18 February, 2010

NECCO Wafers Get A Facelift

NECCO Wafers - the oldest continuously-produced candy in the US, dating from 1847 - have undergone a major remake.  The NECCO logo has been redesigned, the packaging has been revamped, and the colors and flavors of the wafers themselves have been reformulated and new flavors introduced.

From top to bottom in the picture above:

Original NECCO Wafers:  Eight flavors:  Pink (wintergreen), purple (clove), white (cinnamon), charcoal grey (licorice), brown (chocolate), yellow (lemon), green (lime), and orange (orange.)  I've been eating these since I was a kid and I never knew the white ones were supposed to be cinnamon.  I always thought the flavor was the same pepsiny stuff that's in Beeman's Gum and wax lips.  By the way, the purple ones are my favorite.

New NECCO Wafers.  There are seven flavors now, and the company says prominently on the label that they're all natural.  Lime flavor has been dropped, but the other seven are the same, though the lemon and cinnamon are more subtle, and the chocolate flavor more strongly cocoa-flavored.

NECCO Chocolate assortment.  Chocolate NECCO wafers used to be uniformly brown chocolate wafers. Now, they come in a four-flavor chocolate assortment: Moccha, White Chocolate, Milk Chocolate, and Dark Chocolate.  There doesn't seem to be a lot of difference between the Milk and Dark flavors to me, but Lynnafred says that the Darks are more like cocoa than the Milk.  The White Chocolate flavor is heavily tinged with vanilla, yet retains the cocoa-butter back taste of good white chocolate.  And the Moccha flavor does have some coffee taste.

NECCO Smoothies.  These were really interesting and had very distinct and enjoyable flavors.  Pale blue (blueberry) was surprisingly strong-flavored and very good. Yellow (banana caramel) had a full, sweet banana flavor with just a hint of caramel-vanilla deliciousness behind it.  Tropical was a pretty good pineapple flavor with a hint of coconut.  Orangey-pink (peach) tasted like gummi peaches, sweet and mouth-wateringly fruity. Pink (strawberry creme) was also very good.  Like strawberry syrup.




BarbieIQue said...

I'm a new reader and enjoy your postings (you had me hooked at capicola).

A very reliable source told me that two pink Necco wafers rubbed together underneath the covers of a dark bedroom will produce sparks.

Thinking this feat was some kind of junior high urban legend, I decided to debunk the myth.

Believe it or not, the wafers spark, albeit faintly.

/no weirdo

Andrew said...

Really, was there a need to make Necco wafers all fancy-shmancy?
I liked them the way they were!

Battle Park said...

Chewing Wint-o-Green Lifesavers hard in the dark also produces "sparks."

Anyone remember when you could pay the tolls on the Garden State with NECCO wafers?

Dave said...

BarbieIQue: Welcome! Oil of Wintergreen is the ingredient in pink NECCO wafers. The phenomenon is called "tribolumenescence," a type of light emitted when asymmetrical or slightly impure crystals are shattered - and the sugar crystals which make up NECCO wafers, LifeSavers, and other hard candies are just the type. When a sugar crystal breaks, half of the crystal ends up with more electrons than the other half, causing electrons to jump the gap to the positively-charged side. The electrons hit nitrogen atoms in the air, which absorb the energy briefly and then release it in the form of invisible ultraviolet light. The oil of wintergreen in the candy is what makes the sparks visible, by absorbing the energy from the ultraviolet light and, in turn, releasing it as visible blue light.

And all that happens in the time it takes you to rub a couple of wafers together, or chomp down on a Wint-O-Green LifeSaver.

Stella said...

I remember these things (Necco Wafers). I used to buy them when I was a kid on road trips with my Dad. These or Bit-O-Honey. I haven't seen either in stores for a while it seems...Hmm?

Paul said...

I love the wintergreen wafers... The best!

NECCO = New England Confection Company

Anonymous said...

Remember New Coke? Why did they have to change NECCO Wafers? I want the taste and texture from my youth - bold flavors and a not-so-hard hard candy. The new "All Natural Original" flavors are bland and hard by comparison. I won't buy them until they change back.

Anonymous said...

I also prefer the taste of the original necco candies. The new lime is so harsh. Don't like it AT ALL!! I get really irritated when they mix them together & you buy the whole box thinking they are original & they have some of the new ones in. Maybe if you just made the flavor of the lime softer it would help!!

Anonymous said...

Haven't bought these in a while because they did not look right in the store. Just bought a roll and I definitely do not like the new "all natural" neccos. I threw a bunch of them out. Some tasted downright nasty. Was once one of my favorite candy, sadly I won't by them again.