A Philadelphia Valentine

Nothing said it quite like a Whitman’s Sampler!

For so many reasons, for so many people. As a young girl they were not only just a hometown confection and a holiday staple in our home – the best feature, aside from the taste, was you always knew just what you were getting. No awful buttercream mistaken for a yummy caramel – Forest Gump clearly did not grow up in Philadelphia!

During WWI and WWII the company sent tons  of candy to enlisted Americans soldiers around the world. Women packing the candy boxes would tuck handwritten notes of encouragement to the troops who would receive the boxes, a human connection that was revived after 9/11.

Even U.S. Presidents participated in Whitman’s Sampler traditions by gifting the chocolates to visiting White House guests and those who flew aboard Air Force One. The homey box, looking like grandma’s cross-stitch, found its way into the Smithsonian in 1991.Just two years later, Whitman’s was purchased by Russell Stover.

They don’t make Whitman’s in Philadelphia anymore but the Sampler – its blue bird and flowers, its flavors, its gesture of comfort and promise of love – is carried in the hearts of generations.

Best Valentine gift you can (still) find at the drug store!