SUGAR CONES & LOAVES


                                     From Medieval times to the 19th century, refined sugar was sold in solid form, often in cones, blocks or loaves. The standard unit of measure in the United States and United Kingdom (also used in recipes) was the pound and increments thereof. "Sugar finally came to the sixteenth- and seventeeth-century consumer in blocks or cones, in varying degrees of refinement. This accounts for the elaborate directions for clarifying sugar, and the reiterated instructions to searce (sift) or powder it. (Powdered sugar was only finely sifted sugar, not confectioners' sugar). Block sugar also accounts for the strewing of scraped sugar that made for a charming textural and taste contrast that we have all but forgotten.The presence of sugar in so many of our meat recipes, almost in conjunction with fruits and part of our heritage from medieval cooking, which, in turn, had come from the Arabs. It is virtually impossible to give precise amounts of sugar It is virtually impossible to give precise amounts of sugar required..." ---Martha Washington's Booke of Cookery and Booke of Sweetmeats, Transcribed by Karen Hess [Columbia University Press:New York] 1995 (p. 11) "Large and prosperous households bought their white sugar in tall, conical loaves, from which pieces were broken off with special iron sugar-cutters. Shaped something like very large heavy pliers with sharp blades attached to the cutting sides, these cutters had to be strong and tough, because the loaves were large, about 14 inches in diameter at the base, and 3 feet high [15th century]...In those days, sugar was used with great care, and one loaf lasted a long time. The weight would probably have been about 30 lb. Later, the weight of a loaf varied from 5 lb to 35 lb, according to the moulds used by any one refinery. A common size was 14 lb, but the finest sugar from Madeira came in small loaves of only 3 or 4 lb in weight...Up till late Victorian times household sugar remained very little changed and sugar loaves were still common and continued so until well into the twentieth century..." ---English Bread and Yeast Cookery, Elizabeth David [Penguin:Middlesex] 1977 (p. 139) [NOTE: Mrs. David has much more to say on the subject of sugar than can be paraphrased here. Ask your librarian to help you find a copy of this book.] "Conical molded cakes of granualted sugar, wrapped in blue paper & tied, as customary for maybe centuries in Europe, & in US in 18th - early 19th C. This one is from Belgium, but form is the same. About 10"H x 4 3/4"diam...The blue paper wrapped around sugar loafs was re-used to dye small linens a medium indigo blue...Sugar nippers were necessary because sugar came in hard molded cones, with a heavy string or cord up through the long axis like a wick, but there so that the sugar should be conveniently hung up, always wrapped in blue paper...Conical sugar molds of pottery or wood were used by pouring hot sugar syrup into them and cooling them until solid. They range from about 8' high to 16" high. These molds are very rare, especially those with some intaglio decoration inside to make a pattern on the cone...Loaf or broken sugar-A bill of sale form Daniel E. Baily, a grocer of Lynchberg, VA, dated 1839, lists two types of sugar sold to John G. Merme (?). "Loaf sugar" and "Broken sugar," the latter cost half as much...Loaf was 20 cents a pound, and broken it was only eleven cents a pound. For cooking, the broken would have been more convenient by far...Perhaps the fear of adulturation...made people want the Loaf." ---300 Years of Kitchen Collectibles, Linda Campbell Franklin, 5th edition [Krause Publications:Wisconsin] 2003 (p. 100-101) [NOTE: other sources say blue paper was employed because it made the sugar appear whitest/most pure.] "Various kinds of sugar were available in the 18th century, with names indicating either the extent of the processing which they had undergone or the manner of presentation for sale. It normally came in a loaf', of a conical shape...Some of these terms are self-expalnatory, while others are readily understood in the light of early methods of refining sugar. There were succinctly described by the great Swedish naturalist Linnaeus [1741]...Here the coarse and unrefined raw sugar was pulverized and boiled in water, diluted with lime-water, mixed with ox blood or egg white, skimmed and poured into inverted cone-shaped moulds, perforated at the tip; from these a syrup trickled down into a bottle; this was repeated, and then the mould was covered with a white, dough-like French clay in Sweden, but it has to be imported.' What Linnaeus witnessed was sugar refining...Lump sugar was just lumps broken off the loaf, whereas powdered sugar had been grated from the loaf'" ---The Art of Cookery Made Plain and Easy, Hannah Glasse, facsimile first edition, Introductory Essays by Jennifer Stead and Priscilla Bain, glossary by Alan Davidson [Prospect Books:Devon] 1995 (p. 200) "Colonial cooks used many grades and kinds of sweetening, both solid and liquid. Virtually all were derived from sugarcane...At earliest settlement in America, sugar was used both medicinally and to season dishes lightly. By the beginning of the nineteenth cnetury, it was called for in a substantial number of recipes for baked goods, puddings, and pies...To supply this increasing demand for sugar, the Caribbean islands and the American South became ever more involved in growing canesugar and refinings its juice for export. A labor-intensive crop and process, the production of sugar consumed the lives of many African slaves without whose unpaid work it would not have been so profitable. The primary forms in which sugar was sold during the Colonial period were white refined sugar in loaves; soft, brown sugar; and molasses. All sugar was boiled out of the juice extracted from the crushed sugarcane. The juice was cooked until granules of sugar began to appear in the thick molasses, whereupon it was packed in barrels. Molasses was allowed to drain out, and the barrels were sent to the refiners or sold as raw, or muscavado, sugar. Refining was another complicated process, and there were several refining methods used in the Colonial era." ---Food in Colonial and Federal America, Sandra L. Oliver [Greenwood Press:Westport CT] 2005 (p. 77-8) " would be useful to review the various grades of whole-sale sugar as they were designated in Pennsylvania during the nineteenth century. The following list is taken from Hope's Philadelphia Price-Current for October 5, 1807: Havana white Havana brown (like Brasilian Demarara) Muscovado 1st quality Muscovado 2nd quality Muscovado ordinary West India clayed white West India clayed brown Calcutta white Batavia white Of these, ordinary muscovado was the cheapest, just about half the cost of Havana white, the most expensive sugar then available and the one most like the white granulated sugar of today. Cheap, black, sticky moscovado or brown Demarara-type sugars were the most common table sugars used by the Pennsylvania Dutch. Like molasses, moscovado sugar was always in great demand, even in the eighteenth century, for it was one of the first sugars to be advertised in the Philadelphia America Weekly Mercury of 1719. Regardless of grade, sugar was imported in large cones or loaves...Once the loaves of sugar reached the United States, they were usually purged or refined again and converted into smaller loaves for retail sale and wrapped in blue paper to preserve the whiteness. In spite of this precaution, none of the retail loaf sugar was usable until it was boiled again in water to remove insects and other extraneous material. This irksome process involved egg whites, charcoal, and constant skimming. The syrup was then strained thorugh a cloth bag until clear, returned to the fire, and boiled down." ---Sauerkraut Yankees: Pennsylvania Dutch Foods and Foodways, William Woys Weaver, 2nd edition [Stackpole Books:Mechanicsburg PA] 2002 (p. 152-4) GRANULATED SUGAR Our survey of American Historic Newspapers (Readex) reveals the term "granulated sugar" was used from the 1820s forward. Prior to this time, white sugar was sold in solid cones. The sugar was scraped off and pounded to achieve the desired textures. General overview of 19th century manufacturing processes: "Granulated sugar. This very popular and strictly American style of sugar was first made and introduced about thirty years ago at the Boston Sugar Refinery. Although extremely popular in the United States since its origin, it has become popular in England only withn a few years past. The apparatus at first consisted of a steam table fifteen or twenty feet long and three to five feet wide, on which the moist sugar was, by an ingenious process or movement of wooden rakes, gradually worked the length of the table, becoming thoroughly dried in so doing. Afterward it was separated by sieves of different grades or mesh, into coarse and fine, and barreled and sold accordingly. This apparatus was superceded ten or twelve years since by a large cylinder of wood or iron, some four feet in diameter and fifteen to eighteen feet long, slightly depressed at one end. The inner surface carries small projecting buckets, by which, as the cylinder revolves, the sugar, entering at the upper end, is lifted and poured through the heated interior. The heat is supplied by a small steam cylinder running through the length and center of the large one, and the position of the buckets is such as gradually to work the sugar throught the length of the cylinder, during which it becomes thoroughly dried. An arrangement of sieves, as before, completes the operation. The upper one has the coarsest mesh, to retain the largest grains, which are run directly from it into barrels and branded "extra granulated." The sugar which falls throught his first sieve drops into the next below, which has a mesh just fine enough to retain the grains next in size to those before mentioned, which are run into barrels and designated as "medium granulated." The remaining sugar, too fine to be retained by either sieve, is packed in barrels under the name of "fine granulated." Powered sugar is mostly manufactured from the coarsest granulated sugar, after it has been thoroughly cooled. The powdered articles, are mostly manufactured in smaller establishments as a specialty. Other grades of sugar are obtained from the liquor or syrup which is thrown out by the centrifugul, in the process of separating the crystallized sugar from the "mother liquid."" ---The Grocers' Hand-Book and Directory for 1886, Artemas Ward [Philadelphia Grocer Publishing Co.:Philadelphia PA] 1886 (p. 227-228) MOLASSES A popular, economical 17th/18th century substitute for refined white sugar. One of the primary points of the Triangle Trade (the other two being rum and slaves). Well known by period cooks in England and America. " sweetener made from refined sugar, including cane sugar, sugar beets, and even sweet potatoes. The word is from the Portuguese 'melaco', derived from the Latin 'mel' for honey. The first use of the word was in Nicholas Lichefield's 1582 translation of Lopez de Castanheda's First Booke of the Histoire of the Discoverie and Conquest of the East Indias, which described 'Melasus' as a 'certine kind of Sugar made of Palmes of Date trees'. Molasses became the most common American sweetener in the eighteenth century because it was much cheaper than sugar and was part of the triangular trade route that brought molasses to New England to be made into rum, which was then shipped to West Africa to be traded for slaves, who were in turn traded for molasses in the West Indies...By the end of the [19th] century molasses vied with maple syrup and sugar as the sweetener of choice, but when sugar prices dropped after World War I, both molasses and maple fell in popularity, so that today both are used as sweeteners in confections only when their specific taste is desirable, as in Boston baked beans." ---The Encyclopedia of American Food and Drink, John F. Mariani [Lebhar-Friedman:New York] 1999 (p. 207-8) "Molasses first came to America from the Caribbean. The British started sugarcane cultivation in Barbados in 1646, and by the late 1670s there was a flourishing two-way sea trade between Barbados and the American colony at Rhode Island. The colonists shiped agricultural and forest products, such as pork, beef, butter, cider, barrel staves, and shingles, to the West Indies, and the ships returned with cargoes of cotton wool, rum, molasses, and sugar. The large volume of sugar and molasses going to Rhode Island could not be used there, so much of this cargo was resold in Boston. The New England colonists used molasses not only as the primary sweetener in cooking and baking but also as an ingredient in brewing birch beer and molasses beer and in distilling rum. In the early 1700s rum made in New England became an essential element in a highly profitable triangular trade across the Atlantic. The colonists exported rum to West Africa in trade for slaves; the ships brought the slaves from Africa to the French West Indies, trading them for more molasses and sugar; these products were then shipped to New England to make more rum. Because importation of molasses to New England from the French West Indies seriously harmed British farmers in the Caribbean, the British government passed the Molasses Act in 1733. This law imposed a duty on "foreign" molasses or syrup imported into the American colonies or plantations...The Molasses Act of 1733 and the Sugar Act of 1764 caused the price of molasses to rise, leading to the use of less expensive maple sugar as a sweetener. When the cost of refined sugar dropped at the end of the nineteenth century...molasses lost its role as an important sweetener in the American diet." ---Oxford Encyclopedia of Food and Drink in America, Andrew F. Smith editor [Oxford University Press:New York] 2004, Volume 2 (p. 122-3) "Molasses, from the Latin word melaceres, meaning honey-like, is a thick dark syrup that is a byproduct of sugar refining. It results wen sugar is crystallized out of sugar cane or sugar beet juice. Molasses is sold for both human consumption, to be used in baking, and in the brewing of ale and distilling of rum, and as an ingredient in animal feed. The pressing of cane to produce cane juice and then boiling the juice until it crystallized was developed in India as early as 500B.C. However, it was slow to move to the rest of the world. In the Middle Ages, Arab invaders brought the process to Spain. A century or so later, Christopher Columbus brought sugar cane to the West Indies." ---How Products Are Made, Jacqueline L. Long, editor, Volume 5 [Gale:Farmington Hills MI] 2000 (p. 316-320) [NOTE: this book has much more history and an excellent description of how molasses is made. If you need more details please ask your librarian to help you find this book.] "When cane sugar began to reach the colonists from the West Indies, it was for a long time far too expensive for general use. Hence there was instead wide use of its cheaper by-product, molasses. The abundance of cheap molasses created the profitable New England rum industry." ---Eating in America: A History, Waverly Root & Richard de Rochemont [William Morrow:New York] 1976 (p. 83) Recommended reading: Sweetness and Power: The Place of Sugar in Modern History/Sidney W. Mintz See also: treacle. TREACLE "The word treacle originally had nothing whatsoever to do with 'syrup'. Until as late as the nineteenth century, it was used with reference to antidotes for poison...It comes originally from the Greek phrase theriake antidotos, literally 'antidote to a wild or venomous animal'. The adjective theriake came to be used on its own as a noun, and passed via Latin and Old French (where it acquired its l) into fourteenth-century English. its ingredients varied from apothecary to apothecary, but usually included, presumable on homoeopathic grounds, a touch of viper's venom. Bt the sixteenth century, the word was becoming generalized to mean any 'soverign remedy', and often had rather negative connotations...The modern application of treacle to sugar syryup (common in British English, relatively rare in American) seems to date from the seventeenth century, and probably arose literally from the sugaring of the pill: the mixing of medicines with sugar syrup to make them more palatable. The practice continued well into the nineteenth century, particularly in the administration of brimstone [sulphur] and treacle to anyone with the least symptom of anything...In technical usage, treacle now refers to a cane sugar syrup which has been boiled to remove some of the sucrose (it has less removed than molasses, which is therefore darker but less sweet). The famous treacle well in Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland, at the bottom of which, according to the Dormouse, the three little sisters Elsie, Lacie, and Tillie lived, had its origins in the medicinal sense of treacle. Treacle wells really existed--they got their name from the supposed curative properties of their water--and there was apparently one at Binsey near Oxford with which Carroll may have been familiar." ---An A to Z of Food and Drink, John Ayto [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 2002 (p. 349) "Treacle, a term in Britain may be correctly applied to various sugar syrups including golden syrup obtained during the process of sugar-refining, ranging in colour from just about black to pale golden, is in practice used mainly of the darker syrups, brown or black, which are called molasses elsewhere. Treacle tart is a favourite dessert in England." ---Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 1999 (p. 804) "When the production of molasses in Britain's refineries outstripped the needs of both apothecaries and distillers, it was sold off in its natual unmedicated state as a cheap sweetener, Its name of molasses was taken by the early settlers to America. But in Britain in the later seventeenth century the alternative term 'common treacle' came into circulation, and thereafter it was known simply as treacle. One of the first usus to which it was put was the making of gingerbread. Medieval gingerbread has been coloured red with sanders. In Tudor times dark gingergread was made with powdered licorice. When the licorice was replaced by black treacle, it became possible to omit the honey which had sweetened the old gingerbread, and to add a much smaller mount of sugar instead. Treacle gingerbread, said to have been made for Charles II, had as ingredients three pounds of treacle, half a pound each of candied orange peel, candied lemon peel and green citron, two ounces of powdered coriander seed, and flour to make it into a paste. But ordinary folk made do with no more than two ounces candied peel and one ounce ginger and new spice to three pounds of flour and two of treacle. By the later eighteenth century treacle consumption was much higher in northern England than in the south; for the diet of the poorer classes now differed considerably between the two regions. In the north a spoonful of treacle was often added to a bowl of oatmeal porridge, a dish almost unknown in the south...Treacle went into parkin (the northern form of gingerbread, containing oatmeal), and into oatmeal biscuits of various kinds. it was still a thick, dark brown syrup...The increasing use of sugar and treacle meant a gradual decline in beekeeping." ---Food and Drink in Britain From the Stone Age to the 19th Century, C. Anne Wilson [Academy Chicago:Chicago IL] 1991 (p. 305-6) See also: molasses. BROWN SUGAR Basically, white sugar (granulated to XXX confectioner's) is the product of the most refined processes and has historically been the most expensive/desirable. Real brown sugar takes its color and texture from molasses. Modern food production methods can also create brown sugars by adding colored syrup to white sugars. Which brand of brown sugar did you buy? We can check that company's Web site to find out what they have to say about it. "Brown sugar...Less refined than white sugar, brown sugar consists of sugar crystals contained in molasses syrup with natural color and flavor. It may also be made by adding syrup to white sugar and blending." ---Encyclopedia of American Food & Drink, John F. Mariani [Lebhar-Friedman:New York] 1999(p. 316) How is brown sugar produced? There are two methods for producing brown sugar - boiling and blending - and both are currently in use in Canada. Boiling involves heating a purified sugar syrup, which still contains some of the colour and flavour elements from the sugar cane, until it crystallizes to form a soft yellow or brown sugar. Blending is a process that combines the separately purified white sucrose crystals and refiners' syrups (something like fancy grade molasses) to produce yellow or brown sugar. The difference in the method used to produce brown sugar should not result in a difference in taste or affect the texture and consistency of baked goods. The difference between light (yellow) and dark brown sugar is that the darker brown sugars have more of the refiners' syrup ("molasses") left in the product. Turbinado, Muscovado and Demerara sugars are all specialty brown sugars." ---Canadian Sugar Institute Types of brown sugar & their uses: "Turbinado sugar: This sugar is raw sugar which has been partially processed, where only the surface molasses has been washed off. It has a blond color and mild brown sugar flavor, and is often used in tea and other beverages. Brown sugar (light and dark): Brown sugar retains some of the surface molasses syrup, which imparts a characteristic pleasurable flavor. Dark brown sugar has a deeper color and stronger molasses flavor than light brown sugar. Lighter types are generally used in baking and making butterscotch, condiments and glazes. The rich, full flavor of dark brown sugar makes it good for gingerbread, mincemeat, baked beans, and other full flavored foods. Brown sugar tends to clump because it contains more moisture than white sugar. Muscovado or Barbados sugar: Muscovado sugar, a British specialty brown sugar, is very dark brown and has a particularly strong molasses flavor. The crystals are slightly coarser and stickier in texture than “regular” brown sugar. Free-flowing brown sugars: These sugars are specialty products produced by a co-crystallization process. The process yields fine, powder-like brown sugar that is less moist than “regular” brown sugar. Since it is less moist, it does not clump and is free-flowing like white sugar. Demerara sugar: Popular in England, Demerara sugar is a light brown sugar with large golden crystals, which are slightly sticky from the adhering molasses. It is often used in tea, coffee, or on top of hot cereals." ---Sugar Association How available was brown sugar in 19th century America? These notes from 1807/Philly market lists three types: " would be useful to review the various grades of whole-sale sugar as they were designated in Pennsylvania during the nineteenth century. The following list is taken from Hope's Philadelphia Price-Current for October 5, 1807: Havana white Havana brown (like Brasilian Demarara) Muscovado 1st quality Muscovado 2nd quality Muscovado ordinary West India clayed white West India clayed brown Calcutta white Batavia white Of these, ordinary muscovado was the cheapest, just about half the cost of Havana white, the most expensive sugar then available and the one most like the white granulated sugar of today. Cheap, black, sticky moscovado or brown Demarara-type sugars were the most common table sugars used by the Pennsylvania Dutch. Like molasses, moscovado sugar was always in great demand, even in the eighteenth century, for it was one of the first sugars to be advertised in the Philadelphia America Weekly Mercury of 1719. Regardless of grade, sugar was imported in large cones or loaves...Once the loaves of sugar reached the United States, they were usually purged or refined again and converted into smaller loaves for retail sale and wrapped in blue paper to preserve the whiteness. In spite of this precaution, none of the retail loaf sugar was usable until it was boiled again in water to remove insects and other extraneous material. This irksome process involved egg whites, charcoal, and constant skimming. The syrup was then strained thorugh a cloth bag until clear, returned to the fire, and boiled down." ---Sauerkraut Yankees: Pennsylvania Dutch Foods and Foodways, William Woys Weaver, 2nd edition [Stackpole Books:Mechanicsburg PA] 2002 (p. 152-4) The recipe below confirms brown sugar (no description, though) was available in the Midwest (Wisconsin) during the 1840s. We did not find any period/place specific advertisements for brown sugar. We cannot tell if this item was commonly available