In the spring 2012 issue of edibleBoston, I stumbled upon a mouth-watering photo (by Michael Piazza) of Necco Wafers. The very thought of Necco Wafers may be enough to transport you back to a simpler time. Seeing them, nearly life-size on the page, is sure to trigger your inner time machine. Somehow, I’d forgotten -- or never known – that NECCO stands for New England Confectionary Company. So, today, I write about an inspirational New England treasure of a different sort – not an antique building, a hardy pocket-garden, or a copse of crooked scrub oaks. No, today, I sing the praises of artificial food coloring.
Yup, those Necco Wafer colors are fantastic. I’d love to see them transformed into a paint palette of rich brown and stark white with accents of faux licorice and purple-blue. Or, maybe, tempting orange and stark white with accents of faux licorice and refreshing green. Or, perhaps, tangy yellow and stark white with accents of girlie pink and tempting orange.
In the edibleBoston article, Irene Costello writes that in 2009, NECCO “replaced the artificial colorings in the classic Necco Wafer with natural dyes. Their loyal customers hated the muted colors and vehemently demanded the vibrant albeit fake colored wafers back.” Sounds like the New Coke/Classic Coke debacle. Classic is generally best; it just depends what you mean by classic. I’m with the loyal customers. You?
by Katie Hutchison for House Enthusiast