Yes, the hearts that say "I love you," "Be mine," and even the modern update "Text me" are adorable, but they taste... awful. You can only have one or two of them before tossing them in the trash (ideally when the person who gave them to you isn't looking). "They're a classic Valentine's Day candy," says Emily Kelly of The Candy Blogger. "But let's be honest, no one wants to receive a box of candy that tastes like chalk." Instead, Emily recommends Jelly Belly Petite Sour Hearts because "they pack a punch of amazing flavor and cuteness." (Get our free Valentine's Day guide packed with dozens of quick tips and sweet ideas for an amazing V-Day celebration.)
Peep Marshmallow Hearts
Peeps are great if you're in grade school, but as an adult, they're a no-go. "Pure sugar that gets stuck in your teeth is sure to give you a toothache on Valentine's Day," says Kelly. "Stick with a classic that everyone loves—Brach's Jube Jel Cherry Hearts." But if you really want to give Peep Marshmallows as a gift, wait until Easter, when they're so cute that they make up for the taste.
Generic chocolate boxes from the grocery store
These are a major NO. Not only do they taste like fake chocolate, but "so often the box is filled with mystery, and that's not good for Valentine's day," says Chris Stewart of the Candy Critic. If you're going to give a heart-shaped box of Valentine's Day chocolates, just spend the extra $10 and buy one from Godiva or Dove. We promise it'll be a hit and probably empty within seconds. Even better, whip up one of these decadent, DIY chocolate treats.
Cinnamon hearts are Hot Tamales' cheaper, grosser cousin. If you eat one, you taste nothing, but if you eat too many, your mouth is on fire for days. "Cinnamon hearts are best when a few are sprinkled on a chocolate cupcake," says Stewart.
Hands down the worst candy. And again, these are fun if you're five years old, but it's a little weird for an adult to give another adult gummy lips. Stewart deems these "vulgar" and not "romantic." Kelly says you should swap gummy lips for See's Sour Hearts, which are the "perfect combo of sweet and sour."
Valentine's Day Candy Corn
Zachary Confections via Walmart.com
Halloween and candy corn are a perfect match. Valentine's Day and candy corn? Not so much. It clearly seems like the makers of Valentine's Day candy just stole other holiday candy ideas, hence the Valentine's Day candy corn. Classic Swedish fish are just as sweet as candy corn, but don't leave the massive sugar headache. Think you might have a sugar addiction? Check out these signs your sweet tooth is out of control.
York Peppermint Pattie Hearts
You either love York Peppermint Patties or you can't stand them. There's really no in between. If you're looking for a candy that brings a little heat, Kelly recommends chocolate-covered cinnamon bears. "There's something romantic about the combination of chewy cinnamon and chocolate that can't be beat," she says.
Valentine's Day Tootsie Pops
Reaching the center of a tootsie is so anticlimactic and the tootsie rolls in the middle don't even taste as good as the regular version. But if you still want to give a lollipop, invest in a heart-shaped lollipop mold and make your own. Your loved ones will appreciate the extra effort and the taste.