or the provenance of wealthy families who could afford to purchase expensive goods from larger markets. Neither can we tell what is meant here by "ordinary." "Ordinary brown sugar may be used, a larger portion of which is retained in the syrup." ---"Recipe for Making Tomato Figs," Wisconsin Democrat, September 28, 1843 (p. 3) CONFECTIONERS' SUGAR Powdered sugar is the finest grade of granulated white sugar. Confectioners' sugar (also known as icing sugar) is the finest grade of powdered sugar. These sugars are graded by "X," indicating the fineness of the powder. "Powdered Finely-ground granulated sugar to which a small amount (3%) corn starch has been added to prevent caking. The fineness to which the granulated sugar is ground determines the familiar "X" factor: 14X is finer than 12X, and so on down through 10X, 8X, 6X (the most commonly used) and 4X, the coarsest powdered sugar." ---Sweetener glossary Food historians tell us powdered sugars were used by European confectioners as early as the 18th century. Technological advances in the 19th century made them available to a wider audience. It is no coincidence that cake icing appeared during this time: About sugar grades & processing Sorghum "Sorghum...There are several varieties of this Old World grass (Sorghum vulgare) that are cultivated for grain, for forage, and as a source of syrup. Sorghum is native to East Africa,w ehre it was being cultivated around 5,000 to 6,000 years ago. Sometime in the distant past (at least 2,000 years ago), the grain crossed the Indian Ocean to India and subsequently made its way to China. More recently, various sorghums reached the New World via the slave trade. Today, grain sorghums are grown extensively in Africa and Asia for use as human food and in the Americas as animals. Some sorghums in North America--like "Johnson grass" and "Mississippi chicken corn"-- probably arrived as the as the seeds of important cultivars, only to escape from cultivation and become annoying weeds. The juices of sorghums have provided humas with syrup for sweetening and in Asia and Africa for the plant supplies malt, mash, and flavoring for alcoholic beverages, especially beers. Sorghum grains are made into flour (for unleavened breads) and into porridges, and they are also prepared and consumed much like rice." ---Cambridge World History of Food, Kenneth F. Kiple & Kriemhild Conee Ornelas [Cambridge University Press:Cambridge] 2000, Volume Two (p. 1854) "Sorghum...a cereal related and simlar to and sometimes confused with millet, is an important staple food of the upland, drier, parts of Africa and India. In other parts of the world it is chiefly grown as animal fodder. It is native to Africa, and was probably first cultivated in Ethiopia between 4000 and 3000 BC. It spread thence to W. Africa, the Near east, India, and China, and later to the New World...In the USA, in the 19th and early 20th centuries, sorghum syrup was popular as a cheap alternative to maple syrup. Production, mainly in the southerns tates, was as much as 20 million gallons or more annually." ---Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson, 2nd edition, Tom Jaine editor [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 2006 (p. 733-4) "Historical records trace the sorghum Africa. Benjamin Franklin was thought to have introduced sorghum to the United States in the late 1700s...Syrup-making techniques came into prominence in the United States around the mid-1800s. Because of the scarcity of sugar during wartime, sorghum syrup was the principal sweetener in many parts of the county." ---Oxford Encyclopedia of Food and Drink in America, Andrew F. Smith editor [Oxford University Press:New York] 2004, vol. 2 (p. 458) "In earlier days, no kitchen table in the mountains was complete without its glass cruet of sorghum. Many poured sorghum on badly cooked meats and vegetables to give them a sweet kick.. And when the cow went dry, fold would make a butter substitute by micking sorghum and pork drippings. Sorghum came into its own in colonial America as a substitute for sugar. When sugar became available in the 1700s, it was very expensive, being sold in cones and sliced off as needed. Sorghum also was relied upon as a sweetener during the Civil War when Union blockades halted sugar shipments to Southern ports. Syrup made form sweet sorghum is primarily a hill country sweetener with a light amber color. Darker-colored "molasses"--made of sugar cane--is mostly a Deep South product coming from Louisiana and surrounding states. Applachian people call their sorghum sweetener "molasses," the precise term is sorghum or sweet sorghum or sorghum syrup. Sorghum was a key ingredient in moonshine in earlier days...It was during the Prohibition era (1920-33) when whiskey-making progressed to the point where moonshiners, to meet increased demand, turned to sugar to speed up fermentation of what formerly had been pure corn whiskey. The smoother-tasting "sugar whiskey"--corn combined with sugar--zoomed. During the years leading up to World War II, sugar supplied dropped sharply, forcing moonshiners to turn to sorghum for their mash barrels. The syrup, in shiny tin cans, would arrive at distilleries by the truckload...There are mountain folk yet today who love to sweeten their coffee with sweet sorghum." ---Smokehouse Ham, Spoon Bread, & Scuppernong Wine: The Folklore and Art of Southern Appalachian Cooking, Joseph E. Dabney [Cumberland House:Nashville TN] 1998 (p. 424-5) [NOTE: This book contains far more information than can be paraphrased here. If you need mroe information ask your librarian to help you find a copy.] More on sorghum. Corn syrup Corn syrup was an accidental discovery based on past experiences with other vegetables, most notably potatoes and sugar beets. High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) is a more refined and sweeter version. Invented in 1967, HFCS is widely used in today's processed foods. CORN SYRUP CHEMISTRY & VARIATIONS "In the language of corn refining, once the starch matrix has been separated from its protein gluten, the starch is converted by chemical action (an acid or enzymes, or both, are added to starch suspended in water) into "simple" sugar, called a "low-dextrose solution." Sweeteners and tecture (crystal or syrup) are controllled at every point to produce different products, depending upon how much starch is digested by the acid or enzyme...By the same initial process through which the Hopi made "virgin hash," our modern corn refiners make glucose, maltose, dextrose and fructose. The larger the number of these long glucose chains in the molecule, the more viscous the syrup, a quality important to the baking and candy industries because it prevents graininess and crystallization. Without corn syrup, no easy-to-make chocolate fudge. The more complete the digestion of starch, the sweeter the syrup, because the rate of glucose and maltose is higher. Maltose is a "double unit" sugar produced, as in brewing, by enzyme-manipulated starch. By manipulating the glucose unites with an enzyme derived form...Streptomyces bacteria, the refiner can get a supersweet fructose called High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS). Today, this is where the king's share of cornstarch goes, becasue this syrup is the sweetener of choice...for the soft drink, ice cream and frozen dessert industries. Although supersweet fructose tastes about twice as sweet as ordinary sugar, we do not as a result consume half as many soft drinks or ice cream cones. On the contrary, American sweetness consumption spirals ever upward..."The family of corn syrups includes hyrdol, or corn sugar molasses, a dark, viscous syrup useful in animal feed and in drugs; lactic acid, a colorless syrup useful as a preservative and flavorer for everything from pickles to mayonnaise; and sorbitol (dextrose plus hydrogen), and emulsifier that shows up in toothpaste and detergents as well as processed edibles." ---The Story of Corn, Betty Fussell [North Point Press:New York] 1992 (p 272) ORIGINS & EVOLUTION "Gottlieb Sigismund Kirchhof accidentally discovered that sweet substances could be prepared from starch while working at the Acadmey of Science, St. Petersbug, Russia, during the Napoleonic Wars. Kirchhof needed gum arabic for use in manufacturing porcelain. No gum arabic was available because of the continental blockade imposed by the British at that time. However, a Frenchman, Bouitton-Lagrange, had reported that dry starch, when heated, acquires some of the properties of the vegetable gums. Kirchhof attempted to make a substitute gum arabic from starch by adding some water and acid before heating. As a result, instead of a gummy substance, he obtained a sweet-tasting sirup and a small amount of crystallized sugar (dextrose), a finding he reported in 1811. Because of the extreme shortage of sugar in Eruope at the time, the discovery attracted immediate notice in scientific and commercial circles. Starch, largely obtained from potatoes, was already being manufactured in a number of countries in Europe. With this supply of raw material available, numerous small factories were erected to convert starch to either sirup or sugar. Means were soon discovered by which either sirup or sugar could be obtained as desired. The fact that neither beet sugar nor any other acceptable substitute for imported can sugar had as yet become available encouraged the development of starch sweeteners. However, the new industry, after the defeat of Napoleon and the lifting of the blockade, declined almost as rapidly as it had grown. Sugar became very cheap for a while...Few statistics are available concerning the early operation of the starch sweetener industry in Euope. But 11 million pounds of dextrose were reported to have been produced from potato starch in France in 1855 and about 44 million pounds in Germany in 1874...Starch sweetener production developed more slowly in the United States than in Europe, since there was no sugar shortage here early in the 19th century. A small factory near Philadelphia processed potato starch in 1831-1832. The next plant established in this country to make dextrose from cornstarch was in New York City in 1864." History of Sugar Marketing Through 1974, US Dept. of Agriculture (p. 7-8) EARLY 20TH CENTURY DESCRIPTIONS [1911] The Grocer's Encyclopedia, Artemis Ward: Corn syrup & Commerical glucose. [1916] "Corn syrup. This is a product of clear but thick, syrupy consistency which is derived from corn, as the name implies. It is commonly called 'glucose' among the [confectioners] trade, but this name is rapidly dying out due to the constant effort of the authorities to discontinue the name 'glucose' because of the unfounded associations people have connected with the purity and wholesomeness of this prodouct. In all formulas contained in this book the however mention is made, the term 'corn syrup' is use instead of 'glucose.' Corn syrup is sometimes used in candy because it is cheaper than sugar, but that is not the only reason for using it. In a great many cases it is essentially used as a 'doctor' to prevent a batch from graining or returning to sugar. It performs a purpose parallel to that of cream of tartar, but as corn syrup is cheaper to use than cream of tartar and does not require such extacting attention in the batch, it is use oftener as a 'doctor' than cream of tartar. Corn syrup good stand up better than cream of tartar goods; hence the more common use of corn syrup in candies intended for wholesale business. Some pieces cannot be made without corn syrup, as, for instance, caramels and fudges. Honey was formerly used in place of corn syrup in making caramels but it was very expensive to use, and allowed the batch to grain unless extreme care was taken. Like all materials the batch to grain unless extreme care was taken. Like all materials, there are different grades of corn syrup, depending on the grade of corn used in making the finished product. Corn syrup should be used less in the summer than in the winter as it tends to make goods sticky." ---Rigby's Reliable Candy Teacher, W. O. Rigby, 19th edition [1916?] (p. 16) ABOUT KARO BRAND CORN SYRUP The most famous corn syrup in the USA is Karo brand, introduced by the Corn Products Refining Company in 1902. History here. "Corn syrup. A sweet, thick liquid derived from cornstarch treated with acids or enzymes and used to sweeten and thicken candy, syrups, and snack foods. By far the most popular and best-known corn syrup is Karo, introduced in 1902 by Corn Products Company of Edgewater, New Jersey. The name "karo" may have been in honor of the inventor's wife, Caroline, or, some say, derivative of an earlier trademark for table syrup, "Karomel." So common is the use of Karo in making pecan pie that the confection is often called "Karo pie" in the South." ---Encyclopedia of American Food and Drink, John F. Mariani [Lebhar-Friedman:New York] 1999 (p. 98) HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP "In 1967 new Japanese enzyme technology brought about a revolution in corn syrup development. High fructose corn syrup was made by a more complete hydrolysis of glucose to fructose. IsoSweet, a hugh fructose corn syrup developed by [A.E. Staley Manufacturing Company], was approximately 92 percent as sweet as sugar." ---Oxford Encyclopedia of Food and Drink in America, Andrew F. Smith editor, [Oxford University Press:New York] 2004, Volume 1 (p. 346) "...the premium is high-fructose corn syrup, first commercialized in 1967 by the Clinton Corn Processing Co. of Clinton, Iowa, which patented Isomerose (named for the enzyme xylose isomerase, which converts glucose to fructose). By 1872, the company had increased the sweetness from 14 to 42 percent fructose, to make it equivalent to ordinary sugar. As sugar prices rose, food and beverage industrialists began to replace more and more sucrose with "Isosweet." Within four years, production of the supersweet syrup jumped from two hundred thousand to two and a half billion pounds a year, and within the decade it had become a major component of all major soft drinks. Today, HFCS can be made 25 percent sweeter than sugar...and in crystalline form is an important rival to saccharin in the sugar-substitute industry." ---The Story of Corn (p. 273-274) What exactly is HFCS? General current US Dept. of Agriculture definition: "High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS): A corn sweetener derived from the wet milling of corn. Corn starch is converted to a syrup that is nearly all dextrose. HFCS is found in numerous foods and beverages on the grocery store shelves." A more technical definition: "High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS)—A corn sweetener derived from the wet milling of corn. Cornstarch is converted to a syrup that is nearly all dextrose. Enzymes isomerize the dextrose to produce a 42 percent fructose syrup called HFCS-42. By passing HFCS-42 through an ion-exchange column that retains fructose, corn refiners draw off 90 percent HFCS and blend it with HFCS-42 to make a third syrup, HFCS-55. HFCS is found in numerous foods and beverages on the grocery store shelves. HFCS-90 is used in natural and "light" foods in which very little is needed to provide sweetness. (ERS, USDA). Total fiber is the sum of dietary fiber and functional fiber. About American consumption of high fructose corn syrup Facts about fructose, American Dietetic Association About chocolate & white chocolate WEB SITES History of Chocolate, Field Musuem Sweet Lure of Chocolate, Exploratorium History of Chocolate, National Confectioners Association Bakers' chocolate, [1765] RECOMMENDED READING The True History of Chocolate, Sophie Coe and Michael Coe ---comprehensive study of the history and evolution of chocolate Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson ---best overview of the topic (chocolate, chocolate candy) Encyclopedia of American Food and Drink, John F. Mariani ---brief overview of the history of chocolate, including introduction of candy in America ABOUT WHITE CHOCOLATE White chocolate is a confection that (until recently) has not been specifically defined. Culinary evidence confirms this product may, or may not, contain a chocolate derivative (cocoa butter, for example). Early 20th century companies marketed this product "vanilla chocolate." Interestingly enough it was promoted as health food. Recipes for "vanilla tablets" appear in cookbooks published by chocolate manufacturers. Vanilla tablets/Walter Baker & Company [1913] Choice Recipes/Water Baker [promotional booklet] A cheap vanilla chocolate (wholesale) 35 pounds sugar 17 pounds corn syrup 1 1/2 gallons water Cook to 238 degrees; pour on dampened cream slab and when lukewarm stir into a creamy consistency. Now take: 20 pounds sugar 10 pounds corn syrup 3 quarts water Cook to 238 degrees, then remove from the fire and add the first batch which has been creamed. When the batches are thoroughly mixed, add 5 pounds of Mazetta Creme and 2 ounces of extract of vanilla. When well mixed, set entire batch over a steam bath and get quite hot, then cast in starch and when set dip in chocolate. You may make any flavor desired by blending flavor when the Mazetta Creme is added." ---Rigby's Reliable Candy Teacher, W. O. Rigby, 19th edition [1916?] (p. 98) So what exactly IS white chocolate? U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently defined this product and set forth standards for its manufacture. They can be found in 21 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Section 163.124: "Sec. 163.124 White chocolate. (a) Description. (1) White chocolate is the solid or semiplastic food prepared by intimately mixing and grinding cacao fat with one or more of the optional dairy ingredients specified in paragraph (b)(2) of this section and one or more optional nutritive carbohydrate sweeteners and may contain one or more of the other optional ingredients specified in paragraph (b) of this section. White chocolate shall be free of coloring material. (2) White chocolate contains not less than 20 percent by weight of cacao fat as calculated by subtracting from the weight of the total fat the weight of the milkfat, dividing the result by the weight of the finished white chocolate, [[Page 62178]] and multiplying the quotient by 100. The finished white chocolate contains not less than 3.5 percent by weight of milkfat and not less than 14 percent by weight of total milk solids, calculated by using only those dairy ingredients specified in paragraph (b)(2) of this section, and not more than 55 percent by weight nutritive carbohydrate sweetener. (b) Optional ingredients. The following safe and suitable ingredients may be used: (1) Nutritive carbohydrate sweeteners; (2) Dairy ingredients: (i) Cream, milkfat, butter; (ii) Milk, dry whole milk, concentrated milk, evaporated milk, sweetened condensed milk; (iii) Skim milk, concentrated skim milk, evaporated skim milk, sweetened condensed skim milk, nonfat dry milk; (iv) Concentrated buttermilk, dried buttermilk; and (v) Malted milk; (3) Emulsifying agents, used singly or in combination, the total amount of which does not exceed 1.5 percent by weight; (4) Spices, natural and artificial flavorings, ground whole nut meats, ground coffee, dried malted cereal extract, salt, and other seasonings that do not either singly or in combination impart a flavor that imitates the flavor of chocolate, milk, or butter; (5) Antioxidants; and (6) Whey or whey products, the total amount of which does not exceed 5 percent by weight. (c) Nomenclature. The name of the food is ``white chocolate'' or ``white chocolate coating.'' When one or more of the spices, flavorings, or seasonings specified in paragraph (b)(4) of this section are used, the label shall bear an appropriate statement, e.g., ``Spice added'', ``Flavored with ------ '', or ``With ------ added'', the blank being filled in with the common or usual name of the spice, flavoring, or seasoning used, in accordance with Sec. 101.22 of this chapter. (d) Label declaration. Each of the ingredients used in the food shall be declared on the label as required by the applicable sections of parts 101 and 130 of this chapter. Dated: September 27, 2002. Margaret M. Dotzel, Associate Commissioner for Policy. [FR Doc. 02-25252 Filed 10-3-02; 8:45 am]" [NOTE: This excerpted from White Chocolate; Establishment of a Standard of Identity, Federal Register, October 4, 2002.] About white chocolate & the 1980s: "So called "white chocolate" is made out to cacao butter only, but in the United States it must be called "White confectionery coating," since it contains no cacao solids and therefore does not fit the legal requirements for "chocolate." It has the disadvantage of a relatively short shelf-life and a tendency to pick up foreign flavors." ---The True History of Chocolate, Sophie D. Coe and Michael D. Coe [Thames and Hudson:New York] 1996 (p. 29) [NOTE: this book is THE definative history of chocolate. Ask your librarian to help you find a copy] Related food? White chocolate mousse Brittle Brittle-type recipes were quite possibly the first candies. These simple combinations composed of honey and sesame seeds were favorites of ancient middle eastern cooks. Like many foods, brittle evolved over time due to regional culinary preferences, ingredient availability (refined sugar, molasses; almonds, peanuts), and technological advances. According to the food historians peanut brittle, as we know it today, is probably a 19th century American invention. A survey of old cookbooks confirms recipes for peanut brittle (as we know it today) appear in 19th century. They are called by different names. Peanuts were orginally called groundnuts. One must examine these recipes carefully with regards to ingredients and method to determine the finished product. Skuse's Complete Confectioner (late 19th century British professional confectionery text) does not contain such a recipe. It does, however, contain recipes for comfits, a related item. About peanuts "The ancient Egyptians preserved nuts and fruits with honey." ---Encyclopedia of American Food and Drink, John F. Mariani [Lebhar-Friedman:New York] 1999 (p. 54) [NOTE: This book has a very nice concise history of candy] "Brittle is a simple and ancient sweet, and has been made for centuries in many countries. It is very similar to some types of nougat made with honey and nuts only (no egg white). Two examples are the Provencal 'croquant' made with sugar, honey, and almonds; and Italian 'croccante' with sugar, sometimes a little butter (which makes it less hard), and almonds. Similar confections of nuts, especially pistachios, almonds, and cashews, or sesame seeds, are popular in parts of the Arabic speaking world. Versions of nut and sesame seed brittle are to be found in many parts of Asia...peanut brittle is a popular sweet in North America." ---Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 1999 (p. 107) "In the late 1850s...people were talking about peanut candy, peanut and molasses candy, or peanut brittle (though the last term didn't become truly popular until about 1900)..." ---Listening to America, Stuart Berg Flexner [Simon & Schuster:New York] 1982 (p. 138, 141) EARLY PEANUT BRITTLE RECIPES [1847] "An Excellent Receipt for Groundnut Candy To one quart or molasses add half a pint of brown sugar and a quarter of a pound of butter; boil it for half an hour over a slow fire; then put in a quart of groundnuts, parched and shelled; boil for a quarter of an hour, and then pour it into a shallow tin pan to harden." ---The Carolina Housewife, Sarah Rutledge, facsimile copy 1847 edition, with an introduction by Anna Aells Rutledge [University of South Carolina Press:Columbia] 1979 (p. 219) [1908] "Peanut candy. Have ready one cupful of peanuts shelled and chopped. Be sure you are rid of all the brown skins. Put one cupful of white sugar in a hot iron frying plan and stir until it is dissolved. Add the peanuts and turn immediately. As it cools cut into squares." ---The Evening Telegram Cook Book, Emma Paddock Telford [Cupples & Leon:New york] 1908 (p. 157) [1919] "Peanut brittle. 