Saturday, February 12, 2005
uIn America, the pilgrims sent confections, such as sugar wafers, marzipan, sweetmeats and sugar plums, to their betrothed. Great value was placed on these gifts because they included what was then a rare commodity, sugar.
uAfter the late 1800s, beet sugar became widely used and more available, and sweet gifts continued to be valued and enjoyed.
uAs the candy-giving custom grew, American colonists made homemade candies with love notes scratched in the surface.
uBy the mid-19th century, candy makers were preparing deliciously flavored sugar lozenges, pressed into hearts and imprinted with words of love -- the beginning of the modern-day conversation heart.
uRed and white confections became popular, with red representing the "passion" and white the "purity" of love. By the turn of the century, heart-shaped boxes of chocolate began to appear in the confectionery shops from coast to coast.