out of the way, you have my word, there will be no more editorializing on the subject. Just the facts from here on out!

Are conversations hearts gluten-free?

Conversation hearts are indeed gluten-free, so even those with gluten allergies can enjoy throwing these disgusting things away in the trash where they belong. (Alright, I promise, the editorializing ends now.) 

Are Conversation Hearts vegan? 

It is entirely dependent on the brand. For example, Brach’s brand hearts contain gelatin, thus are not even vegetarian. Smarties Love Hearts, on the other hand, are completely safe for vegan consumption. At the end of the day, always check the ingredients. Or, if you take my advice, just skip these altogether and enjoy a completely different, completely vegan candy, that won’t taste like edible sidewalk chalk. (Okay, and the editorializing ends here, I swear.)

What company made the original conversation heart candies?

The first company to roll out conversation hearts for the Valentine’s Day season was none other than the  Necco corporation, which we all know as the manufacturer of  everyone’s favorite dusted disk, the Necco Wafer. Makes sense now that you hear it, right? Conversation hearts are basically compacted, organ-shaped Necco wafers with lovey-dovey bon mots on them! Who knew? You do, now! 

I hope you’ve enjoyed exploring the world of conversation hearts as much as I have. Which is a considerable amount—even though, for the record, they are no fun to eat and are frankly better used for filling maracas or using as poker chips than they are for human consumption. (No more editorializing after this, though, start the clock NOW.)

About the Author

Joe Rumrill

Joe Rumrill is a fictional one-eyed spinach-loving sailor created in 1929 by E.C Se- Wait, no, that's not right... Joe Rumrill is a stand up comedian and writer currently based in Los Angeles. His favorite thing about food is a close tie between the taste and the nutrients one gets from it. His least favorite thing about it is the "gritty, dirt-like quality some food has", but he's most likely referring to the time in third grade he was dared to eat playground sand.

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