5 pound sugar 2 1/2 pounds corn syrup 1 1/2 pints water Cook and boil and then add 3 pounds Spanish shelled peanuts, and stir and cook until peanuts are done, then set kettle off fire and stir in it 1/2 teaspoonful of baking soda. After the soda is well stirred, drop in a little more soda, about 1/4 teaspoonful, and stir good. Pour on the slab and spread as thin as possible. When partly cold turn batch over. By adding soda as above batch will be the same color on both sides, not yellow on one side and brow on the other." ---Rigby's Reliable Candy Teacher, W. O. Rigby, 19th ed., [1919?] (p. 160-1) [NOTE: this book also contains a recipe for non-sugar peanut brittle. This is not a diabetic alternative. It substitutes corn syrup and molasses for refined white sugar.] [1925] George Washington Carver's Peanut recipes (see "Peanut Wafers," #22-24) Related food? Comfits (which later evolved into sugarplums) & pralines Early American candy Sugar candy (including molasses and maple), candied fruits & flowers (a Renaissance-era favorite), sugar coated nuts (comfits), marzipan (almond paste), brittles, and toffee were all enjoyed by Americans in 17th and 18th centuries. Period cooking texts typically group candy with "sweet meats" or confectionery. Sweet meats also included preserves, jams, jellies, syrups, small cakes/cookies, ice cream and sherbet. Some of the candies we Americans enjoy today (liquorice, marshmallows, hard candies, peppermint) were originally used for medicinal purposes. "Recipes" for these items were often included in medical texts as well as cookbooks. A wide variety of different types of sugar were used to make these candies. What kinds of candy did the first Americans eat? Native Americans in the northern regions were adept at tapping maple trees for syrup. European settlers introduced the foods they enjoyed in the Old World. The following confections were known in Medieval and Renaissance Europe: Liquorice Marshmallows Marzipan Pralines Sugar plums & comfits How & where were these candies made? "Confectionery was another art practiced by efficient housewives. It took several forms. Whole fruits or berries cooked and stored in syrup were called preserves. Mashed, they became marmalade, conserve, or jam. "Dried" (that is, candied like modern crystallized fruit) they were confections or sweetmeats. When their juices were mixed with syrup and reduced sufficiently to form hard candies, they were chips; when mashed pulp was used in the same way, they were called pastes. Strained juices were also used to make jelly, as in modern practice, and there were fruit and berry syrups. Brandied fruits were prepared by adding brandy to the syrup in which whole fruits were stored. Mrs. Randolph's selection of recipes, reflecting Virginia tastes at the end of the [18th] century, emphasized preserves-- peaches, pears, quinces, cherries, strawberries, gooseberries, raspberries, and sweet tomato marmalade. Her preserving kettle was made of bell metal, "flat at the bottom, very large in diameter, but not deep," with a tight-fitting cover and "handles at the sides of the pan, for taking it off with ease wthen the syrup boils too fast." Other desirable equipment included a large chafing dish with long legs "for the convenience of moving it to any part of the room," a ladle "the size of a saucer, pierced and having a long handle" for "taking up the fruit without syrup," small glasses or pots of a maximum two-pound capacity, and "letter paper wet with brandy" to cover the containers...Mrs. Custis' "Book of Sweetmeats" reflected the elegance and artificiality of tastes in Queen Anne's court. In addition to the conventional preserves, she included the more elaborate confectionery that usued flowers and herbs, roots and nuts as well as fruits and berries in a variety of crystallized preparations and hard candies to decorate dessert tables...Walnuts and almonds, eryngo and ginger roots, angelica stalks and roots, and marjoram and mint leaves were sometimes crystallized. Mrs. Custis also chopped or mashed them and stirred them into a manus Christi syrup, which was dripped into "rock candies" or "cakes" about the size of a sixpence. Fruit juices carefully strained produced clear drops and cakes. The pulp of fruits and berries, treated like almond paste in marchpane, made pastes in a great variety of flavors and colors: apricots, peaches, pears, plums, quinces, pippins, raspberries, gooseberries, barberries, cherries, oranges, lemons. Even more decorative was Paste Royall, printed in molds and then gilded." ---Colonial Virginia Cookery, Jane Carson [Colonial Williamsburg Foundation:Williamsburg VA] 1985 (p. 120-122) A survey of candy recipes published in cookbooks used by early American cooks [1753] Red crisp almonds or Prawlings (pralines) Iced almonds (iced with sugar) Candied cherries Candied orange peel Candied ginger Barley sugar (a precursor to toffee) March-pane (marzipan) Pastils (soft gum-like candy) Comfits ---The Lady's Companion, [London:1753] 6th edition [NOTE: Colonial-era cooks used books they brought from home. Many of these were published in London.] [1749-1799] Candied flowers (roses, marigolds, violets, rosemary--yes! Real flowers!) Candied ginger Suckets (candied fruits, oranges and lemons were most popular) Sugar candy (boiled refined sugar) Losenges (diamond shaped sugar candy...think of today's throat lozenge...flavored with orange, lemon, rose water) Fruit pastes (dried, thin sheets of pounded fruit...think of today's "Fruit Roll-ups"...made with real apricots, peaches, raspberries, gooseberries, apples, plums, quinces, oranges, lemons) Marchpan (aka marzipan; almond paste which was often colored and deoratively shaped) ---Martha Washington's Book of Cookery, transcribed by Karen Hess [Columbia University Press:New York] 1995 [NOTE: If you want to see these recipes ask your librarian can help you find a copy of this book.] [1792] Lemon and orange peel candied Melon citron candied Anglelica candied Cassia candied Orange marmalade Apricot marmalade Red quince marmalade White quince marmalade Raspberry paste Currant paste Gooseberry paste Orange chips Apricot chips Ginger tablet ---The New Art of Cookery According to the Present Practice, Richard Briggs [W. Spotswood, R. Campbell, and B. Johnson:Philadelphia] 1792 [1847] Kisses & meringues (sweet, frothy egg white confections; some have hazel nut or cocoanut centers) Coconut candy Lemon candy (rock candy) Cream candy Common twist (like candy canes/sticks) Peppermint, rose or horehound candy Molasses candy (taffy) Candied orange or lemon peel ---Mrs. Crowen's American Lady's Cookery Book, Mrs. T. J. Crowen [Dick & Fitzgerald:New York] 1847 Need to make something for class? Selected modernized recipes: ...while most of these candies were enjoyed throughout the country, those with specific colony/state designations in their respective cookbooks are noted. "Nut Sweet 2 cups maple sugar (or brown sugar) 1/4 cup water 1 tablespoon butter 1 cup hickory nuts, or walnuts, broken. In a saucepan combine sugar, water, and butter. Cook over low heat until a candy thermometer inciates 238 degrees F., or until the syrup dropped in cold water forms a soft ball. Add the nuts. remove from heat and stir until the candy is thick. Drop in spoonsful onto waxed paper and let the patties harden." ---The Thirteen Colonies Cookbook, Mary Donovan et al [Montclair Historical Society:Montclair NJ] 1976 (p. 77) [Connecticut] "Candied Peel Cut rind of 8 oranges into quarters. Cover with cold water. Brink slowly to the boiling point. Remove pan from fire. Drain well. Repat this process, boiling the orange peel in a total of 5 waters. Drain well each time. With scissors, cut into strips or leaf designs. Make a syrup with 1/4 cut water and 1/2 cup sugar. Add the peel and boil until all the syrup is absorbed. Cool briefly. When thorouhgly dry, the peel may be dipped in chcoolate coating. Peel may also be rolled in freshly grated coconut, then sugared. Store in airtight tins, or freeze." ---ibid (p. 115) [New Jersey] "Apricot Leather Wash 1 package dried apricots and put them in water to soak overnight. Next morning, bring apricots and water to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and drain thoroughly. (Be sure all the water has drained off.) mash the apricots through a sieve, or belnd in a blender until smooth. Measure pulp: return it to the saucepan and add 1 part sugar to every 3 parts pulp. Bring to a boil and boil for 2 minutes, stirring constantly (at thsis tage the mixture may burn easily, so stir carefully.) Let the mixture cool for 15 minutes; then spread almost paper thin on a large piece of glass, marble slab, or aluminum cookie sheet. Form a rectangular shape. Place in a warm dry room (an attic is excellent) to dry for 1 to 2 days (it should be pliable enough to roll). Cut the leather into 3-inch squares, sprinkle with granulated sugar, and roll tightly into rolls about the size of a small pencil. Roll in granulated sugar and stroe in a tightly closed box." ---ibid (p. 251) [Georgia] "Hoarhound Candy Some of the candies which were made in colonial kitchens were very simple mixtures of sugar, water, and herbs. This candy was a confection as well as a lozenge for colds and sore throats. 3 ounces hoarhound 3 cups water 3 1/2 pounds brown sugar Add hoarhound to hot water and simmmer for 20 minutes. Stain and add sugar. Cook until syrup forms a hard ball when dropped into cold water or until candy thermometer registers 265 degrees F. Pour into a buttered pan. When cooled, form into small balls or cut into squares. makes about 5 sozen pieces." ---Foods from the Founding Fathers, Helen Newbury Burke [Exposition Press:Hicksville NY] 1978 (p. 141) [Rhode Island] "Molasses Candy 2 cups molasses 2 cups brown sugar 1/3 cup vinegar 1 cup water 2 tablespoons butter Salt Boil ingredients until brittle when tried in cold water. Pour into hot, buttered pan; pull when cool enough to handle." ---ibid (p. 141) [Rhode Island] "Benne (Sesame) Brittle 2 cups granulated sugar 1 teaspoon vanilla 2 cups parched benne seed (roasted) Melt the sugar in a heavy frying pan or saucepan over a low heat, stirring constantly. When sugar is melted, remove from stove, then add benne seed and vanilla quickly. Pour into a well-buttered pan to about 1/4 inch depth (a medium-size biscuit pan is right). Mark into squares while warm and break along lines when cold. Makes 8-10 squares." ---ibid (p. 244) [South Carolina] "Hickory Nut Creams 3 cups brown sugar 1 cup cream or evaporated milk 1/2 teaspoon vanilla 1 tablespoon butter 2 cups hickory nuts Stir sugar and cream together until sugar dissolves. Boil to 234 degrees F. or until a little of the mixture forms a soft ball when dropped into cold water. Cool to lukewarm. Add vanilla, butter, and nuts, and beat until creamy. Drop from spoon on waxed paper. makes 3 dozen creams." ---ibid (p. 316) [Philadelphia] "Spiced Walnuts 1/4 pound walnut halves 1 cup sugar 1 teaspoon ginger 1 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg 1/4 teaspoon cloves 1 tablespoon water 1 egg white Heat nuts in 350 degree F. oven for a few minutes. Sift together three times the sugar, ginger, salt, nutmeg, and cloves. Add awater to egg whtie and beat until frothy (not stuff). Dip nuts in egg mixture and roll in spices. Cover bottom of baking sheet with leftover sugar and spices. Arrange nuts over top. Sift remaining sugar over them. Bake at 275 degrees F. for 1 hour. Remove from oven and shake off excess sugar." ---ibid (p. 316) [Philadelphia] "Pralines 1 cup granulated sugar 1/2 cup brown sugar 1/4 cup milk 1 tablespoon butter 1 cup pecans 1 teaspoon vanilla extract Mix all ingredients except vanilla. Bring to a boil and boil for exactly 1 1/2 minutes. Remove from heat, add vanilla, and beat until smooth and creamy. Drop by spoonfuls onto wax paper. Makes 2 to 3 dozen." ---A Cooking Legacy, Virginia T. Elverson & Mary Ann McLanahan [Walker and Company:New York] 1975 (p. 167) "Apricot Sweetmeats 1 pound dried apricots, ground 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar 1/2 cup orange juice pecan or walnut halves, or almonds superfine granulated sugar Combine apricots, granulated sugar and orange juice in a saucepan. Cook over low heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking. Drop by teaspoon onto waxed paper. When cool, place a pecan or walnut half or an almond in the center, rolling apricot mixture around it. Drop each ball into superfine granulated sugar to coat completely. Pack in a tightly covered container to store. Makes 3 dozen." ---ibid (p. 166) -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Modern American candy (Post Civil War--1920s) The Industrial Revolution made possible many new candies. Advances in food technology, scientific knowledge, and cooking apparatus made possible items such as jelly beans and chocolate. Most 19th century American cookbooks do not include recipes for making chocolate candy because it was primarily made by professional confectioners. "Penny candies" were a direct result of cheaper ingredients and mass production. Primary sources/historic cookbooks [1864] Parkinson's Complete Confectioner, (professional text) [online full-text, courtesy of Michigan State University] [1877] Buckeye Cookery These popular American brands were introduced to the American public between the late 1800s and 1929: Wrigley's gum (Spearmint, Juicy Fruit) Baby Ruth (Curtiss) Hershey Bars (Hershey) Good & Plenty Cracker Jacks Chase's Tween Meals Tootsie Rolls Candy Corn (called "Chicken Feed," by Goelitz Confercionery company) Nik-L-Nips (liquid sugar/flavored filled wax novelties) NECCO wafers Hershey's Kisses Life Savers Goo Goo Clusters (a southern favorite) Godenberg's Peanut-Chews (Philadephia area) Mounds Bards (Peter Paul) Milky Way Bar (M&M Mars) Bit-O'Honey Milk Duds Heath Bars Reese's Peanut Butter Cups Snickers Bar (M&M Mars) Dubble Bubble bubble gum (Fleer) Chases's Cherry Mash Gummi Bears Pez Twizzlers Cotton candy Conversation Hearts Jujyfruits (Henry Heide Co.) Chuckles (jelly candies) Charleston Chew Almond Rocha (Brown & Haley) Mr. Goodbar (Hershey's) Mike & Ike SOURCES: Candy: The Sweet History/Beth Kimmerle, The Food Timeline, The Food Chronology/James Trager -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Chocolate truffles Chocolate is a "New World" food originating in South America. It was first consumed in liquid form by the Ancient Mayans and Aztecs. Spanish explorers introduced chocolate to Europe, where it was likewise appreciated and esteemed. Chocolate candy made its debut in the middle of the 19th century (Cadbury). At that time, it was very expensive and out of the reach of most people. The Industrial Revolution enabled the chocolate industry to grow and flourish. By the end of the 19th century chocolate was enjoyed by "the masses" (Hershey). Cream candies ultimately trace their roots to Medieval and Renaissance soft cream fillings used to compose trifle and fill pastries. Later developments included creme brulee and caramel cream. Chocolate-coated cream candies of all kinds were extremely popular in the late 19th/early 20th centuries. According to the food historians, chocolate truffles were named thusly because the finished product resembles the naturally occuring, expensive fungus of the same name. About fungus truffles. Alan Davidson's Oxford Companion to Food states this candy became popular in the 1920s. "Many who have never encountered vegetable truffles have tucked into confectioners' truffles, sweets the colour and shape of black truffles, made from a mixture of chocolate, sugar, and cream (and often rum) and covered with a dusting of cocoa powder or tiny chocolate strands. These are, of course, a much more recent phenomenon; they made their first appearance in an Army and Navy Stores catalogue for 1926-7." ---An A-Z of Food and Drink, John Ayto [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 2002 (p. 351) While references to early 19th century chocolate truffles can be found in some books on American food history, it is unlikely the confection, as we know it today, existed that early. Possibly these authors are referring to chocolate creams, a related confection. The earliest authentic/historic recipe we have for chocolate truffles dates to the 1920s: "Chocolate truffles. Dip a plain vanilla cream center, one as small as possible in milk chocolate coating, then before the coating dries, roll each piece in macaroon cocoanut so that the cocoanut sticks to the chocolate. Now lay them on a cheet of wax paper and allow to dry." ---Rigby's Reliable Candy Teacher, W.O. Rigby, 19th edition (undated, early 1920s probably) (p. 84) -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Cotton candy Most people think the origin of cotton candy (also known as spun sugar" "fairy floss" or "candy floss") is a simple documented fact. It's not. There are several stories recounting the invention of cotton candy. All are interesting. None are definitive. Most accounts credit the invention of cotton candy to enterprising American businessmen at the turn of the 20th century. The 1904 Louisiana Exposition in St. Louis is often cited as the place where cotton candy was introduction to the American people. The truth? Spun sugar was known long before this time. Mid-18th century master confectioners in Europe and America hand crafted spun sugar nests as Easter decorations and webs of silver and gold spun sugar for elaborate dessert presentations. At that time, spun sugar was an expensive, labor-intensive endeavor and was not generally available to the average person. How was spun sugar made before the invention of modern machines? [1769] "To spin a Silver Web for covering Sweetmeats Take a quarter of a pound of treble-refined sugar in one lump, and set it before a moderate fire on the middle of a silver salver or pewter plate. Set it a little aslant, and when it begins to run like clear water to the edge of the plate or salver, have ready a tin cover or china bowl set on a still, with the mouth downward close to your sugar that it may not cool by carrying too far. Then take a clean knife and take up as much of the syrup as the point will hold, and a fine thread will come from the point, which you must draw as quicky as possible backwards and forwards and also around the mould, as long as it will spin from the knife. Be very careful you do not drop the syrup on the web, if you do it will spoil it. Then dip your knife into the syrup again and take up more, and so keep spinning till your sugar is done or your web is thick enough. Be sure you do not let the knife touch the lump on the plate that is not melted, it will make it brittle and not spin at all. If your sugar is spent before your web is done put fresh sugar on a plate or salver, and not spin from the same plate again. If you don't want the web to cover the sweetmeats immediately, set it in a deep pewter from getting to it, and set it before the fire, it requires to be kept warm or it will fall. When your dinner or supper is dished, have ready a plate or dish of the size of your web filled with different coloured sweetmeats, and set your web over it. It is pretty for a middle, where the dishes are few, or corner where the number is large." ---The Experienced English Housekeeper, Elizabeth Raffald, with an introduction by Roy Shipperbottom [Southover Press:East Sussex UK] 1996 (p. 92) [NOTE: this book also has instructions for a gold web and to make a Dessert of Spun Sugar.] [1864] On sugar spinning The Complete Confectioner, Pastry Cook and Baker, J.M. Sanderson [Lippincott:Philadelphia] (p. 33+) [1894] Spun Sugar for Ornamental Purposes --Required: loaf sugar and half its weight in water. The best cane sugar should be used, as failure if almost sure with inferior sugar. This is to be put in a copper pan and brought to the boil, and freed from any scum thay may rise. When the surface begins to look bubbly it is nearly ready. To test it, dip a knife or the end of a steel in cold water, and be sure that it is cold, or a mistake may arise; then dip this in the boiling sugar, then in cold water again, and if it is brittle, and leaves the knife or steel, it is done; should it cling an be soft it must be boiled longer. When it is done, take small portions and pass it quickly to and fro to form threads over an oiled rolling pin held in the left hand. A fork is best to use to take up the sugar. Should this be intended for "draping" a vol-au-vent or other sweet, the pin should be moved, so that the sugar falls into position, and is not handled. To be explicit, as it leaves the pin it is wound round the sweet. There is considerable art in this operation, and it is quite likely that a number of failures will precede success; it is one of those branches of the cuisine that require a practical lesson. It is always well to rub a little oil on the hands and wrists in the case the sugar should splash them, and by standing on a stool, holding the left arm low, and moving the right hand high in the air, the work is facilitated." ---Cassell's New Universal Cookery Book, Lizzie Heritage [Cassell and Company:London] (p. 811) Cotton candy, as fair food, began when W.J. Morrison and J.C. Wharton (Nashville, TN) patented the first electric machine for spinning sugar into edible threads in 1897. This machine produced cotton candy quickly in mass quantities. The machine was portable, the process was novel, the appeal was universal. Perfect fair food. Notes from the original patent: Candy Machine To all whom it may concern; Be it known that we, William J. Morrison and John C. Wharton, citizens of the United States, residing at Nashville, in the County of Davidson and State of Tennessee, have invented certain new and useful Improvements in Candy-Machines, of which the following is a specification. Our invention relates to improvements in candy-making, or, as commonly called, "candy-machines," in which a revolvable or rotating pan or vessel containing cand or melted sugar causes the said candy or melted sugar to form into masses of thread-like or silk-like filaments by the centrifugal force due to the rotation of the vessel. The object of our invention is to obtain an edible product consisting of the said filaments of melted and "spun" sugar or candy." ---U.S. Patent #618,428 January 31, 1899. Application filed December 23, 1897. [NOTE: you can view the full image of this patent online. Accessible by patent number only, requires special viewing software.] Skuse's Complete Confectioner [London, undated, probably late 1890s/early 1900s] contains similar instructions on page 71: Sugar Candy, Pink and White Sugar candy is made in a variety of colours. The foreign, which is imported in large quantities, varying in shades between very dark brown and pale yellow, the prices charged for these qualities being very little above the sugar value, therefore unprofitable to make, but the pink and white candy is not so common, and generally command a renumerative figure, besides being attractive as a window decoration. The process is simple and interesting. Copper pans are sold by machinists for the purpose, but for small makers a rough coller or white metal pan will answer, so long as its sides are a little wider at the top than the bottom, in order that the crystalized sugar may fall out unbroken. Perforate the pan with small holes, about three inches apart, pass a thread through from one hole to another, so that the thread runs at equal distances throughout the centre of the pan, then stop up the holes from the outside with a thin coating of beeswax and resin to keep the syrup from running through. When the pan has been got ready, boil sufficient sugar to fill it, in the proportion of 7-lbs. sugar to 3 pints of water, to the degree of thread, or 230; then pour the contents into the pan and stand it on the drying room for three or four days; when the crystals are heavy enough, which you can tell by examining them, pour off the superfluous syrup; rinse the candy in lukewarm water and stand it in the drying room till dry. To make the pink, of course, colour the syrup, but be careful in tinging it very lightly. N.B.-When goods are undergoing the process of crystalizing, the vessel in which they are must not be disturbed." In the dawning years of the 20th century cotton candy was also sold in sweet shops and department store candy counters. A Wanamaker's advertisement announcing the acquisition of "A Wonderful Candy Machine" ran in the New York Times February 11, 1905 (p.4). Price of their cotton candy? 