The Fascinating Theory Of How Hershey's Kisses Got Their Name

Bite-sized chocolate morsels have become synonymous with the word "kisses." The cute chocolate drops have become nearly universally recognized, regardless of the color of the packaging they are found in, but why are these foil-wrapped tear-dropped pieces named after a display of affection? With a small paper flag announcing its name (this, too, was used as a kind of identifying feature to separate the candy from others), Hershey's Kisses have its literal name written on it. Unfortunately, we may never know the exact origins surrounding the sweet, but we do have a few ideas swirling about how these candies came to be known.

At the time the chocolate candy was first made, the term "kiss" was used to describe tiny pieces of confectionery. The jargon didn't necessarily correspond to any one particular candy, but served as an umbrella name for small treats. Seizing a prime marketing opportunity, Milton Hershey, the creator of the chocolate, applied to trademark the name in 1921 — the same year the company invented a machine to wrap the candies. 

Initially, when the small chocolate candies were made in the early 1900s, the chocolates were poured by machines and wrapped in foil by hand, so Hershey's automated machines made a significant impact on production. Moreover, the other theory surrounding the naming of the candy is associated with the machinery that makes the pieces. As liquid chocolate is dropped onto conveyor belts, puckering noises that sound like kisses accompany the chocolate as it is poured into molds.

The sweetest candy name

With decades of consistent production, it is understandable why the foil-wrapped Hershey's Kisses have amassed strong brand recognition around the world. Only for about five years during World War II did production of the chocolate candies cease, as the candy-making equipment was used to make D-Rations for the American Military; otherwise, since their 1907 conception, chocolate kisses have been reliably available for purchase, used in dessert recipes, or enjoyed as sweet snacks. 

Since its inception, the Hershey's Kiss has seen various iterations hit the shelves — from Cookies 'n' Creme to Lava Cake to even Chocolate Dipped Strawberry. In fact, Tasting Table tried 13 Hershey's Kisses flavors out and ranked them from worst to best (hint: they can't all be winners, but most are!).

Nevertheless, whether pressing unwrapped chocolate kisses into the tops of decadent muffins, cupcakes, brownies, or peanut butter blossoms cookies; melting the chocolate candy to drizzle onto pretzels and popcorn; or making adorable candy roses to gift to a loved one, these convenient candies are not only delicious to eat but handy to have in the kitchen. Plus, with a variety of flavors to choose from and plenty of baking recipes to sneak Hershey's Kisses into, no sweet lover is left without a tasty kiss to eat.