The Sweet History of Candy
People have always loved sweets!
- In ancient times, Egyptians, Arabs, and Chinese created confections of honeyed fruits and nuts, the first known candy.
- In the 11th century, the Crusaders discovered the "sweet salt" on their conquests in the Middle East. Once they returned from their travels, they created a demand at home.
- At first candy was a luxury item in the 17th century in England and in the American colonies. However, as production of sugar increased, prices decreased, and candies moved to the mainstream, allowing more people to enjoy simple hard candies.
- Candy makers began mixing ingredients together to make chocolate candy, and in the early 19th century, natural fruit and vegetable juice sweeteners were discovered, and sweet making developed rapidly into an industry.
- By the mid 1800s, more than 380 American factories were producing penny candy, and by the 1850s, fudge and chocolate-coated pieces became more accessible to the middle class, but candy was associated with holidays and special events.
- Candy became a common, everyday commodity in America circa World War I, largely due to updated manufacturing methods that could accommodate orders from U.S. soldiers serving overseas. It was a booming time for candy bars, chocolate and candy of all kinds. These sweets helped feed the masses during the Depression and were often peddled as satisfying and healthy meal substitutes.
Our love affair with candy continues today, though many of the candies we enjoyed years ago are no longer available. The classic American candies that people recall from their childhood are still some of the favorites... remember stopping off at the five-and-dime, trying to decide from all the penny candy, then savoring those sweet choices all the way home? While penny candy may be a thing of the past, you can still enjoy your favorites and find classic holiday treats, too.
Enjoy Classic Candies Now ►