5-10 cents, probably depending upon size. Bruce Feiler's notes debunking the popular history of cotton candy: "The Dictionary of American Food and Drink reports that the item [cotton candy] originated in 1900 at the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Baily Circus, when snack vendor Thomas Patton began experimenting with the long common process of boiling sugar to a caramelized state, then forming long threads of it with a fork. Patton's genious, according to the entry, was to heat the sugar on a gas-fired rotating plate, creating a cottony floss. The truth may be less romantic, but it is no less appealing. In 1897 William Morrison and John C. Wharton, candy makers in Nashville, invented the world's first electric machine that allowed crystallized sugar to be poured onto a heated spinning plate, then pushed by centrifugal force through a series of tiny holes. In 1904, at the Louisiana Purchase Exposition, commonly known as the St. Louis World's Fair, Morrison and Wharton sold the product, then known as "fairy floss," in chipped-wood [cardboard] boxes for 25 cents a serving. Though the price was half the admission of the fair itself, they sold 68,655 boxes..." ---"Spun Heaven," Bruce Feiler, Gourmet, February 2000 (p. 66+) [NOTE: this is an excellent article. Ask your librarian to help you find a copy.] About the science of sugar. Cotton candy: notes from the National Confectioners Association (includes how cotton candy is made today. If you need more details about the manufacturing process ask your librarian to help you find this book: How Products are Made, Jacqueline L. Longe, editor, Volume 4 [Gale:Detroit] 1999 (p. 157-161). -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Divinity Although recipes for various nougat and sweet meringue-type confections (with and without nuts and fruit) can be traced to ancient Turkish and 17th century European and roots, food historians generally agree that Divinity (aka Divinity fudge, Divinity candy) is an early 20th century American invention. Why? One of the primary ingedients in early Divinity recipes is corn syrup, a product actively marketed to (& embraced by) American consumers as a sugar substitute at that time. Corn syrup was affordable (economical), practical (shelf-stable), and adapted well to most traditional recipes. Karo brand corn syrup, introduced by the Corn Products Refining Company in 1902, was/is perhaps the most famous. It is no coincidence that early Karo cooking brochures contain recipes for Divinity. Food historians have yet to determine the first person to call this delicious confection "Divinity. " The general concensus about the name? The finished product tasted "divine." A survey of American cookbooks confirms recipes for Divinity (candy, fudge, rolls) were "standard items" from the 1930s to present. Some people connect Divinity with southern roots. This is not confirmed by our cooking texts which are published all over the country. Perhaps Divinity with pecans is a Southern twist on a national favorite? This is what the food experts have to say: "Divinity. An American confection related to nougat and marshmallow. It is made by cooking a sugar syrup to the firm or hard-ball stage...and then beating it into whisked egg whites." ---Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 1999 (p. 251) "Divinity...also divinity fudge [Prob with ref to its "divine" flavor] esp. west of Appalachians. Homemade candy made by pouring hot sugar syrup into beaten egg whites. 1913 E.H. Glover Dame Curtsey's Book of Candy Making (p. 34) Divinity Fudge. Three and one-half cups of granulated sugar, one-half cup of 90 per cent corn syrup, two thirds cup water [etc.]" ---Dictionary of American Regional English, Frederick G. Cassidy and Joan Houston Hall, editors, [Belknap Press of Harvard University:Cambridge MA] 1985, volume II D-H (p. 91) [NOTE: This book has a map showing where this particular term is most popular. Your librarian can help you find a copy of this book/page if you need it.] "White divinity fudge wasn't heard of until around 1910." ---Listening to America, Stuart Berg Flexner [Simon & Schuster:New York] 1982 (p. 139) Why does Divinity sometimes choose not to set? "Divinity is a tricky confection to make under the best circumstances--almost impossible under less than good. The recipe in one community cookbook advises a short consultation with the local meteorologist: "Please remember candy doesn't set unless the barometer reads 30 in. or over; doesn't make a difference whether it's raining or not, just watch your t.v. for the barometric pressure." Divinity like most other Southern canides shows up around the winter holidays. It is sort of a companion piece to fudge in Christmas gift boxes. ---Biscuits, Spoonbread, and Sweet Potato Pie, Bill Neal [Alfred A. Knopf:New York] 1996 (p. 138) [1905] "Divinity Candy. Mrs. C.C. Hall, Hollywood.--One pint golden drip syrup, one pint sweet milk one cup granulated sugar, butter size of a walnut. Boil until a soft ball can be made. Remove from fire ahd whip until it is creamy, then pour over one-half pound of shelled Califoania English walnuts." ---The Times Cookbook [1907] "In place of the time-honored "fudge," she may make the new "Divinity Fudge," a sweet that is no more expensive, that takes but little more time, but that is far more delicious. Melt a cupful of sugar in a saucepan; when melted, pour it into another saucepan in which there is already a cupful of cold milk. Put this pan on the fire and cook slowly until the two have blended; then add two or more cupfuls of granulated sugar, and one more cupful of cold milk, and reheat, cooking slowly until it is of proper consistency to remove from the stove. At this time add a heaping teaspoonful of butter and a cupful of finely chopped nut meats; beat the mixture with a large spoon until almost cold, then spread it over buttered pans, and line for cutting, like fudge." ---"Christmas Cheer as Ever Calls on the Housewife for Sweets, Pies and All the Rest of the Good Things of the Holidays," The New York Times, December 17, 1907 (p. SM5) [1910] "Divinity Fudge Here is a recipe for Divinity Fudge, which is great: 2 cups sugar, 1/2 cup cup hot water, 1/2 cup corn syrup. Cook until it forms a soft ball when dropped in cold water. Have ready, in a rather deep dish, the whites of 2 eggs beaten to a stiff froth (1 egg may be used, not so good). Pour the cooked mixture over the whites of the eggs. Beat in the 1 cup walnuts. Beat until of a creamy consistency. Pour onto buttered pan. Cool, cut in squares. Janice Meredith." ---"Divinity Fidge," Boston Daily Globe, April 28, 1910 (p. 11) [1915] "Divinity. Two cupfuls gran.[granulated] Sugar, 1/2 cupful water, 1/2 cupful syrup. Boil until it hardens in cold water. Beat whites of 2 eggs to a stiff froth, then pour syrup over them and add 1 cupful chopped nuts. Flavor with vanilla. Beat until stiff and drip with spoon on parafine paper." ---The Concord Cook Book, compiled by Mrs. Adolph Guttman and Mrs. Levi Oppenheimer for the Ladies' Auxilary, Society of Concord Syracuse N.Y. first edition [Dehler Press:Syracuse NY] 1915 (p. 276) [1917] "Divinity Fudge Home candy economy seems on the increase, to judge from the requests that come to this column for recipes. M.A. wishes a recipe for "divinity." One of the colored corn sirups, probably the best known, is used by many people, but plain glucose, which costs a little less, makes a whiter candy. In making all candies I use a thermometer, because it saves time and attention and I get more uniform results, but my neighbor, fortunately i this case, does not, so Mrs. Y. lets me use her recipe herewith: "This requires two pans or kettles. In pan No. 1, put one cup of sugar and one-half cup of water. In pan NO. 2 put three cups of sugar one one cup of corn sirup. Boil No. 1 until it spins a thread. Boil No. 2 until it forms a soft ball when dropped in water. Beat No. 1 into the whites of two eggs, and as soon as No. 2 is done beat into the egg mixture. Beat on a platter about ten minutes, or until creamy. Before it gets firm beat in a cup of pecan nuts and two teaspoons of vanilla. Beat until firm. Turn out on to a cloth that has been wet in cold water and roll up into a loaf. When cool enough cit down into slices." ---"Tribune Cook Book," Jane Eddington, Chicago Daily Tribune, February 14, 1917 (p. 10) [1926] "Divinity Fudge 3 cups light brown sugar 3/4 cup Karo syrup 1 1/4 cups nut meats or chopped crystallized fruit 3 egg whites 1 cup cold water. Mix in saucepan sugar, syrup and water. Cook until mixture reaches soft-ball stage. Whip egg whites very stiff and dry, then add syrup mixture in a small stream, beating all the time until mixture begins to thicken. Stir in nut meats or fruit, continue stirring until creamy. Pour in buttered pan. Cut in squares when cold." ---Every Woman's Cook Book, Mrs. Chas. F. Moritz [Cupples & Leon: New York] (p. 599-600) Why won't divinity set in certain types of weather? "Divinity is a tricky confection to make under the best circumstances--almost impossible under less than good. The recipe in one community cookbook advises a short consultation with the local meteorologist: "Please remember candy doesn't set unless the barometer reads 30 in. or over; doesn't make a difference whether it's raining or not, just watch your t.v. for the barometric pressure." Divinity like most other Southern candies shows up around the winter holidays. It is sort of a companion piece to fudge in Christmas gift boxes." ---Biscuits, Spoonbread, and Sweet Potato Pie, Bill Neal [Alfred A. Knopf:New York] 1996 (p. 138) Related foods? Meringue and fudge. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Dolly mixtures Dolly mixtures are a uniquely British treat. They seem to be related to liquorice allsorts, popular colorful candies of different shapes and sizes that are about 100 years old. About liquorice. " is probably in confectionery that liquorice has found its most extensive and attractive culinary use. For this purpose, the extract from the roots is combined with sugar, water, gelatin, and flour to give a malleable black or brown paste, which is tough and chewy. These attribute are used to gread effect by manufactureres who mould it into pipes, cables, and long strips or 'bootlaces'; or combine it with brighly coloured soft sugar paste to make liquorice allsorts. These sweets, very popular in Britain, are of divers and striking appearance, mostly made of layers of black refined liquorice combined in various ways with brightly coloured paste imitating marzipan. Some lumps of liquorice rolled in coloured sugar vermicelli. Thanks to the liquorice in them, the flavour of these sweets is more interesting than that of most cheap confectionery." ---Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davdison [OxforUniversity Press:Oxford] 1999 (p. 455) Where did the name "Dolly Mixture" come from? The food historians are still looking for a definative answer. There are several theories: According to the Oxford English Dictionary, a dolly mixture is a "mixture of tiny coloured sweets of various shapes." The earliest citation to print references using this term dates back only to 1957. One of these books, Lore and Language of Schoolchildren, Iona Opie, states "Other current sweet-shop favourites appear to be the same as thirty years ago, in fact bull's eyes, jelly babies, and dolly mixture have entered schoolchild language as descriptive nouns." (page 166). This dates the term dolly mixtures, as they relate to candy, back at least to the late 1920s. Just below this entry is another definition for the word dolly: "Anglo-Indian [ad.Hindi Dali]...A complimentary offering of fruit, flowers, vegetables, sweetmeats and the like presented usually on one or more trays..." Perhaps this term, as it relates to candy, was borrowed from traditions begun in British India? Another argument supporting the possible connection to India is the word dal, or dahl. These pulses (beans, peas, legumes) are one of the principal foods in the Indian subcontinent. Dal is often composed of items of various sizes and colors, thus the possible connection (in looks only) to the popular candy mix. You can find more information on Dal in the Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 1999 (p. 241) and A Historical Dictionary of Indian Food, K.Y. Achaya [Oxford University Press:Delhi] 1998 (p. 60). Laura Mason, British confectionery history expert, says the connection between Indian dahl and dolly mixtures is unlikely. "Soft Bright Jellies for Dolly Mixtures Sugar 20lb Glucose 20lb Water 5pt Gelatin 4lb Citric acid powder 4 1/2oz Run into starch impressions. Set aside until next day. Brush thoroughly and glaze." ---Skuse's Complete Confectioner, W. J. Bush & Co. editor, 13th edition [W.J. Bush:London] 1957 (p. 200) -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Fondant According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the term Fondant (in print) dates to 1877: "Fondant. [a. Fr. fondant n. and pr. pple. of fondre to melt.] A sweetmeat made chiefly in France: (see quots.). Also attrib. 1877 Encycl. Brit. VI. 257 Fondants.. are made from solutions boiled to the point of crystallization, properly coloured and flavoured, and cast into moulds made of starch. 1892-4 Encycl. Cookery (Garrett) I. 602/1 Fondants. This term has become familiar to us for kinds of soft sweets that ‘melt’ in the mouth. Ibid. 602/2 Divide the Fondant-paste into two portions." "Fondants are sweets made from a paste produced by boiling sugar syrup and then kneading it until it is soft, creamy, and smooth. The same sort of paste is also used as the basis for icing for cakes (fondant icing). The term comes from the present participle of French fondre, 'melt', and is probably an allusion to fondant 'melting in the mouth'." ---An A-Z of Food & Drink, John Ayto [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 2002 (p. 128-9) " a relative recent development in confectionery. It appears to have originated in the middle of the 19th century, probably in France, although the historian Mary Isin...suggests that it might first have come from Ottoman Turkey. A variety of fondant which had cream amongst its ingredients was popular in the late 19th and early 20th centuries under the name of 'Opera Caramels'. Today, fondant has been reduced to a supporting role in confectionery, largely as a filling for chocolates. When used in this way, it is often referred to as creme, or cream filling; this is a statement about the texture, rather than a reference to the ingredients. A popular way of consuming fondant in the late 20th century is a mint-flavoured, chocolate-coated form intended to be eaten after dinner. Rolled fondant is a type of sugar paste icing...and is used for covering cakes." ---Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 2nd edition, 2006 (p. 311-312) "Fondant is relatively simple to make, and lends itself to many variations in colour and flavour. In the 1890s, various handbooks suggested it as a dainty suitable for making by ladies wishing to earn a little income, both in Britain and North America...Presenting confectionery as a creative pastime which allowed the practitioner to show off expertise and good taste echoed the seventeenth-century ideals fo gentlewomen who could make banqueting conceits. Fondant is now rarely seen without a coating of chocolate, and is no longer considered an exciting novelty...Exploitation of fondant and starch-moulding led to a fin-de-siecle flourish of pastel confectionery in myriad shapes and colours. About 1900, Skuse commented on 'Fondant Cream Work' that, 'this department has developed more rapidly and more extensively than perhaps any other in the business, if we except chocolate, and even then, fondant cream has been of great assistance to the coca bean. ' Ironically, it was fondant which acted as a midwife to chocolate--now the dominating confection. Since 1866, the Bristol company of Joseph Fry and Sons had been selling their Chocolate Cream Bar, filled with fondant. This was an enormous success." ---Sugarplums and Sherbet: The Prehistory of Sweets, Laura Mason [Prospect Books:Devon] 2004 (p. 75-77) Fondant icing Fondant icings date to the early 20th century: "Fondant is a very popular kind of icing. It is a form of boiled icing which subsequently is worked to a creamy consistency. The formula and method for making fondant are stated later. A mixture of granulated sugar, glucose, and water is first boiled to a temperature of 240 degress F. In some formulas a small amount of cream of tartar or citric acid is used in the mix, often replacing the glucose. The sides of the kettle or receptacle in which the boiling is done should be washed down occasionally by means of a brush wet with water. Care chould be taken not to boil the syrup above the specified temperature. At this point is should be poured out on a stone slab, usually marble, which has just been previously mostined with cold water. The sugary mass is allowed to cool down to about 110 degrees F. and is then thoroughly worke back and forth, either by hand or machine, until a smooth, creamy mass is obtained. This treatment results in the formation of very fine crystals of sugar which account for the smoothness and glossy survace of the fondant. A large batch of fondant may be made up at a time and kept in good condition by storing in a clean receptacle and covering with a damp cloth. When it is desired to use this icing, the portion required is removed, and thinned down by warming, while stirring, over a hot water bath. The temrpartue of the fondant during this process should not go over 100 degrees F. otherwise it may lose its gloss and creaminess. The desired flavoring is then added to the fondant and it is ready to apply on the cake. On cooling, it will set nicely. Properly handled, it will not bcome hard and will retain its gloss. APPLICATION. Many of the smaller pieces can be dipped. For this work, a fondant icing is very good. The fondant, being very heavy and almost all sugar, is soemtimes too sweet an icing. This may be toned down a bit by the addition of marshmallow, or beaten icing, which also lightness the fondant and makes it more fluff. Fondant sould be applied very thick and should always be used warm. Cakes as large as four inches in diameter may be dipped quickly. Where a number of small pieces are made, dipping is a very good method. The use of fondant is more general on these small pieces; small squares, oblongs, or fancy shapes cut from various cake bases, form the foundation for a great variety of holiday cakes." ---Treatise on Cake Making, Fleischmann Division, Standard Brands Inc. [New York] 1935 (p. 151) Plastic icing? FoodTV's Ace of Cakes show features georgeous cakes draped with a substance they call rolled fondant. This artful substance appears to descend from Australian cake decorating traditions, where it was first known as "plastic icing." The earliest references we find to "rolled fondant" in American print appears in the early 1980s. "In Australia, despite its varied immigrant population, the British cake remained dominant but not in any static and unchanging form. The major change which has been noted in the British trade in the 1890s had its roots in an Australian enthusiasm for sugarcraft and cake-decoration which began in the 1950s...The provided competition classes for decorated cakes and in this way promoted experimentation. A distinctive new style developed. This was based on a change of material. Royal icing was demoted from its pre-eminence as the standard material for covering and decorating all the more important cakes to a mere auxiliary for piping. Two other substances to be used in conjuction with it became essential. For covering there was 'plastic icing,' a cold-mixed alternative to cooked fondant icing, made with glucose, gelatine, glycerine and flavouring, in addition to icing sugar and water. For modelling it was aversion of the ancient sugarpaste...I The Australian Book of Cake Decorating (1973), Bernice Vercoe, one of the leaders of the movement from the 1950s onwards, wrote: 'We do not recommend royal icing for coverings as this mixture is hard and brittle when dry and tends to crack and separate from the cake whe cut', but 'the English still use it'. 'In Australia royal icing is used for pipework only.' Plastic icing, on the other hand, 'remains soft to the bite for long and indefinite periods'...It is also easier to use, being rolled out and draped and conformed to almost any shape; it does not have to be smoothed on moist and allowed to set. The very considerable skill needed to achieve a fine, smooth surface even on regular shapes with royal icing becomes redundant." ---Wedding Cakes and Cultural History, Simon R. Charsley [Routledge:New York] 1992 (p. 24-25) More from Ms. Vercoe: "Plastic icing. Gone are the days when the knife bent dangerously before piercing the cake and fear clutched the heart of the 'cutter', wondering if indded, dynamite would be a better substitute to break the cement-like covering strongly defying all efforts to slice neatly. The plastic icing and other fondants used today are easily handlted, and give a smooth, dull, satin-like surface which is a delight upon which to work. This icing remains soft to the bite for long and indefinite periods and is use mainly for covering 'special occasion' cakes of a denser nature, usually fruit cake. Platis icing should never be used to cover a sponge as there is insufficient stability in the cake to support it." ---Australian Book of Cake Decorating, Bernice Vercoe & Dorothy Evans [Paul Hamlyn:Sydney] 1973 (p. 11) [NOTE: this book contains a recipe for Mixing Plastic Icing. If you would like a copy please let us know.] "The [Wilton] school teaches the American, Lambeth and Australian styles of cake decorating. Classes also are given in chocolate artistry, pulled sugar, figure piping and cakes for catering. The two-week basic cake-decorating course costs $500, while other courses range from three to five days and cost $150 to $300. The American method--the decorating style first taught by Wilton --emphasizes buttercream, shell borders, swags and piped icing flowers. Australian techniques include rolled fondant coatings, lace work and royal icing flowers, while the Lambeth, or continental, method uses ornate layers of piped-on icing for its rococo effects." ---"Cake Decorating School Remains at Core of Expanded Wilton Enterprises," Phyllis Magida, Chicago Tribune, Apr 30, 1987 (p. 4) "Last week's listing of summer cooking courses in the city inadvertently omitted Rose Levy Beranbaum at Cordon Rose, 110 Bleecker Street, Apartment 7D, New York 10012. 475-8856. Dessert Baking and Cake Decorating 11 begins June 8. The cost for six sessions is $270. Miss Beranbaum studied at Ecole LeNotre in France. Her course includes several LeNotre desserts, such as Gateau a la Brioche, Genoise, Dacquoise, rolled fondant, marzipan roses, royal icing flowers and ice cream." ---"Cooking School Summer Class," New York Times, Jun 3, 1981, (p. C.16) Australian recipe & instructions, circa 1956 Fondant Icing To Cover 1lb. Cake Sift 3 lb. of icing sugar into bowl. Add 2 egg whites, 2 tablespoons glycerine 1/2 lb softened glucose. Beat with a wooden spoon until a stiff mixtuer. Turn out on board sifted with icing sugar. Knead until a workable paste and quite smooth. Colour if desired. Vlavour with a few drips of almond or lemon essence. Stand over night. When covered and set decorate lightly with Royal Icing... To Cover Cake With Fondant Icing Roll icing 1/4in. thick on sugared board. Wrap round rolling pin. Damp surface of cake as directed. Unroll paste over surface. Press on till perfectly smooth and hand dipped in icing sugar. Damp sides of cake as directed. Cut paste rolled 1/4in. thick into strips wide enough to cover sides. Press same on. Stand overnight to get firm." ---The Schauer Australian Cookery Book, 11th edition [W.R. Smith & Paterson: Brisbane] 1956 (p. 598-599) You can make your own rolled fondant or purchase it from a cake supply store. Related foods? Opera creams & icing. