Sunday, January 28, 2007

The original candy wafer!


Okay. I took a look and a taste at Necco Wafers. These are not dissimilar to the Conversation Hearts made available around Valentine's Day every year, except the Wafers are more manageable and don't seem as irritating to chew. As an added bonus, your hands get covered in a thick coat of white dust that will haunt the front of your jeans for days to come (assuming you're like me and don't do a whole lot of laundry).

In fact, the similarity to Conversation Hearts is no coincidence. According to my Uncle Wikipedia, they were both invented by the same company around the same time on the same machine (probably by the same, lonely guy).

Fast facts! Serving size: 3 wafers. Calories: 15. Fat: 0g. This is not a vegan treat because it lists gelatin among its ingredients.

I have a sort of emotional attachment to the Wafers that preclude me from making any clear and unbiased judgment on the matter. These were one of my grandma's staple candy dish foods, and when I was a kid I'd sneak and sneak and sneak the things until it was empty, far sooner than I'm sure she'd planned.

Yellow is lemon-flavored, green is lime-flavored, and orange is orange-flavored. The fruit wafers taste similar to the respective Conversation Hearts flavors, in that they don't have a particularly natural flavor but still remind you of the fruit for some vague reason. Another simulacrum is Pez, which is a little stronger but similarly flavored.

Pink is wintergreen, and tastes fairly similar to the same flavor of Lifesavers, but once again a little less potent. White is cinnamon, and it's not very strong. In fact, until thinking about it right now, I can't say I've ever noticed that the flavor was cinnamon. I would prefer the white flavor to be a little closer to the "Red-Hots" taste, although all of the Necco Wafers have subtle flavors and it might throw off the balance to have a lasting aftertaste.

Purple is clove. I don't know what cloves taste like, but I know that I enjoy this particular flavor of Necco Wafer quite a bit. Black is licorice, which is a personal favorite taste of mine. Unfortunately, however, Necco does not do the flavor complete justice. It's plenty strong (in that it remains on your taste buds), but not particularly potent. Brown (chocolate, of course), is my favorite flavor, and simultaneously it seems to be the rarest in the roll. Thanks a lot, Necco. It tastes similar to a Tootsie Roll, so it's a very artificial chocolate taste that still manages to be very appealing. It's also probably the strongest flavor of the bunch, remaining in your mouth for several minutes after chompage.

Everybody seems to complain that the Conversation Heart, and by association the Necco Wafer, is chalky. This is in reference not only to the dust left on the consumer's hand, but also by the unique texture of the candy itself. It's true. The worst part of a Necco Wafer is biting into it, as the feeling it gives your teeth is jarring. However, this wasn't a deciding factor in my enjoyment of the candy, and instead relegated itself to a brief dental shock when I started the pack.

All eight flavors are recognizable for the most part, but they are also very subtle. If you go into a pack of Necco Wafers without thinking (like I have many times in the past), you might not notice a difference at all. This is not a discredit to the brand--instead, it shows that you can have candy this disparate (mint, fruit, and spice all in one) and still have it be complimentary. I would recommend Necco Wafers for an extremely low calorie candy treat (or for a communion substitute).

Link: Necco

1 comment:

Melvin said...

Brown is chocolate and this chubbies favorite :-)