It’s a Catholic Thing for Catholic kids, I know: using Necco wafers as hosts for play or for practice. Well now, after a couple years, these perfect host-sized candies are back.
Necco Wafers will make a return to store shelves after a two year hiatus, company officials said.
Spangler Candy Company said the thin, chalky, colorful candy, which first appeared in 1847, will return to drugstore and other retailer shelves across the country this summer.
“We’ve always admired the brand and how it’s woven in with the fabric of our culture,” Kirk Vashaw, company chairman and CEO, told “Today.” “It’s neat to be eating a candy that was carried by Civil War soldiers, and taken on Arctic and Antarctic expeditions, and issued to GIs in World War II as a morale booster. It’s a piece of our history.”
The New England Confectionery Company, or Necco, was the oldest continuously running candy maker in the country before its factory closed suddenly in 2018, Today reported. Its assets including the equipment needed to make the sweets, were purchased at auction by Spangler. The company is currently producing the candies in Mexico, Today reported.
The original recipe for the candy wafers remains essentially unchanged. The candy returns with eight flavors and colors including lemon (yellow), lime (green), wintergreen (pink) and chocolate (brown).
When Necco stopped producing them, the Wall Street Journal waxed nostalgic:
People have a complicated relationship with the Necco wafer. It’s a nostalgic candy people love to hate, which brings back happy childhood memories of a chalky crunch. Many Catholics remember using the candy as pretend Communion wafers. Handing out Necco wafers to kids on Halloween almost guaranteed a return visit involving eggs and toilet paper.
For years, automobile drivers would flip the quarter-sized wafers into the basket at toll booths to avoid the fare—and perhaps to avoid eating them.
I think we could use something like Necco wafers again during these troubled times. Who knows? Maybe a new generation can start using them to “play Mass.”