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Fudge Food historians puzzle over fudge. Why? Linguistics [the study of word evolution]... many recipes predate their popular names: before there was fudge, there were chocolate creams. & Lore [the study of sociology & popular culture]...the "invention" of fudge is typically attributed to priviledged Ivy League college girls, not home-ec (aka domestic science) majors. Quite a turn from most foods generated in the dawning years of the 20th century. While the history of sweet compact confections (with or without nuts) is ancient, the fudge we Americans enjoy today (especially of the chocolate variety) is a relative newcomer. American confectioners introduced modern fudge to resort-area vacationers in the 1880s. Mackinac Island (Michigan) is particularly known for this confection. Early recipes for home-made fudge are more closely related to early 20th century cake icing than other confections. One of the primary differences between professional and amateur fudge is the equipment. Professionals employed huge marble tables to work their confections into the right consistency. Home cooks (& Ivy League co-eds) simply poured their mixed indredients directly into baking pans and let them cool. This is what the food historians say on the topic: "Fudge. A semisoft candy made from butter, sugar, and various flavorings, them most usual being chocolate, vanilla, and maple. The candy was first made in New England women's colleges. The origins of the term are obscure. The Oxford English Dictionary suggests it may be a variant of an older word, "fadge," meaning "to fit pieces together." "Fudge" had been used to mean a hoax or cheat since about 1833, and by midcentury "Oh, fudge!" was a fairly innocuous expletive. It has long been speculated that American college women, using candymaking as an excuse to stay up late at night, applied the then-current meaning to the new candy...The word "fudge as a candy first showed up in print in 1896, and by 1908 was commonly associated with women's colleges, as in "Wellesley Fudge,"..."Divinity fudge" with egg whites and often, candied cherries, came along about 1910 and was especially popular during the holidays. The name probably referred to its "divine" flavor." ---Encyclopedia of American Food and Drink, John F. Mariani [Lebhar Friedman:New York] (p. 135) [NOTE: The Irish recipe for "fadge" makes an apple potato cake. It was traditionally served on the feast of Samhain (Halloween).] "The addition of dairy products [to Scottish tablet] was a development which contributing more than must flavour...This is exploited by fudge, a confection which relies on similar ingredients and principles to tablet, but is richer, softer and requires a slightly lower temperature. On first tasting, the similarities seem overwhelming, both in flavour...and general textures. It is easy to assume that they share a common origin; but the derivation of the name fudge and the origins of the sweet are both obscure. Fudge as now understood seems to have travelled east to Britain from North America. Anecdotal evidence links it to women's colleges in the laste nineteenth century, and most early recipes include chocolate. It is possible that Scottish migrants took the idea of milk-based tablet to North America. Whether these were influenced by fudge-like mixtures of brown sugar and nuts from Creole cuisine of the southern states is unclear. Fudge appears to have been taken up by confectioners and large companies some years later. Skuse, who actively collected formulae, including North American ones, did not give one for fudge in the early editions of his Confectioners Handbook, but recipes first appear in British books in the first decade of this century." ---Sugar-Plums and Sherbet: The Prehistory of Sweets, Laura Mason [Prospect Books:Devon] 2004(p. 72) "Fudge, which denotes a sort of soft, somewhat toffee-like sweet made by boiling together sugar, butter, and milk, is a mystery word. It first appeared, in the USA, at the end of the nineteenth century, when it was used for a kind of chocolate bonbon', and by 1902 the journal The Queen was recording that the greatest "stunt" among college students is mo make Fudge. It is generally assumed to have been an adaptation of the verb fudge, in the sense make inexpertly, botch. But this merely begs the question, as the origin of the verb, too, is uncertain." ---An A-Z of Food and Drink, John Ayto [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 2002 (p. 133) It is quite likely enterprising co-eds found "alternative" ways to melt store-bought chocolate/cocoa (Baker's, Hershey's), adding whatever ingredients they had on hand, to approximate the semi-soft, delicious confections they tasted on family holiday. Their concoctions probably tasted pretty good. Where there's a will, there's a way. Most recipes are not invented, they evolve. Compare this recipe for "chocolate carmel" with those below for "fudge": [1884] Chocolate Caramels "One cup of molasses, half a cup of sugar, one quarter of a pound of chocolate, cut fine, half a cup of milk, and one heaping tablespoonful of butter. Boil all together, stirring all the time. When it hardens in cold water, pour into shallow pans, as it cools cut in small squares." ---Boston Cooking School Cook Book, Mrs. D. A. Lincoln [1884] [Dover Publications:Mineola NY] 1996 (p. 390) Two of the earliest recipes we have for [homemade] fudge are these: [1893] Fudges "Four cups granulated sugar; one cup cream; one cup water; one-half cake chocolate; one-half cup butter. Cook until it just holds together, then add two teaspoonfuls extract of vanilla and pour into pans, not buttered. When cool enough to bear finger in, stir it until it no longer runs. It should not grain, but be smooth. Cut into squares."---From Mrs. J. Montgomery Smith, of Wisconsin, Alternate Lady Manager ---Favorite Dishes: A Columbian Autograph Souvenir Cookery Book, Carrie V. Schulman, facsimile edition, introductions by Reid Badger and Bruce King [University of Illinois Press:Chicago] 2001 (p. 197) [1903] Fudge 4 ounces of chocolate 2 cups of sugar 1 teaspoonful of vanilla 1/2 cup of milk 1 rounding tablespoonful of butter Put the sugar, butter, chocolate and milk in a saucepan over the fire until thoroughly melted. Boil, stirring constantly, until the mixture hardens when dropped into cold water; take from the fire, add the vanilla, and turn quickly out to cool. When cold, cut into squares." ---Mrs. Rorer's New Cook Book, Sarah Tyson Rorer [Arnold and Company:Philadelphia] 1902 (p. 629) The Candy Cook Book, Alice Bradley [Little Brown:Boston] 1929 has an entire chapter devoted to fudges. The introduction reads: "The name fudge is applied to a large group of candies made of sugar boiled with water, milk, or cream, from 230 degrees F. To 238 degrees F., and stirred or worked with a paddle until candy becomes firm. If stirred while still hot, the resulting candy is coarse and granular. To prevent this, the syrup should be cooled in the saucepan in which it is cooked, or poured out upon a marble slab, platter, or agate tray that has been slightly moistened with a piece of wet cheesecloth. It should not be disturbed until cool. It should then be stirred with a wooden spoon, or worked with a spatula forward and lifting up the mass, turning it over and bringing it back, until the whole begins to get stiff. At this stage, turn into a pan, or, better still, leave the candy between bars on wax paper on a board, regulating the size of the open space according to the amount of candy and the thickness desired." [NOTE: this book contains the following recipes recipes for fudge: chocolate, cocoa, sour cream, chocolate acorns, chocolate Brazil nut, chocolate marshmallow, chocolate walnut, condensed milk, cream nut, plum pudding, sultana, caramel, cocoanut, cocoanut cream, coffee, coffee cocoanut, fruit, ginger, marshmallow, maple marshmallow, maple chocolate, maple nut, praline, maple cream, walnut maple, pecan maple, orange, peanut butter, raisin, raspberry, vanilla, nut, vanilla opera, rainbow, maraschino opera, orange flower opera, pistachio, orange opera, genessee, brown sugar (penuche), fig penuche, fruit penuche, marshmallow penuche, pecan penuche, peanut penuche, Postum penuche (with instant Postum cereal), raisin penuche, double fudge (I & II), divinity, sea foam, Grapenuts divinity (also a cereal), cream mints, cherry puffs, nut puffs, and pineapple puffs. Opera fudge Opera fudge is one of many delicious culinary specialties connected with Lebanon, PA. This fondant candy is a seasonal treat, traditionally made from Thanksgiving to Easter (it melts in the hotter months). In other parts of the country these candies are called opera drops [Boston], french creams, and opera caramels. Cincinnati's famous Opera Creams are a chocolate-coated fondant. Why "opera?" There are several theories explaining why these candies are connected to the opera, none of them conclusive: "Rueppel isn't sure why it's called opera fudge but doesn't think it has anything to do with fat ladies, at least not the singing kind. ''I think it's because it's a real rich fudge,'' Rueppel said. ''The opera is something rich - at the top - like opera fudge.'' ---SUGAR, CREAM, CHOCOLATE - OF COURSE IT'S GOOD, Steve Stephens, The Columbus Dispatch, February 28, 1994 (p. 8c) "Opera drops were chocolates with vanilla cream filling, kind of conical, haystack shaped. You would by them at intermission at the opera. There was a British brand called Between the Acts that you could buy at Bailey's in Boston." ---Dictionary of American Regional English, Frederick G. Cassidy & Joan Houston Hall, volume III (p. 890) "Fondant...A variety of fondant which had cream amongst its ingredients was popular in the late 19th and early 20th centuries under the name of 'Opera Caramels'." ---Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 1999 (p. 312) The name "opera" seems indeed to be a 20th century invention, evidenced by the fact that Skuse's Complete Confectioner [an important industry text, London: 1898?] makes no reference to them. Skuse's also does not use the word "fudge." Opera creams, Cincinnati style There is no question confections called "Opera Creams" are a Cincinnati specialty. We respect the claim made by the Papas family with respect to their opera creams. Our culinary history sources confirme these confections existed in the early 20th century but do not specifically credit Papas (or any other person/place) with the *invention* of this candy. In fact, most foods are not invented. They evolve. Why are they called "Opera?" "Alex C. Papas, former owner of Chris A. Papas & Son Co. - the company that makes those popular chocolate-covered opera cream Easter eggs - died Monday of cancer at St. Elizabeth Medical Center South in Edgewood. The Crestview Hills resident was 84...Mr. Papas' father, also named Chris, was a Greek who emigrated to the United States from Macedonia in 1909. When he was 11, the junior Papas helped his father support the family by cleaning furnaces and delivering coal when they decided to experiment with candy recipes in the basement. "They were just fooling around with the candy," Mr. Papas' son said. "They were trying to make a dollar any way that they could." They came up with a candy that they liked and began selling it on street corners. "When business got kind of slow in the warm months, they started making ice cream," his son said. "That's when they opened the ice cream parlor and soda shop." In 1935 - the midst of the Great Depression - they set up a retail shop named Lily's Candies after Mr. Papas' mother. Mr. Papas left school after the eighth grade to help his father make the candy by hand, full-time. Before he was inducted into the Army in 1942, he met Ann Zappa and asked her to "come work with me." She was making chocolates and he was stationed in West Virginia during the summer of 1943, when she traveled there to marry him before he was shipped out to Europe to fight in World War II. Mr. Papas was in the Battle of the Bulge. After the war, he returned to Covington and to the growing candy business. He designed machines to make candy in order to keep up with demand. Today Papas opera creams are popular from Washington, D.C., to Arizona. The factory makes as many as 100,000 eggs in an eight-hour day during peak season - the three months before Easter.Mr. Papas bought the production side of the business and renamed it Chris A. Papas & Son when his father retired in 1957. His sister Katherine Papas Hartmann purchased Lily's Candies and operated it until she sold it to her brother in 1987." Cincinnati Enquirer [October 14, 2004] [1924] "Opera Creams Melt together three-fourths cup of milk, two cups sugar, two squares chocolate. Boil three or four minutes, flavor and set in cool place until absolutely cold, then beat until it becomes creamy. Drop into balls on waxed paper." ---Carbondale Cook Book, prepared by the Young Lady Workers of the Methodist Episcopal Church of Carbondale, PA, 7th edition, revised and enlarged [International Textbook Press:Scranton PA] 1924 (p. 193) [1929] "Opera Bonbons. Color and flavor as desired small portions of Opera Fondant. With the hands shape in small balls, putting a piece of nut, cherry, or marshmallow in the center of each ball. Melt another portion of Opera Fondant in a double boiler over hot water, stirring constantly. Add half a teaspoon of vanilla, and drop centers one at a time in the fondant. Remove with candy dipper or two-tined fork to waxed paper. When enough white bonbons have been made, add a little pink or green color paste and raspberry or almond extract to taste to the melted fondant. Dip more of the centers, stirring the fondant, and reheating it if it becomes too stiff. Then add to remaining fondant one square melted chocolate, and dip remaining balls. In this way a great variety of attractive bonbons may be produced. Other flavors and colors may be used for greater variety, and tops may be decorated with small pices of nuts or cherries if desired. The centers may also be dipped in melted coating chocolate. White Fondants 1, II , or III may be used instead of Opera Fondant." ---The Candy Cook Book, Alice Bradley [Little, Brown:Boston] 1929 (p. 98-99) "Vanilla Opera Fudge. 2 cups sugar 1 cup heavy cream 1/8 teaspoon cream of tarter Put sugar and cream in a saucepan, stir until it dissolves, add cream of tartar, and boil, stirring carefully to prevent burning, to 238 degrees F., or until candy forms a soft ball when tried in cold water. Move thermometer often, that candy many not burn underneath. Pour on marble slab, agate tray, or large platter which has been slightly moistened with a damp cloth, and leave until cool. With broad spatula or butter paddle work the candy back and forth until it becomes creamy. It may take some time, but it will surely change at last if it was boiled to the right temperature. Cover with a damp cloth for half an hour, then add vanilla, working it well with the hands. Press into a small shallow box lined with wax paper, let stand to harden, then cut in squares. Other flavors may be used instead of vanilla, and the candy be tinted with color paste to correspond. Sometimes the fudge is divided into several portions, each flavored and colored differently, and pressed into a box of thin layers, then cut in squares when hard. Or each portion may be packed separately to give more variety when arranged on a bonbon dish." ---The Candy Book, Alice Bradley [Little, Brown:Boston] 1929 (p. 67) [1931] "Chocolate Opera Fudge Put three squares of bitter chocolate in to a saucepan and set it over warm water; when melted add alternately and gradually two cupfuls of sugar and one cupful of medium cream, also one teaspoonful of corn syrup and a pinch of salt. Boil to 230 deg. Fahr. Pour on marble slab, let cool slightly and work like fondant. When it can be handled knead till creamy and flavor with a little orange extract, then shape into little balls and let crust." ---"Requested Recipes," Marian Manners, Los Angeles Times, November 30, 1931 (p. A7) Related foods? Divinity & brownies. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Halva Food historians tell us halva (halvah, hulwa) is an ancient confection originating in the Middle East. "Halva. Name of a hugely varied range of confections made in the Middle East, Central Asia, and India, derived from the Arabic root hulw, sweet. In 7th century Arabia, the word meant a paste of dates kneaded with milk. By the 9th century, possibly by assimilating the ancient Persian sweetmeat afroshag, it had acquired a meaning of wheat flour or semolina, cooked by frying or toasting and worked into a more or less stiff paste with a sweetening agent such as sugar syrup, date syrup, grape syrup, or honey by stirring the mass together over a gentle heat. Usually a flavouring was added such as nuts, rosewater, or pureed cooked carrots (still a popular flavouring). The finished sweetmeat would be cut into bars or moulded into fanciful shapes such as fish. Halva spread both eastwards and westwards, with the result that is is made with a wide variety of ingredients, methods, and flavourings..." ---Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 1999 (p. 367) [NOTE: This books has much information on the different types of halva made in different parts of the world. If you need details, please ask your librarian to help you obtain copies of this page] "One...Muslim innovation that spread through the subcontinent [India] with remarkable speed--an addition to sweetmeats. Just as Spain had learned of marzipan and nougat from the Arabs, so India discovered the delights of sugar candy. (The word candy' is derived from the Arabic for sugar.) Confections of all kinds, made from sugar alone, from sugar and almonds, from sugar and rice flour, from sugar and coconut, became immensely popular as did sweet desserts such as halwa...Muglai halwa probably resembled modern halva--based on pureed vegetables or grain, enriched with sugar and almonds--more than than Baghdad original, which was more like an almond-spiked fudge." ---Food in History, Reay Tannahill [Three Rivers Press:New York] 1988 (p. 272) "Halvah...A confection of mashed sesame seeds and honey. Halvah is of Turkish origin and was first sold in America at the turn of the century by Turkish, Syrian, and Armenian street vendors...The candy soon became a favorite of the Jewish immigrants in New York, and today halvah is still associated with Jewish delicatessens, even though one of the most popular commercial brands still depicts a turbaned Turk on its wrapper. The word was first printed in 1840." ---Encyclopedia of American Food and Drink, John F. Mariani [Lebhar-Friedman:New York] 1999 (p. 148) One of the primary ingredients of halva is sesame seed. These seeds were known to ancient cooks and incorporated into many recipes. " of the first oil-yielding plants to be taken into cultivation, in Egypt or the Near East. Wild species with one exception, are African; but there is a secondary source of diversity' in India, where sesame was introduced in very early times. The name sesame is one of the few words to have passed into modern languages from ancient Egyptian, in which it was sesmt." ---Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 1999 (p. 713) MEDIEVAL RECIPES "Halwa Al. Two pounds of sugar, half a pound of bees' honey, half a bound of sesame oil and four ounces of starch. Stir it middling fine [one the fire until it takes consistency, then spread it on a smooth tile]. Put four ounces of sugar on it, and three ounces of finely pounded pistachios, and musk and rose-water: Spread this filling on it, then cover it with another cloak of halwa and cut it up into triangles. It is as delicious as can be. If you wish, make the filling into meatballs like luqma [luqmat al-qadi], and cover it was the mentioned halawa, and it is saciniyya." ---Medieval Arab Cookery: Essays and Translations, by Maxime Rodinson, A.J. Arberry & Charles Perry [Prospect Books:Devon] 2001 (p. 456) "Halwa Yabisa. Dissolve sugar in a cauldron. On every two pounds of it put two pounds of honey and a quarter of a pound of rose-water, and cook it on a quiet fire until it is chewy in the mouth. Leave it a little while, and throw it on a smooth stone tile and knead it with about two ounces of crushed peeled almonds or pistachios. Leave it until it cooks, and take it up. If you want, feed it with them [the almonds and pistachios], and add hazelnuts and toasted chickpeas. It comes out nice. If you want, colour it with a little saffron before it comes off the fire. You might ound the almonds fine and mix them with it, and you might take it form the tile and beat it on an iron peg pounded into the wall until it turns white and knead it with the peeled pounded pistachios. Make it into cakes and geometrical shapes [tamathil] and so forth. You might colour it while it is on the fire, either with saffron or cinnabar, whichever colour you want. There is a kind kneaded with toasted sesame seeds or poppy seed, and it made into tamathil as we did before." ---ibid (p. 455) [[NOTE: This source contains several halwa recipes. Your local public librarian will be happy to help you obtain a copy.] Hulwa recipe with modern instructions, Cariodoc's Miscellany: -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Horehound candy Many candies began as medicine. Hard candies, especially. Lozenges have long been appreciated for slowly releasing healing herbs with pleasant taste (sugar, lemon or mint). Modern cough drops descend from this tradition. Food historians confirm horehound was appreciated for its medicinal properties by ancient peoples. The earliest "recipes" were medicines, generally sweetened syrups. The first print reference we find for candy (hardened syrup) are from the 17th century. Perhaps the [hard] candy form evolved as a convenience. Joseph Dommers Vehling's tranlsation of Apicius [1-3rd century AD] contains an glossary item for horehound, but no recipes specifically titled such. A sampler of early recipes: [15th century Italy] "Book III, 42. On Horehound Horehound is what the Greeks call prachion because of its bitterness, and it is numbered by them in the first rank of herbs. When its seeds and leaves are ground, they are effective against snakes. They settle pains of the chest or side or coughs. Castor tells of two kinds of horehound, black, which he approves more, and white. From either, when they are chopped fine and mixed with flour, tidbits are made which we eat for health at the first course, after they have been fried in oil in a pan. They are believed to get rid of worms, and for this reason they are often served to children." ---On Right Pleasure and Good Health, Platina [originally published in the 15th century], critical edition and translation by Mary Ella Milham [Medieval & Renaissance Texts & Studies:Tempe AZ] 1998 (p. 205, 207) [17th century England] "For the phthisic. ...take horehound, violet leaves, and hyssop, of ech a good handful, seethe them in water, and put thereto a little saffron, liquorice, and sugar candy; after they have boiled a good while, then strain it into an earthen vessel, and let the sick drink thereov six spoonful at a time morning and evening..." ---The English Housewife, Gervase Markham [originally published 1615], edited by Michael R. Best McGill-Queen's University Press:Montreal] 1994, Chapter 1, recipe 88 (p. 23) [18th century America] "246. To Make Sirrup of Horehound. Take hore hound, 2 handfulls; coltsfood, one handfull; time, penny royall, & callamint, of each 2 drams; licorish, one ounce & a halfe; figgs & raysons of the sun, of each 2 ounces; anny seeds & fennell seeds, of each a quarter of an ounce. boyle all these in a gallon of faire water till it comes to a pottle or 3 pintes, then strayne it & take 3 pound of sugar & 3 whites of eggs & clarefy with liquor, & soe boyle it to a sirrup." ---Martha Washington's Booke of Cookery, transcribed by Karen Hess [Columbia University Press:New York] 1981, Booke of Sweetmeats, (p. 376) The earliest print references we find for horehound candy in American cookbooks are from the 19th century: [1845] Houskeeper's Assistant, Ann Allen Horehound candy [1857] Great Western Cookbook, Anna Collins Horehound candy [1864] Complete Confectioner, Eleanor Parkinson Horehound candy [1896] Boston Cooking School Cook Book, Fannie Merritt Farmer Horehound candy [1929] "Horehound Candy 1/2 ounce dried horehound 1 cup boiling water 1 1/2 cups sugar 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar Put water and horehound, which may be procured of a druggist in one-ounce packages, in a saucepan and let stand one minute. Strain through double cheesecloth; these whould be half a cup of liquid. To liquid add sugar and cream of tartar, and stir until mixture boils. Wash down crystals from sides of saucepan with a butter brush dipped in cold water, and boil to 300 degrees F., or until it is very brittle when tried in cold water. Remove at once from the fire, and pour into buttered pan one fourth inch thick, or pour between candy bars. As soon as it cools a little, loosen it from the pan, and mark in small squares. Go over the marks with a knife until candy is cold, then break with the hands. Pack in air-tight jar, and keep in a cool place, or wrap in wax paper." ---The Candy Book, Alice Bradley [Little, Brown:Boston] 1929 (p. 130-131) Laura Mason, Britsih confectionery history expert, briefly mentions 'horehound taffy' in the late 1890s. She does not offer an exact date/place/person credited for making the first batch. (Sugarplums and Sherbet: The Prehistory of Sweets, Prospect Books:Devon 2004, p. 183) ABOUT HOREHOUND "Horehound--The bitter extract of horehound...comes from an aromatic plant of the mint family. It is an Old World native now naturalized in North America. Horehound is used in candies, cordials, and cough medicines and has been cultivated since antiquity for other medicinal uses. It is also said to have been employed as a condiment." ---Cambridge World History of Food, Kenneth F. Kiple & Kriemhild Conee Ornelas [Cambridge University Press:Cambridge] 2001, Volume Two (p. 1786-7) "Horehound, wild plant whose leaves and seeds were used in a medicinal wine effective against coughs and colds. An amphora at the Roman fort at Carpow, Scotland, had contained horehound wine." ---Food in the Ancient World From A to Z, Andrew Dalby [Routledge:London] 2003 (p. 180) "Horehound, often called white horehound, Marrubium vulgare, a plant native to Mediterranean Europe and C. Asia, and naturalized in N. America. Its leaves make a tea, described by Grieve (1931) as an appetizing and healthful drink, popular in Norfolk and other country districts'. It is also used in candies." ---Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 1999 (p. 386) "Marrubium Vulgare L. -Hoarhound...Branched at the base, hoarhound is a clumpy, spreading perennial, reaching a height of about 2 feet, and is covered with a white, felty or wooly pubescence, especially on the stems & underside of the leaves. The leaves are ovate to round, narrowing to the petiole, rugose, crenately toothed, the maximum length 2 inches. The minute white flowers are in whorls in the axils of the upper leaves, the calyx has ten teeth...The plant is bitter-aromatic. An infusion of the leafy tops, fresh or dried, is reputed to be a remedy for indigestion, coughs, colds, & sore throat; it may be sweetened with honey. A candy is made by boiling sugar in a decoction of the leaves & stems. The plant is ornamental and is also attractive to bees. Hoarhound is propagated by division, layers, cuttings, & seeds. It is best adapted to light, calcareous, rather dry soil & full sun. It may be frost-killed in cold winters. Plants should be spaced 12 inches apart. Hoarhound is native in the temperate regions of the Old World & is naturalized throughout a large part of the United States & southern Canada." ---Garden Spice & Wild Pot Herbs, Walter C. Muenscher and Myron A. Rice [Cornell University Press:Ithaca NY] 1955 (p. 97-99) White Horehound/M. Grieve [1931] Black Horehound/M. Grieve [1931] Why the name? "Hoarhound, or Horehound: a bush plant of the mint fmaily native to the south of Europe and Eastern countries, growing about a foot high, and with round, wrinkled, almost hairy ("hoary") leaves, which contain a bitter principle and volatile oil of aromatic but not very agreeable smell. It is used as a flavor for candy and also in medicinal syrups for its curative properties for coughs and other affections." ---The Grocer's Encyclopedia, Artemas Ward [New York] 1911 (p. 301) Pictures of the plant: 1 & 2 -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Jelly beans Jelly beans belong to the culinary family of fruit jellies. These sweet confections have long been enjoyed as jams, jellies, conserves, and preserves. Fruit gums, leathers and decorative chewy slices are natural iterations along this culinary theme. Food historians generally agree jelly beans, as we know them today, descended from Turkish Delight, a fruit-gum confection originating in the Middle East. These were very popular from the mid-19th century forwards. Laura Mason, British confectionery expert, credits the USA for developing jelly beans. To date, we find no particular person, place or company claiming to have invented the first "jelly bean." Notes here: "[in the 16th century]The majority of these fruit sweetmeats were available in two guises. They could be wet, swimming in rich syrup, stored in jars and eaten with a spoon or (later) fork. Or they could be dry, in lumps or little chips, coated in sugar and kept in boxes between thick sheets of paper...There were other fruit sweets devised in the medieval period, the ancestors of multi-coloured modern fruit jellies. The names for these sweets make them sound more like breakfast or teatime delicacies, but it is necessary to forget the modern meanings of these words for a moment. Take marmalade. Today, this is a jam-like condiment made of oranges and sugar, semi liquid and flecked with strips fo peel...But the name is derived from the medieval Portuguese marmelada, a stiff paste that was cut in slices rather than spread. The word derives from the Portuguese marmelo, or quince, since this fragrant yet knobbly item was originally the favoured fruit for preserving, and it became the term used by the mid sixteenth century to describe all kinds of fruits preserves, not glutinous and syrupy as they are today, but stiff enought to be made into individual sweets if so desired...It is possible that the technique of naking thse marmalades and other conserves, by boiling up equal amounts of fruit pulp and sugar in water, was inherited from the Levant, where confectioners were skilled at melding fruit with sugar largely because of the ubiquity of sherbet...The main ingredients of sherbet were sugar syrup or sugar candy--in Turkey a dark pink substance called gul sekeri--and any one of scores of fruit juices and pulots...However, a seventeethn-century visitor to Turkey described this base sherbet flavour not as a liquid but as a type of fruit paste. And Francis Bacon, writing in 1626, notes: "They have in Turkey and the East certaine Confections, which they call Servets [sherbets], which are like to Candied Conserves and...these they dissolve in Water, and therof make their Drinke...'...Stiff fruit fruit jellies, coated in sugar, as well as wobbly ones for the pudding table, were greatly in favour during the eighteenth century, when the thickening agent used was sometimes isinglass...Another type of conserved fruit sweetmeat persists as the unappetisingly named 'leather', thin layers of fruit paste, made of fruit and sugar in equal parts...This leather is known as armadine in the Middle East..." ---Sweets: A History of Temptation, Tim Richardson [Bantam Books:London] 2002 (p. 128-132) "Jelly beans are a combination of the Middle Eastern fruit-gum candy Turkish Delight and the seventeenth-century method of coating Jordan almonds. The production of jelly beans has changed little since the candy was first developed in the late nineteenth century...The date of the introduction of the jelly bean is in dispute, but the earliest known published mention of the candy was October 2, 1898, in the Brooklyn Daily Eagle. By the turn of the century, jelly beans were popular, selling for nine to twelve cents per pound, and by the 1930s they had become associated with Easter." ---Oxford Encyclopedia of Food and Drink in America, Andrew F. Smith editor [Oxford University Press:New York] 2004, Volume 1 (p. 182) "As with many other sweets, mass-production and cheapness banished the magic. They have become slicker, from techniques for glazing the surface with edible waxes. They have become more yielding, as 'soft panning' evolved, using glucose syrup in place of sugar syrup required for old-fashioned hard comfits, and relying as much on air currents as on heating to dry the sweets. Jelly beans are the best example: developed in the USA, these spread eastwards to Europe, together with chewing gum (the varieties of this which have crisp little sugar shells are also panned)." ---Sugar Plums and Sherbet: The Prehistory of Sweets, Laura Mason [Prospect Books:Devon] 2004 (p. 132-3) About marmalade & comfits About Turkish Delight "Turkish delight is a gelatinous sweet of Turkish origin, coated in powdered sugar. It is variously flavored and coloured, although the variety most commonly seen in the West is made with rose water, and is consequently pink. It is cut into cubes, and was originally called in English 'lumps of delight', a term Dickens needed to explain in 1870: "I want to got the the Lumps-of-Delight shop," "To the-?" "A Turkish sweetmeat, sir"' (Mystery of Edwin Drood). The name Turkish delight itself is first recorded in 1877. The Turkish term for the sweet is rahat lokum, a borrowing from Arabic rahat al-hulqum, which literally means throat's ease." ---An A-Z of Food and Drink, John Ayto [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 2002 (p. 351-2) This article confirms the popularity of Turkish confectionery in Europe: A KING'S CONFECTIONER IN THE ORIENT, Priscilla Mary Isin/Petits propos culinaires, Feburary 2002 [includes selected historic recipes] Jelly Belly (formerly Goelitz, maker of fruit jelly confections in the early 20th century) launched in 1976. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Liquorice Like marshmallows, liquorice (North Americans prefer licorice') is an ancient remedy that survives today as candy. Up until the 19th century both items were based plant extracts. Today they are mass produced with synthetic ingredients and no longer contain the original healing ingredient. "Licorice. The Greek word glykyrrhiza, meaning "sweet root," gave rise to the Latin name...for licorice, which is the condensed juice from the roots of this Old World plant. A native of the Middle east, licorice was employed by the ancient Egyptians in medicinal preparations. Today, it is used in candy, to flavor liquors, and in the manufacture of tobacco. It addition, there is American licorice, G. Lepidota, a wild licorice of North America with roots that were cooked by Native Americans, who also nibbled on the raw roots as a treat." ---Cambridge World History of Food, Kenneth F. Kiple & Kriemhild Conee Ornelas [Cambridge University Press:Cambridge] 2000, Volume Two (p. 1802) "Liquorice, aromatic root native to southern Russia and central Asia. Liquorice was familiar in the classical Mediterranean and had medicinal uses. In particular, sweet protropos wine, whether Scybelite or Theran, formed the basis of a medicinal wine in which liquorice was an ingredient, according to Galen. It was also an ingredient in a compound which was used for doctoring young wine to give it age: Damegeron supplies a recipe. By late Roman times liquorice was grown plentifully in northern Anatolia." ---Food in the Ancient World From A to Z, Andrew Dalby [Routledge:London] 2003 (p. 197) "Liquorice (or licorice), Glycyrrhiza glabra, a small leguminous plant whose thick roots, up to about 1 m (40") long, and inderground runners contain a very sweet compound called glycyrrhizin. In its pure form this is 50 times sweeter than ordinary sugar; but the plant also contains bitter substances which partly mask the sweet taste. The name liquorice' is a corruption of the original Greek name glycorrhiza, meaning sweet root', which is also an old English name.The plant, in one form or another, grows wild in parts of Asia and southern Europe...Cultivation in western Europe seems to have begun on a significant scale in the 16th century...Liquorice was used as a flavouring and colouring in a number of sweet foods including gingerbread; in stout and other dark beers. However, it is probably in confectionery that liquoirce has found its most extensive and attractive culinary use....[a] traditional British liquorice confections goes by the name of Pontefract cakes, or Yorkshire pennies, little shiny black liquorice sweets...made in Pontefract, in Yorkshire, which has been the centre of liquorice-growing in England for many centuries. The origins of liquorice growing in Pontefract, popularly attributed to the monks of a local monastery, are unknown. However, liquorice was being grown there on a large scale by the mid-17th century..." ---Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson [Oxford Universtiy Press:Oxford] 1999 (p. 455) [NOTE: this source site to sources for further study. Ask your librarian to help you track them down.] " the pungent root of a small European plant of the pea family. It was used as a flavouring in ancient times...and has been known in Britain since at least the early thirteenth century, introduced via Spain from the Arabs. In medieval times and up until the seventeenth century it was commonly used, either whole or ground up, for flavouring cakes, puddings, drinks, etc...Nowadays, however, it is far more familiar in the form of a black sweet, made from the evaporated juice of the liquoice root. Earliest examples of this include the pontefract cake, a small disc-shaped pastille of liquorice, but over the past 60 or 70 years a far more varied repertoire of liquorice sweets has emerged, including the liquorice bootlace...[and] liquorice allsorts." ---An A-Z of Food and Drink, John Ayto [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 2002 (p. 191-2) ABOUT LIQUORICE IN THE 19TH CENTURY: "Liquorice and Liquorice Root. Liquorice is a long and creeping root, procured from a plant of the pod-bearing tribe. It is cultivated in England, but is a native chiefly of Spain and of Southern Europe. The extract of the root is known as "black sugar," "stick liquorice," "Spanish juice," or "hard extract of liquorice." It forms the basis of several kinds of lozenges, and is added generally to soothing drinks. It is employed, as every one knows, as a demulcent remedy in coughs and other complaints. Even when used in considerable quantitiy it does not disorder the stomach, or even create thirst like common sugar." ---Cassell's Dictionary of Cookery with Numerous Illustrations [Cassell, Petter, Galpin & Co.:London] 1875? (p. 382) "Liquorice. The black mass which comes on the market in rolls is the boiled juice of the liquorice plant which grows in all parts of the world. It is most commonly done up in sticks, is dry and brittle, and to be soluble in water it should be pure. It is adulterated to such and extent that the pure article is scarce. A mixture of a little of the juice with the poorest kind of gum arabic, starch and flour, is what is generally put on the market for liquorice. Its principal use is in medicine, and it is extensively used in the manufacture of tobacco and liquors, especially to give color and flavor to porter and brown stout." ---The Grocers' Hand Book and Directory for 1886, Artemas Ward [Philadephia Grocer Publishing Company:Philadelphia] 1886 (p. 95) The 1911 edition of this book makes only a passing mention of licorice as candy. Recipes for making syrup of licorice & licorice paste, 1864 Medicinal aspects of Liquorice History of Liquorice, from the Liquorice organization [NOTE: check links for health, plant & recipes] Recommended reading: "Against the cough: liquorice and marshmallow," Sugar-Plums and Sherbet: The Prehistory of Sweets, Laura Mason [Prospect Books:Devon] 2004 (p. 165-175) Related foods? Late 19th century Dolly mixtures/licorice allsorts & Good & Plenty. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Lollipops Food historians tell us the art of boiling sugar into hard candy is an ancient practice. Such concoctions have always been flavored, colored, and shaped according to popular taste. They have also been used for medicinal purposes (like the cough drops we know today). The word lollipop makes its way into English print in the last quarter of the 18th century, though the meaning is somewhat different from the product we know today. It is interested to note that the insertion of sticks into hard candy is traced only to the beginning of the 20th century. One possible explanation? Modern machinery. "Sugar candy...both the etymology of the term sugar candy and the methods given in early recipes for making it indicate an ancient origin. Sugar candycan be traced back through Persian quand to Sanskrit khanda, maning sugar in pieces. The fact that the word has such an ancient derivation shows just what a desirable and uncommon item sugar candy was as it travelled from culture to culture." ---Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 1999 (p. 768) "When sugar first became known in Europe it was a rare and costly commodity, valued mainly for its supposed medicinal qualities and finding its place in the pharmacopoeia of the medieval apothecary...Sugar gradually became more widely available in Europe during the Middle Ages. In Britain it was considered to be an excellent remedy for winter colds. It might be eaten in the form of candy crystals...or it might be made into little twisted sticks which were called in Latin penida, later Anglicized to pennets. The tradition of penida survives most clearly in American stick candy which is similarly twisted and flavoured with essences supposed to be effective against colds, such as oil of wintergreen." ---Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 1999 (p. 210) "Lollipop. The word lollipop is first recorded in 1784, in a January issue of the London Chronicle...At this stage...lollipops were simply sweets (a meaning the abbreviated lolly retains in Australia and New Zealand), and it does not seem to have been until the early twentieth century that they gained their now quintessential characteristic, the stick...As for the origin of lollipop itself, that is not altogether clear; the explanation usually given is that it was based on lolly an obsolete northern [English] term for the tongue (so called because it lolls' out.)" ---An A-Z of Food and Drink, John Ayto [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 2002 (p. 193) "Lollipop...The term lolly is an 18th century-century one for mouth, so a lollipop was something that one popped into one's mouth. It did not necessarily mean a sweet with a stick, as became usual later. A few old-fashioned boiled sweets sold by British confectioners are still called lollies though they are stickless....In the USA the other end of the word (pop) has been used as the bais for the...term popsicle." ---Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 1999 (p. 459) "Lollipop. A hard candy attached to a stick usually made of rolled paper (1785). It is a favorite children's snack and has been so since it was introduced in England in the 1780s. The name comes from an English dialect word, "lolly," "tongue," and the "pop" is probably associated with the sound made when the candy is withdrawn from the mouth." ---Encyclopedia of American Food and Drink, John F. Mariani [Lebhar-Friedman:New York] 1999 (p. 188) Instructions for making these sweets are included in professional confectioners' texts. There were special machines for achieving perfect shapes and inserting the sticks. Skuse's Complete Confectioner [London:1890s] has several recipes for boiled sugar [hard] candies. Most of these were shaped as sticks, drops, rocks, and balls. They came in a variety of flavors and colors. There is no mention of inserting sticks into any of these creations. There is also a small section devoted to "boiled sugar toys." These candies were shaped with molds. According to Skuse, animal shapes were very popular. There is also instruction for making three-dimensional [hollow] candy whistles. The earliest "recipe" for lollipops [with a stick] we have is from 1918/1919: "All day suckers or loulopops. This is an old-time piece which has lately come into favor once more. It is more or less a wholesale piece, but is simple to make if the small shop has a sucker machine. It is made as follows: 10 pounds sugar, 10 pounds corn syrup, 1 quart water. Cook to 290 degrees F., then pour out on a slab. Fold in edges and use work up bar...Color and flavor to suit then spin in strips 1 1/4 inches thick and feed into sucker machine." ---Rigby's Reliable Candy Teacher, W. O. Rigby, 19th edition, [USA] 1918/1919? (p. 194) "Lolly Pops. Make Barley Sugar or Butterscotch Wafer mixture, pour onto oiled marble slab, cook slightly, roll up like jelly roll, toss back and forth until cool enough to handle, cut off with scissors in pieces one and one half inches long, and insert stick in one end. With palm of hand press into shape. Wrap in wax paper." ---The Candy Cook Book, Alice Bradly [Little Brown:Boston] 1929 (p. 136) -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Marmalade The history of marmalade, jams, jellies, conserves and preserves is fascinating, connected, and complicated. Marmalade, as we know it today, is generally made with oranges. Food historians confirm this was not always the case. You will find our notes (with selected historic recipes) here: "Marmalade, in Britain, refers to a jam-like preserve made from the bitter, or Seville, orange. The inclusion of the orange peel, cut into thin 'chips' or shreds, is characteristic of this preserve. 'Marmalades' based on other citrus fruits, such as lime or lemon, are made as is ginger marmalade. However, orange marmalade is perceived as the archtype (although not the prototype), and orange marmalade, with toast, is part of the 20th-century concept of the traditional English breakfast. The evolution of marmalade is a complicated story...Marmelada was the Portuguese name for a sweet, solid, quince paste...This luxury good was imported to Britain by the laste 15th cnetuy, to be used as a medicine or a sweetmeat. Clear versions were known as cotignac (France) or quiddony (England). Recipes for quiddonies and thick quince marmalades of this sort are frequent in 16th- and 17th-century English cookery books. Lemons and bitter oranges had also been imported to medieval and Tudor England. These...were pulped into stiff 'conserves' and were called, by analogy with the Portuguese product, 'marmalades'. They were set in wooden boxes, or moulded in fancy shapes, to form part of the dessert or banquet course. Other fruits, such as camsons, apples, pears, and peaches were also made into marmalades. All these marmalades were relatively solid confections, to be cut into slices and eaten from the fingers, not at all like moderrn marmalade. The 18th century saw a new developement; finely cut peel, the precursor of the modern product. There is a strong traditional belief that Sctoland was responsible for the creation of the new jellied orange marmalade. If some of the tales told in support of this belief tax credibility, never mind, it 'feels' right. At this time marmalade was still percieved as a suitable item for dessert in England; but Scottish recipes for the mid-18th century used a higher proportion of water, giving a 'spreadable' consistency. In fact marmalade does appear to have been used as a breakfast spread at a much earlier date in Scotalnd than in England. Meanwhile , and well into the 19th century, thick quice marmalades continued to appear in recipe books, so at this time the term 'marmamalde' was used in a wider range of senses than it is now...It was during the latter part of the 19th century that jams...became the subject of a rapidly growing industry, mainly because sugar became much cheaper. Bread and jam became a cheap source of noursihment for the working classes. And marmalade recieved a boost, since the jam factories could produce orange marmalade in winter at not much greater cost than that of jams made with home-grown fruits during the summer. Marmalade...had more of a luxury image than jam, and was exported to be used on breadfast tables throughout the British Empire...The range of differnt marmalades now being made in Britain, including some based on combinations of several citrus fruits, dark and light ones, chunky ones, and some with just slivers of peel in a clear vast..." ---Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidsion [Oxford Univeristy Press:Oxford] 2nd edition, 2006 (p. 483) "The word marmalade originally signified 'quince jam.' It comes via French from Portuguese marmelada, a derivative of marmelo, 'quince'. This in turn goes ultimately to melimelon, a Greek term, meaning literally 'honey-apple', which was applied to the fruit of an apple gree grafted on to a quince...In the fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries such quince preserve was known in English as chare de quince or chardecoynes...but in 1524 we find the first referernce to marmalade, in an account of the presentation of 'one box of marmalade' to the king by a certain 'Hull of Exeter'. Throughout the sixteenth century its main ingredient appears to have remained quince, but the seventeenth century saw a sudden diversity, with fruits such as plums, damsons, and even straweberries and dates being used for marmalade (at this time citrus fruits preserved in sugar was still generally called succade...In 1767, Hannah Glasse gave a recipe for 'marmalade of cherries', and as late as 1845 Eliza Acton in her Modern Cookery for Private Families was giving directions on how to make a 'marmamade'. As this last phase implies, marmalade was from earliest times not the soft spreadable confection of today, but a firm sweetmeat that could be cut with a knife, and was eated as part of the dessert course of a meal. The use of citrus fruits for marmalade seems to have begun in the seventeenth cnetury, and in the middle of that century we find the first references to the addition of sliced peel. But it is not really until the middle of the nineteeth century that this ingredient had so ousted all others that it became safe to assume that marmalade meant, essentially, 'orange marmalade'...In other European languages, such as French and German, the word still means generally 'jam' or 'preserve'... but the notion of 'citrus preserve' has become so firmly ensconced in English that in 1981 and EC edict declared that the term marmalade could not be applied to a product made other than with oranges, lemons, or grapefruit." ---An A-Z of Food and Drink, John Ayto [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 2002 (p. 203-4) More on marmalade: I & II Recomemnded reading: The Book of Marmalade/C. Anne Wilson A SURVEY OF SELECTED RECIPES [1747] "Orange Marmalade. Take the best Seville Oranges, cut them in Quarters, grate them to take out the Bitterness, put them in Water, which you must shift twice or thrice a Day for three Days; then boil them, shifting the Water till they are tender, then shred them very small, them pick out the Skins and Seeds from the Meat which you pulled out, and put it to the Peel that is shread; and to a Pound of that Pulp take a Pound of double-refined Sugar. Wet your Sugar with Water, and boil it up to a candy Height, (wth a very quick Fire) which you may know by the dropping of it; for it hangs like a Hair; then take off the Fire, put in your Pulp, stir it well together, then set it on the Embers, and stir it till it is thick, but let it not boil. If you would have it cut like Marmalade, add some Jelly of Pippins, and allow Sugar for it." ---The Art of Cookery Made Plain and Easy, Hannah Glasse, facsimile 1747 edition [Prospect Books:Devon] 1995 (p. 152) [NOTE: Mrs. Glasse also provides recipes for White Marmalade and Red Marmalade, both made with quinces.] [1829] "Scotch orange-chip marmalade.