Much like the pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving and the candy canes at Christmas, the conversation hearts at Valentine’s Day are one of those love ‘em or hate ‘em treats. The flavor of these hearts is subtle, and although they’re a touch chalky in texture they’re impossible to stop eating if you have an open box in front of you.

What makes these little guys so addicting? I took to Necco’s website to find out what makes their Sweethearts Conversation Hearts so special.

Necco’s Sweethearts are the original conversation hearts and are now synonymous with Valentine’s Day. Created in 1866, these tiny sugar bombs have been tantalizing lovebirds worldwide for well over a century.

The ingredients in conversation hearts are simple: sugar, corn syrup, gelatin, gums, coloring, and flavoring. Looking at this list of ingredients, you’ll undoubtedly notice that these treats aren’t vegan due to the gelatin in them.

In addition to the straightforward ingredients list, the process of making conversation hearts is also relatively simple. According to Necco’s website, the ingredients are mixed together until a dough forms. The dough is fed into a machine that presses it until flat, and then the dough is cut and stamped in another machine. Finally, the conversation hearts are dried for 30 minutes and packaged.

With cutesy phrases like “U R Cute” and “Hug Me” printed on them, conversation hearts really are the perfect Valentine’s Day treat. Whether you enjoy eating them or not, you can’t deny that these sugary treats set the mood for an epic February 14th. If you’re tired of the classic conversation hearts, try your hand at making some epic Valentine’s Day desserts with them. And if you’re looking for some tasty vegan treats, I’ve got you covered on that front too. 

Go forth and enjoy your Valentine's Day sweets, and don't forget to pick up a box (or two) of conversation hearts.