--Take equal weight of fine loaf-sugar and Seville oranges. Wipe and grate the oranges, but not too much. [The outer grate boiled up with sugar will make an excellent conserve for rice, custard, or batter puddings.] Cut the oranges the cross way, and squeeze out the juice through a small sieve. Scrape off the pulp from the inner skins, and pick out the seeds. Boil the skins till perfectly tender, changing the water to take off part of the bitter. When cool, scrape the coarse, white, and thready part from the skins, and trussing three or four skins together for despatch, cut them into narrow chips. Clarify the sugar, and put the chips, pulp, and juice to it. Add, when boiled for ten minutes, the juice and grate of two lemons to every dozen of oranges. Skim and boil for twenty minutes; to and cover when cold. --Obs. There are variou ways of making this favourite marmalade. The half of the boiled skins may be pounded before they are mixed; and if the chips look too numerous, part of them may be withheld for pudding-seasoning. The orange-grate, if a strong flavour is wanted, may either be added in substance, or infused, and the tincture strained and added to the marmamalde when boiling. Where marmalade is made in large quantities for exportation, the various articles are prepared and put at once into a thin syrup, and boiled for from four to six hours, and potted in large jars. Orange-marmalade bay be thinned, with apple-jelly, or when used at breakfast or tea, it may be liquefied extmpore with a little tea." ---Cook and Housewife's Manual, Mistress Margaret Dods, facsimile 1829 edition [Rosters Ltd.:London] 1988 (p. 434-5) [NOTE: Mrs. Dods also provides recipes for Smooth orange-marmalde, Transparent orange marmalade, Lemon marmalade, Apple marmalade, and Apricot and plum jam marmalade.] [1845] "Genuine Scotch Marmalade. Take some bitter oranges, and double their weight of sugar; cut the rind of the fruit into quarters and peel it off, and if the marmalade be not wanted very thick, take off some of the spongy white skin inside the rind. Cut the chips as thin as possible, and about half an inch long, and divide the pulp into small bits, removing carefully the seeds, which may be steeped in part of the water that is to make the marmalade, and which must be in the proportion of a quart to a pound of fruit. Put the cups and pulp into a deep earthen dish, and pour the water boiling over them; let them remain for twelve or fourteen hours, and then turn the whole into the preserving pan, and boil it until the chips are perfectly tender. When they are so, add by degrees the sugar (which should be previously pounded), and boil it until it jellies. The water in which the seeds have been steeped, and whcih must be taken from the quantity apportioned to the whole of the preserve, should be poured into a hair-sieve, and the seeds well worked in it with the back of a spoon; a strong clear jelly will be obtained by this means, which must be washed off them by pouring their own liquor through the sieve in small portions over them. This must be added to the fruit when it is first set on the fire. Oranges, 3 lbs.; water, 2 quarts; sugar, 6 lbs. Obs.--This receipt, which we have not tried ourselves, is guaranteed as an excellent one by the Scottish lady from whom it was procured." ---Modern Cookery for Private Families, Eliza Acton, facsimile 1845 edition [Southover Press:East Sussex] 1993 (p. 438) [NOTE: Mrs. Acton also provides recipe for apple, apricot, bargerry, Imperatrice plum, orange (Portuguese recepti), clear (author's receipt), peach, pineapple (a new receipt), quince and quince & apple marmalades.] [1861] Mrs. Beeton's Book of Cookery: (no. 1502) & (no. 1566 et seq) -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Marshmallows The history of the marshmallow quite interesting. Did you know this confection (albeit in a very different form) dates back to Ancient times? The very first "marsh mallows" were plants [Althaea officinalis] indigenous to Europe and Asia. The flowers were favored by the Ancient Greeks and Romans because they were considered to be healthful. Platina in his De Honesta Voluptuate et Valetudine [On Right Pleasure and Good Health] (an Italian cookery text published in the late 15th Century) devotes Book IV, Section 8 to "On the Seasoning of Mallow," in which he outlines the botanical history and healing properties of this particular plant. Marshmallows, progenitor of the fluffy white confection we eat today [which, by the way contains NO marsh mallow], originated in France sometime during the middle of the nineteenth century. "Marshmallows or Guimauves are a form of sweetmeat for which the confectioner is indebted to the pharmacist. The original Pate de Guimauve was a pectoral remedy. It was made, as the name implies, from a decoction of marshmallow root, with gum to bind the ingredients together, beaten egg white to give lightness and to act as a drying agent, while sugar was incorporated to make the whole palatable. Marshmallow has come down to us basically unchanged except that it no longer contains extract of marshmallow. The marjority of marshmallows are made with egg albumen and gelatin, some are made with all of one and none of the other..." ---Skuse's Complete Confectioner, 13th edition [W.J. Bush & Company:London] 1957 (p. 145) "Marshmallows are one of the earliest confections know to humankind. Today's marshmallows come in many forms, from semi-liquid---to the creme-like or as an ice cream topping. Originally...marshmallows were made from the rood sap of the marsh mallow (Althaea officinalis) plant. It is a genus of herb that is native to parts of Europe, north Africa, and Asia. Marsh mallows grow in marshes and other damp areas...The first marshmallows were made by boiling pieces of the marsh mallow root pulp with sugar until it thickened. After is had thickened, the mixture was strained and cooled. As far back as 2000BC, Egyptians combined the marsh mallow root with honey. The candy was reserved for gods and royalty. Modern marshmallow confections were first made in France around 1850. This first method of manufacture was expensive and slow because it involved the casting and molding of each marshmallow. French candy makers used the mallow root sap as a binding agent for the egg whites, corn syrup, and water. The fluffy mixture was heated and poured into the corn starch in small molds, forming the marshmallows. At this time, marshmallows were still not mass manufactured. Instead, they were made by confectioners in small stores or candy companies. By 1900, marshmallows were available for mass consumption, and they were sold in tins as penny candy. Mass production of marshmallows became possible with the invention of the starch mogul system of manufacture in the late 19th century... In 1955, there were nearly 35 manufacturers of marshmallows in the United States. About this time, Alex Doumak, of Doumak, Inc., patented a new manufacturing method called the extrusion process. This invention changed the history of marshmallow production and is still used today. It now only takes 60 minutes to produce a marshmallow. Today, there are only three manufacturers of marshmallows in the United States, Favorite Brands International (Kraft marshmallows), Doumak, Inc. and Kidded & Company." A sidebar to the information contained in this books (written by Donna R. Bearden) adds: "In the early 20th century, marshmallows were considered a child's confection, dispensed as penny candy at general stores along with licorice whips and peppermint drops. But through a fortuitous connection with other popular foods and some clever marketing, marshmallows would soon become a staple ingredient at pot-luck dinners, family get-togethers, and even elegant parties....A perusal through twentieth-century cookbooks and recipe booklets reveals that marshmallows usually served as an ingredient in cakes, candies, and desserts....Perhaps the greatest distinction for marshmallows occurred as a result of their advantageous connection with gelatin salads and desserts, which rose in popularity during the 1920s and 1930s. Recipe booklets for Jell-O and Knox Gelatin from that time include recipes that called for marshmallows on almost every page--recipes like banana fluff, lime mallow sponge, cocoa tutti frutti, and paradise pudding." ---How Products are Made Volume 3, Krapp & Longe, editors[Gale:Detroit] 1994 (pages 276-277). ABOUT MALLOWS/MARSH MALLOWS "Mallow, a common wild plant of Europe, Mallow was a potherb in Greece and Rome, more useful as such to the poor than to the rich, and particularly useful because it allevieated hunger. An aside by Lucian suggests that it was used, like lettuce nowadays, as a garnish on trays of food at banquets. It also had medicinal uses...Marshmallow (Althaea officinalis), Greek althaia, Latin hibiscus, a plant resembling mallow, was used to treat wounds, and was an ingredient in medicinal wine taken for coughs." ---Food in the Ancient World From A-Z, Andrew Dalby [Routledge:London] 2003 (p. 206) "Marshmallow. The name of both a plant an confection. The former...[is] a common plant of Europe and Asia, is related to the common mallow but looks more like the hollyhock. Although its leaves are edible, the chief use of the plant lies in its roots, which yield a mucilaginous substance which is the traditional basis for the sweet confections known as marshmallow but has now been almost entirely replaced by gum arabic." ---Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davdison [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 1999 (p. 481) More on the medicinal properties of marshmallows, A Modern Herbal, Mrs. M. Grieve [1931]. Picture of a marsh mallow. RECIPES [Ancient] Ancient marshmallows were percieved as cures, not confections. Instructions for preparing the plant for human consumption most likely first appeared in medical texts and herbals. Platina's "On the Seasoning of Mallow" (On Right Pleasure, Book IV, section 8 [1475]) extols the healing qualities of mallow but does not provide a recipe for making it. If you are conducting extensive academic/scientific research on this topic, contact the librarians at in one of the larger medical schools, such as the New York Academy of Medicine. These libraries contain historic texts. Note: you will probably have to visit the library and do the research yourself, in Latin. If you want to make modern marshmallows using mallow plants check these recipes. [1864] Complete Confectioner, Eleanor Parkinson Pastes formed with gum (uses gum arabic are real marsh mallow plant roots) [1875] "Marshmallow.This is a wholesome plant, and very palatable when boiled, and afterwards fried with onions and butter. In seasons of scarcity, the inhabitants of some of the eastern countries often have recourse to it as a principle article of food." "Marshmallow water. A concoction of marshmallow is effacacious in the cure of severe coughs, catarrhs, &c. Cut the roots into thin slices, and pour over them boiling water (about a pint to an ounce of the root), cleansing and peeling off the outer skin before infusion. The water may be flavoured with the squeezed juice and grated rind of an orange, and sweetened with honey or brown sugar-candy. Marshmallow leaves are eaten dressed like lettuce, as a salad. Time, two hours to infuse." ---Cassell's Dictionary of Cookery with Numerous Illustrations [Cassell, Petter, Galpin:London] (p. 410) [1908] Marshmallows.--Cover an ounce of carefully picked gum arabic with 4 tablespoonfuls of water, and let stand for an hour. Heat the gum in a double boiler until it is dissolved. Strain through cheese cloth and while in about 3 1/2 ounces of Confectioners' XXX sugar. Place on a moderate fire and beat for 3/4 of an hour, or until it comes to a stiff froth. Remove from the fire, beat 2 or 3 minutes while cooling and stir in 1/2 teaspoonful vanilla. Dust a tin pan with cornstarch, pour in the marshmallow, dust cornstarch over the top and set aside to cool. When cold cut into squares with a knife dipped in cornstarch, roll the squares in the starch and pack away in tin or other tight boxes." ---Household Discoveries: An Encyclopedia of Practical Recipes and Processes, Sidney Morse [Success Company:New York] (p. 538) [1923] Toasted marshmallows 1 tablespoon granulated gelatine 1 cup boiling water 1 cup sugar whites 3 eggs 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla Macaroons Dissolve gelatine in boiling water, add sugar, and a soon as dissolved set bowl containing mixture in pan of ice water; then add whites of eggs and vanilla and beat until mixture thickens. Turn into a shallow pan, first dipped in cold water, and let stand until thoroughly chilled. Remove from pan and cut in pieces the size and shape of marshmallows; then roll in macaroons with have beeen dried and rolled. Serve with sugar and cream." ---Boston Cooking-School Cook Book, Fannie Merritt Farmer [Little Brown:Boston] (p. 523) [NOTE: This book also has recipes for marshmallow cake with marshmallow cream (icing), marshmallow chocolate cake, marshmallow frosting and marshmallow gingerbread. Marshmallow hot chocolate recipe instructs the cook to place inexpensive marshmallows-- "they melt more quickly"--in the bottom of a cup and pour the hot chocolate over them!.] [1935] Marshmallows As a rule it is better and less costly to purchase marhsmallows than to try to make them. Here, however, is a recipe should you desire to make them: Soak three ounces of gum arabic in one cupful of water for two hours, cook in a double boiler until dissolved. Strain, return to saucepan, and add one cupful of powdered sugar; stir until stiff and white. Add one teaspoonful of vanilla, beat it in and pour the mixture into pans which have been rubbed over with cornstarch. Cut in squares when cold and roll in cornstarch and sugar, in the proportions of three parts cornstarch to one of sugar." ---Cooking Menus Service, Ida Baily Allen [Doubleday:Garden City] (p. 796) [NOTE: This book has instructions for making a marshmallow doll (p. 799), and recipes for marshmallow cream (cake filling), marshmallow cream sauce, marshmallow fondant icing, marshmallow frosting, marshmallow fruit sauce, marshmallow fudge, marshmallow icing (uncooked), marshmallow layer cake, marshmallow lemon cake and marhsmallow pumpkin pie.] RECIPES USING THE MARSHMALLOW PLANT [Note: these recipes were submitted by a reader, they have no dates. They will produce "modern" marshmallows, not ancient cures.Gum arabic is not an ancient ingredient.] Recipe for Marshmallow sweets Make sure the mallow roots aren't moldy or too woody. Marshmallow gives off almost twice its own weight of mucilaginous gel when placed in water. 4 tablespoons marshmallow roots 28 tablespoons refined sugar 20 tablespoons gum arabic Water of orange flowers (for aroma or instead of plain water) 2 cups water 1-2 egg whites, well beaten Make a tea of marshmallow roots by simmering in a pint of water for twenty to thirty minutes. Add additional water if it simmers down. Strain out the roots. Heat the gum and marshmallow decoction (water) in a double boiler until they are dissolved together. Strain with pressure. Stir in the sugar as quickly as possible. When dissolved, add the well beaten egg whites, stirring constantly, but take off the fire and continue to stir. Lay out on a flat surface. Let cool, and cut into smaller pieces. (Recipe from Herbal Medicine by Diane Dincin Buchman, Ph.D.) Syrup of Marshmallows, The Complete Confectioner, Eleanor Parkinson [Lippincott:Philadelphia] 1864 (p. 23) Pate de Guimauve (Pate de guimauve was the French confection made from the roots.) Take of decoction of: marshmallow roots 4 ounces; water 1 gallon. Boil down to 4 pints and strain; then add gum arabic 1/2 a pound; refined sugar 2 pounds. Evaporate to an extract; then take from the fire, stir it quickly with: the whites of 12 eggs previously beaten to a froth; then add, while stirring. Marshmallow cream/creme The general concensus of the food history sources is that Marshmallow Fluff was the first marsmallow creme to be manufactured and marketed on a large scale to the American public. "Is Fluff the same as Marshmallow Creme? Generically, they are the same, but Fluff is made by a costly, batch-whipping process. Creme is whipped in a continuous mixing process. The differing results are quite evident." ( Durkee & Mower). Prior to that marshmallow creme-type products were made by cooks at home. Many late 19th century marshmallow paste recipes produced solid foods. The first spreadable marshmallow creme recipes we find in American used store-bought marshmallows. This substance was used for cake filling. The earliest mention we find of marshmallow creme in an American cookbook is from Fannie Farmer's Boston School Cook Book, 1896: "Marshmallow cake. 1/2 cup butter 1 1/2 cups sugar 1/2 cup milk 2 cups flour 3 teasoons baking powder 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar Whites 5 eggs 1 teaspoon vanilla. Follow recipe for mixing butter cakes. Bake in shallow pans, and put Marshmallow Cream between the layers and on the top." (p. 427) Ms. Farmer does not give a recipe for Marshmallow Cream in this book (perhaps an oversight?). She does give a recipe for Marshmallow Paste in the cake filling section: "Marshmallow paste 3/4 cup sugar 1/4 cup milk 1/4 marshmallows 2 tablespoons hot water 1/2 teaspoon vanilla Put sugar and milk in a saucepoan, heat slowly to boiling point without stirring, and boil six minutes. Break marshmallows in pieces and melt in double boiler, add hot water and cook until mixture is smooth, then add hot syrup gradually, stirring constantly. Beat until cool enough to spread, then add vanilla. This may be used for both filling and frosting." (p. 435) Sarah Tyson Rorer lists this recipe in 1902: "Marshmallow filling. Put a half pound of marshmallows and a quarter cupful of water in a double boiler over the fire. Stir until melted. Take from the fire and our while hot into the well beaten whites of two eggs. Add a teaspoonful of vanilla." ---Mrs. Rorer's New Cook Book (p. 627) Related foods? Scooter pies, Moon pies & Mallomars, Rice Krispies treats, Nabisco Marshmallow Sandwiches, & s'mores. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Marzipan Food historians tell us marzipan, a paste composed of ground almonds and sugar, probably originated in the Middle East and introduced to Europe in the late Middle Ages. There is much scholarly debate regarding the etymology of this word. Hense, the true origins are obscure. Marzipan is well documented from the Renaissance to present. One of the special features of this particular confection through time is its ability to be sculpted into fantastic shapes. According to the British food historians, marzipan can be placed in England at the end of the 15th century. This conclusion is drawn from documented print evidence. Certainly, words (as foods) enter a culture before they are recorded in print. If you are interested in a detailed discussion on the complicated history of the word "marzipan" ask your librarian to help you find "Venice and the Spice Trade," Medieval Arab Cookery, Maxime Rodinson, A.J. Arberry & Charles Perry [Prospect Books:Devon] 2001 (p. 211-3) "Marzipan, a paste made from ground almonds, was orignally called marchpane in English--or martspane, or mazapane, or marchpan. These were the best efforts English-speakers could make at the word when it was borrowed, either via early modern French "marcepain" or from its source, Italian "marzapane," at the end of the fifteenth century." ---An A-Z of Food and Drink, John Ayto [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 2002 (p. 206) "Marchpane, or marzipan was a discovery of the later Middle Ages, dependent as it was upon the union of ground almonds with sugar...One of the earliest uses for the paste was in subtleties. These were figures of men, animals, trees, castles and so forth made from sugar paste and jelly, and placed before an admiring audience at the end of each course of a great medieval feast. Often the figures had an allegorical meaning, and bore written mottoes appropriate to the occasion. The subtleties varied from simple depictions of a gilded eagle, or a swan upon a green stork, carrying mottoes in their bills, to such complexities as a portrayal of the Trinity in the sun of gold with a crucifix in His hand attended by saints and the kneeling figure of the new Archbishop of Canterbury, for whose enthronement feast the subtelty had been made. When they had been sufficiently applauded they were dismantled and eaten. In the fifteenth century a marchpane began to emerge as an object in its own right. And by Elizabeth I's reign, when the subtlety was becoming archiaic, a marchpane was regularly produced as the chief showpiece at the banquet or dessert course served to guests at the end of a meal. It was made of ground almonds and sugar on a base of wafer biscuits, and was formed into a round (a hoop of green hazelwood somethimes helped shape it). Ye may while it is moist, strike it full of comfits of sundry colours, in a comely order...The frosting of the marchpane with sugar and rosewater to make it shine like ice was an important part of the preparation; and so was the gilding with decorative shapes in gold leaf..." ---Food and Drink in Britain From the Stone Age to the 19th Century, C. Anne Wilson [Academy Chicago Press:Chicago] 1991 (p. 336-7) RECIPES [1660] Marchpane, Accomplist Cook, Robert May [1660] March-pane "To make the best March-pane...lay it upon a fair Table, and strowing searft-sugar under it, mould it like leaven, then with a rolling pin role it forth, and lay it upon wafers, washt with Rose-water; then pinch it about the sides, and put it into what form you please, and so set it into a hot stove, and there bake it crisply, and serve it forth." ---The English Hous-Wife, Gevase Markham [1660], Book 2, (p. 93) [1753] "To make March-pane Take a pound of Jordan almonds, blanch and put to them three quarters of a pound of double refined sugar, and beat them with a few drips of orange-flower water; beat all together till tis a very good paste, then roll it into what shape you please; dust a little fine sugar under it as you roll it, to keep it from sticking. To ice it, searce double refined sugar as fine as flour, wet it with rose water, and mix it well together, and with a brush or bunch of feathers spread it over your march-pane: bake them in an oven that is not too hot; put wafer paper at the bottom, and white paper under that, so keep them for use." ---The Compleat Housewife or, Accompish'd Gentlewoman's Companion, E. Smith, facsimile 1753 edition [Literary Services and Production:London] 1968 (p. 173) "To make March-pane unboiled. Take a pound of almonds, blanch them and beat them in rose-water; when they are finely beaten, put to them a half pound of sugar, beat and searched, and work it to a paste; spread some on wafers, and dry it in an oven; when it is cold, have ready the white of an egg beaten with rose-water, and double refined sugar. Let it be as thick as butter, then draw your march-pane thro'it, and put it in the oven: it will ice in a little time, then keep them for use. If you have a mind to have your march-pane large, cut it when it is rolled out by a pewter-plate, and edge it about the top like a tart, and bottom with wafer-paper, and set it in the oven, and ice it as aforesaid: when the icing rises, take it out, and strew coloured comfits on it, or serve sweetmeats on it." ---ibid (p. 208) [1753] "To make common March-panes. Take a sufficent Quantity of Almonds, which are to be scalded in hot Water, blanched, and thrown into cold Water as they are done; then being wiped and drain'd, they must be beaten in a Stone Mortar, and moistened with the White of an Egg, to prevent their turning into Oil. In the mean while, having caused Half as much clarify'd Sugar as Paste, to be brought to its feathered Quality, toss in your Almonds by Handfuls, or else pour the boiling Sugar upon them in another Vessel: Let them be well intermixed, and the Paste continually stirred on all Sides. When it is done enough, it must be laid upon Powder-sugar, and set by to cool Afterwards, several Pieces of a convenient Thickness may be taken out, of which you are to cut your Marchpanes with certain Moulds, gently slipping them off with the Tip of your Finger upon Sheets of Paper, in order to be heated in the Oven only on one Side; that done, the other Side is to be iced over, and baked in like Manner; otherwise the Paste may be rolled out, or squeezed through a Syringe, and made curbed, or jagged, of a round, oval, or long Figure, in the Shape of a Heart, &c." ---The Lady's Companion, Sixth Edition, Volume II [London:J. Hodges] 1753 (p. 348) [1749-1799] "To make Machpane Cakes. Take almonds & blanch them in warme water, then beat them very fine in a stone morter and put in a little rose water to keepe them from oyling, then take the same weight in sugar as you doe of almonds, & mingle it with them when they are beaten very small & short, onely reserveing some of it to mould up the almonds with all. Then make them up in pritty thick cakes, & harden them in a bakeing pan. The make a fine clear candy, & doe it over you marchpanes with a feather. Soe set them in your pan againe, till the candy grow hard. Then take them out, & candy the other side. Set them in againe, & look often to the them. Keepe a very temperate fire, both over & u[nder them,] & set them in a stove todry." ---Martha Washington's Booke of Cookery and Booke of Sweetmeats, transcribed by Karen Hess [Columbia University Press:New York] 1981 (p. 322) [NOTE: this book contains more marzipan recipes and a wealth of notes regarding marzipan/marchpane and period cooking. Your librarian will be happy to help you find a copy.] Marchpane figured prominently in early wedding confections, according to Wedding Cakes and Cultural History, Simon R. Charsley (your librarian can help you find a copy of this book). ABOUT ALMONDS "Almond, kernel of the fruit of the Prunus dulcis. The fruit resembles a meagre peach, but is inedible. The kernel is used, sliced or ground, in cooking. Some trees produce bitter almonds; these have to be roasted before eating to eliminate their poisonous prussic acid. Almonds were being collected from the wild by the inhabitants of Franchthi Cave by 10,000 BC, and in Turkey, Syria and Palestine by that time or soon afterwards. Cultivation was probably under way by the third millenium BC: earliest evidence comes from Jordan. The almond was among the earliest of the domesticated fruit trees of the eastern Mediterranean, since, unlike some of the others, it can be propagated from seed...At Greek banquets they they were frequent constitutent of Roman cuisine they sometimes served as a flavouring...Bitter almonds were placed in sacci, bouquets, and to impart their flavour and medicinal properties to wine as it was served. These properties were widely reputed to include the prefention of drunkenness...Sweet almonds produce a mild-flavoued oil...Both kinds of almonds, and their oils, were important medicinally." ---Food in the Ancient World From A-Z, Andrew Dalby [Routledge:London] 2003 (p. 6) "Almonds are the fruit seeds of Prunus dulcis...a tree closely related to the peach and the plum, and are said to be native to the Mediterranean region and western Asia, wehre (like many other nuts) they doubtless helped to sustain our hunting-and-gathering forebears. Perhaps the oldest, as well as the most widely known, of the world's nut crops, almonds were first cultivated in Europe by the Greeks, are mentioned frequently in the Old Testament, and were a favorite of the Romans, whose sugared almonds may have been among the first sweetmeats in history. Recipes incorporating almond "flour" date from the Middle Ages in Europe, a period when almond "milk" was also used--as a liquid substitute for milk and eggs on days of fasting. The Spaniards brought the almond to the New World, where it is now grown extensively in California...There are two types of almonds: sweet and bitter. Nuts of the latter type contain prussic acid and thus are toxic when raw; these must be blanched and roasted before being processed into an oil, a paste, or an extract that is sued to flavor liqueurs and some confections. Sweet almonds...are eaten whole, as well as blanched, slivered, chopped, diced, and ground for pastries...Almond paste is the soul of macaroons and marzipan." ---Cambridge World History of Food, Kenneth F. Kiple and Kriemhild Conee Ornelas [Cambridge University Press:Cambridge] 2000 Volume 2, (p. 1717) "The oldest mention of almond cultivation is in the Bible. Aaron's rod, which miraculously bore flowers and fruit, was of almond wood (Numbers 17:8). The ancient Greeks cultivated almonds, and their name for the nut, amygdalon, had become, via Latin, the botanical name of the species and, in corrupted form, is the name in modern European languages...In classical times Phoenician traders introduced its cultivation into Spain; and it was being grown in the south of early as the 8th century...Uses of almonds are in many instances of great antiquity. They were of early importance in early Arabic and medieval European cookery, partly as a source of the almond milk which was used in early versions of blancmange...since then, the main importance of the nut has been to the confectionery industry. Such products as marzipan and nougat and macaroon all depend on it. The Spanish range of almond-flavored cakes, biscuits, etc. is probably the most extensive in the world." ---Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 1999 (p. 12) About almonds in china "Nuts play a minor part in Chinese food...Most important are the kernels of apricots...Special varieties with uninteresting fruit are grown soley for their large, sweet, nontoxic seeds, which are used as almonds are used in the West. True almonds are barely known and not normally used." ---Food of China, E.N. Anderson Yale University Press:New Haven] 1988 (p. 168) "Chinese Almond. Domestication of the almond, Prunus amygdalus, is usually placed in an area stretching from the eastern Mediterranean to Central Asia, where it is found in the wild. Likely it was domesticated by the third millennium B.C. or earlier...The early Chinese knew of the tree and its kernels in Persia and other lands to the west. They also imported almond kernels, as among the tribute sent from Turkestan to China in T'ang times. The tree itself was reported by the Arab merchant Soleiman to be cultivated in China in the mid-ninth century...and Li Shi-chen late in the sixteenth-century wrote of it as growing everywhere 'east of the Pass' (that is, in Kansu and Shensi)...Though the above would seem to leave little doubt that almonds had been cultivated at least somewhere in China or its margins, there has nevertheless been controversy among Western scholars as to whether, at least in traditional times, almonds were actually grown there and whether the kernels that foreigners in China often called 'almonds' were almonds or apricot kernels. Adding to the confusion were the similarities in appearance, taste, and use between apricot and almond kernels, which sometimes led the Chinese, on their part, to call the almond kernel by the name 'apricot kernel.'... Laufer...who has provided the most detailed analysis of the historical evidence, was convinced that the almond had been cultivated in China in the past. He also presented evidence from the Chinese literature suggesting that it was still cultivated there in the nineteenth century, but allowed the possibility that almond cultivation 'is now extinct in China.' Other authorities, among them naturalists and botanists with extensive field experience in traditional China, are more firm in their conclusion that almonds were not cultivated there. To this writer, it seems reasonable to believe that the almond could not have been widely cultivated in China and been missed by so many widely-traveled, careful observers. Yet the evidence presented by Laufer seems to leave the possibility open that the almond continued to be cultivated in some places, especially in the far northwest." ---Food in China: A Cultural and Historical Inquiry, Frederick J. Simoons [CRC Press:Boca Raton FL] 1989 (p. 269-270) Almonds in Chinese cuisine "It would, however, have been of quite minor importance overall, with the overwhelming share of the kernels known to foreigners as 'almonds' being in fact apricot kernels. This fits with H.L. Li's statement on the matter...that real almonds are scarcely known; and with Meyer's conclusion...that the 'almond cake' commonly served foreigners in traditional China was in fact made with kernels of the apricot...There are...several varieties of P. armenaica grown primarily for their seed in China. The fruit of the best variety contains a large stone with a fairly-soft shell and sweet kernel, and may be served as a snack, sometimes sugared, along with raisins and other kinds of nuts, or ground into almond flour which is made into almond cakes or cookies or into a thin porridge. On occasion, such kernels may be salted, and in appearance and flavor are just like real almond. Another variety, P. armeniaca has a bitter-tasting kernel that contains prussic acid and must be used in small amounts, as for flavoring sweets, or in making 'almond soup' or 'almond tea,' a drink commonly sold along the streets...As for the preparation of such almond soup, Meyer noted that first rice was boiled until soft, then pounded and mixed with water until it had the consistency of milk. Then a few bitter almonds were ground up and blended in along with sugar, and the soup served hot. The soup, which was tasty and stimulating, was commonly consumed by the Chinese just before going to bed. Such 'almond soup' or 'almond tea' was well-liked as a snack not only among the people of North China but in the Ch'ing court, was also believed effective against sore throat...There was also a popular dish, found among those of Ch'ing court, called 'Almond Curd,' a cold gelatin dessert made of water, agar-agar, ground almonds, and sugar...Such almond soup and almond curd (also called almond float, almond lake, or almond junket), as made today in China, may include almond or vanilla extract, milk, and/or fruit of one sort or another...Prepared in a different, somewhat more elaborate way is the Cantonese dessert 'Fried Almond Custard'...Chinese almonds are also commonly used in other ays, as in candies, cakes, and cookies, and in a broad range of main dishes, such as Cantonese 'Red and White Chicken with Almonds' and the Szechwanese 'Almond Duck'." ---Food in China: A Cultural and Historical Inquiry, Frederick J. Simoons [CRC Press:Boca Raton FL] 1989 (p. 270) What are "Jordan Almonds?" Almonds yes, Jordan (the country) no. The practice of coating nuts and seeds for preservation purposes is ancient. Think: Brittle. Colorful sugar-coated almonds surface in Medieval times and flourish in the "modern" era. Recipes progressed via technology and time. "The well-known varieties include Jordan (nothing to do with the country of that name, but a corruption of the Spanish "jardin", meaning garden.)" ---Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 1999 (p. 12) "There are essentially two types of almond: bitter almonds, which contain prussic acid by can be used in very sparing quantities as a flavoring, and ordinary eating almonds. Of the latter, Jordan almonds are probably the most highly regarded variety. Their long thin shape may have inspired the comparison of oriental women's eyes to almonds. They have no connection whatsoever with Jordan (they are mainly grown in Spain, in fact); their name is an alteration of Middle English jaren ('garden') almond." ---An A-Z of Food & Drink, John Ayto [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 2002 (p. 4-5) "Of the important Shelled Almonds, the best known are the Jordan and Valencia, chiefly from Malaga, Spain. Jordan Almonds are long and plump and pointed at one end...They are highly esteemed both as a dessert item and for confectionery purposes." ---Grocer's Encyclopedia/Artemas Ward [1911] (p. 20) When were Jordan Almond trees introduced to the USA? According to this article in the New York Times, possibly 1901: "The Department of Agriculture has at last succeeded in securing some Jordan Almond trees, in the exportation of which has been rigorously prohibited by Spain for some years. The Government will now experiment with the trees to determine the best localities for growing them. This species of almond is regarded by the agricultural authorities as the finest in the world, but only its fruit has heretofore reached this country, the trees having been jealously guarded in Spain. The bush has been forwarded here by the Agricultural Department's agent, who is seaching in Spain for rare plants." ---"Jordan Almond Trees Exported," New York Times, October 2, 1901 (p. 5) "For many years it has been the ambition of California almond growers to produce Jordan almonds in that State. They did not get on very well with their first attempts, but recently a nursery company doing business at Alameda imported some almond trees from France, where Jordan almonds are rarely found, and from one of these trees some very good specimens of what were supposed to be real Jordan almonds were produced. In order to find out whether they were real Jordans, the nursery company sent samples to the United States Consul in Malaga...the were unhesitatingly declared to be almondra larga, of the famous Jordan almonds of commmerce, of fair medium grade. The taste seemed quite the same, and there is a very little difference in the shape. A surprising feature of this incident lies in the fact that the almonds in question are said to have been grown on a tree imported from France...The report from California and the result of my investigation would indicate...that Jordan almonds can now be grown in California. If this be true, California growers probably will find the matter will be worth their attention, as both the demand and the prices for Jordan almonds have steadily increased during recent years. The present price of these almonds for the popular grade known as confectioners' is $3.75 per box of twenty-five pounds at Malaga." ---"California Able to Raise Jordan Almonds," Los Angeles Times, April 29, 1902 (p. 7) Why are sugar coated almonds traditional wedding favors? Sugar coated nuts, known in Renaissance times as comfits have long been proferred as gifts. Until recently, sugar coated almonds were expensive. They were reserved for the finest banquets, especially wedding feasts. "The portability of comfits led to a gentler custom of handing them out as gifts. In 1702, Massailot mentioned placing on the banquet table little baskets of dry sweetmeats decorated with ribbons: one for each guest, to be taken home and shared with the family. it is echoed by the gift of 'favours', little bags of sugared almonds, to wedding guests in southern Europe. Not just wedding guests: different colours of almond indicate different celebrations, a christening, an engagement, and anniversary (although some-- for instance graduations--may be inspired by modern marketing rather than long tradition)." ---Sugarplums and Sherbet: The Prehistory of Sweets, Laura Mason [Prospect Books:Devon] 2004 (p. 129) "...sugared almonds, one of the oldest sweetmeats in history, do perhaps come from ancient Rome. Metz, Nancy, Paris, Verdun and Toulouse are among the cities and towns of France famous for their sugared almonds. Earlier still, however, the Romans of classical times distributed them at public and private ceremonies. Sugared almonds are mentioned amnong the gifts given to great men in accounts of receptions...In fifteenth-century Cambrai, Marguerite of Burgundy, at her wedding to Guillaume IV of Hainault, wished to have sugared almonds given 'to the common people by her comfit-maker Pierre Host...'" ---History of Food, Maguelonne Toussaint-Samat, translated by Anthea Bell [Barnes and Noble Books:New York] 1992 (p. 567-8) "Mr. Salvatore Ferrara came to America from Nola, Italy, in 1900 and founded Ferrara Pan Candy Company in 1908. At the time of his immigration from Italy, Mr. Ferrara was a confectioner, skilled in the art of making...sugar coated candy almonds. Sugar coated candy almonds are otherwise knwon as "confetti" in Italy and other parts of Europe. These candy-coated almonds were also called Jordan Almonds or almond dragees, and they continue to be a tradition at many weddings and celebrations. Early on, then they were covered with white sugar, they were a candy that symbolized purity and fertility...From 1908 to 1919, the sugar coated almond business grew. Mr. Ferrara was soon shipping his classic, always fresh and in-demad product all over the Midwest." ---Candy: The Sweet History, Beth Kimmerle [Collector's Press:Portland OR] 2003 (p. 96) Recipe, circa 1899: "Prawlings, or Fried Almonds.--Take a pound of the best Jordan almonds, rub them very clean from the dust; take their weight in loaf sugar, wet it with orange flower water, and boil it to a syrup; then throw the almonds into it and boil them to a candy, constantly stirring until they are dry; then put them into dish and take away the loose bits andknobs which will be about them; put the almonds into the preserving pan and set them on a slow fire until some of their oil comes from them into the bottom of the pan." ---"Quaint Old Desserts," New York Times, May 28, 1899 (p. 23) Almond symbolism "The almond tree originated in the Middle East and western Asia, and since prehistory people considrered it a symbol of sweetness and fragility. In the spring, the tree was one of the first to bloom, and late frosts could easily destroy its delicate buds. If the almond tree survived the frosts, it soon became a bestower of a wealth of gifts. In addition to providing nuts, oil, and shells for fuel, the almond tree was aesthetically pleasing, with lovely flowers and beautiful leaves. So the almond tree inspired worship....The identification of the almond as father or as mother reflected the fact that almond blossoms herald the spring and thus the birth of vegetation. Because the almond tree blossoms suddenly, the Hebrews considered it a symbol of haste, and because the almond tree that survives the frosts bestows gifts of nuts and oil, they considrered it a symbol of vigilance...People revered the almond tree as a provider--of life, of love, and of happiness." ---Nectar and Ambrosia: An Encyclopedia of Food in World Mythology, Tamra Andrews [ABC-CLIO:Santa Barbara] 2000 (p. 5-6) Almond links, includes botanical information and pictures History & fun facts, California Almond Board Related foods? Marzipan, brittle, pralines & Mexican wedding cakes. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Mints Ancient Greeks and Romans valued mint for several medical reasons. Two of these were aiding digestion and freshining one's breath. Throughout time, mint was used to flavor many differenty types of foods. Mint candies, as we know them today, date back to Renaissance times (when sugar was readily available). Mint-flavored chocolate candies date back to the second half of the 19th century (when solid chocolate was manufactured as candy.)The practice of pairing lamb with mint capitalizes on mint's soothing digestive properties. "Mint. The common name of most plants of the genus Mentha. There are two dozen species, and many hundreds of varieties...The superstitions and beliefs associated with mint are often of ancient origin and vary with different cultures...In Rome, Pliny recommended that a wreath of mint was a good thing for students to wear since it was thought to 'exhilarate their minds'...Mints, usually spearmint, are used, fresh or dried, to make jams, jellies, and sauces, to accompany meat, fish, or vegetable dishes...In England mint sauce is served with roast lamb. Gerard (1633) wrote that 'the smell of mint does stir up the minde and the taste to a greedy desire of meat'. Certainly the mint flavor is sweet and refreshing; and mint has digestive properties, so the habit of taking an 'after-dinner mint' has some foundation." ---Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 1999 (p. 508) "Mint, aromatic plant of Europe and elsewhere. Mint was well known in classical Greece and in Roman Italy, where, according to Pliny, it was a scent familiar at coutnry feasts. In Greece, however, mint is seldome mentioned in the context of food and dining." ---Food in the Ancient World From A to Z, Andrew Dalby [Routledge:London] 2003 (p. 219) "Mints. A colloquial English term from any small sugar confectionery item flavoured with mint, especially boiled sugar sweets...Mint has a long therapeutic history as an aide to digestion and a breath freshener." ---Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 1999 (p. 508) "Sugar was considered to have health benefits; it was also useful for preserving decoctions of herbs and other physic such as flowers and roots. It made bitter herbs more palatable and, formed into candy, allowed the slow release of soothing essences for sore throats and coughs. Recipes of this kind were probably the ancestors of several sweets which have survived as regional specialties: cough candy, Kendal Mint Cake, and Scottish tablet...It has a long precedent, and is a survivor of many other candied medicaments, most of which have vanished. Cures for other ailments were sometimes administered in candy, as a recipe from A Queens Delight shows: Sugar of Wormwood, Mint, Anniseed, or any other of that kinde. Take double refined sugar; and do but wet it in fair water, or Rose-water and boil it to a candy, when it is almost boiled takeit off and stir till it be cold; the drop in three or four drops of the Oyles of whatsoever you will make, and stir it well, then drop it on a board, being before fitted with sugar.'...The qualities of mint as a digestive, and the alternatives...suggest the recipe was intended to comfort the digestion. The recipe is an early published example of the use of mint in sweetmeats in Britain. This flavour, not a distinctive feature of Polos, mint imperials, spearmint gum, Glacier Mints and many others, appears to have become popular in the middle of the last century. A factor may have been ready availability of good-quality mit oil from Mitcham in Surrey, at a time when sugar confectionery was rapidly commercializing. Mint oil was reliable, probably relatively cheap, and a strong flavour which was easy to handle, by small-as well as large-scale confectioners. Candied peppermint was one of several simple mint-flavored confections given in a small, provincial book in the1820s. Mint-flavored candy is still being made by a similar process to the seventeeth-century recipe given above (but without the rosewater) and sold under the name of Kendal Mint Cake. Why this confection should survive as a specialty of a small town in north-west England is not clear. The first record of an association between product and town occurs in the mid-nineteeth century." ---Sugarplums and Sherbet: The Prehistory of Sweets, Laura Mason [Prospect Books:Devon] 2004 (p. 69-70) Why do we serve mint (sauce, jelly) with lamb? While it is true that mint is an ancient herb known to the Greeks, culinary evidence confirms the combination of mint jelly with lamb is an English tradition. The tradition was conceived for medical/health rasons, as mint has long been appreciated for calming the digestive system. Lamb is fatty and hard to digest. The pairing of pork and applesauce follows the same general principal. "Mint was grown and pickled in vinegar by the Romans, who introduced the plant into England. Throughout the Middle Ages, the herb was commonly grown in convent and monestary gardens and used extensively in cooking and medicine. Mints, usually spearmint, are used, fresh or dried, to make jams, jellies, and sauces, to accompany meat, fish, or vegetable dishes. The leaves are also used to make teas, an Arab custom especially noticeable in North Africa...In England mint sauce is served with roast lamb. Gerard (1633) wrote that the smell of mint does stir up the minde and the taste a greedy desire of meat'. Certainly the mint flavour is sweet and refreshing and mint has digestive properties, so the habit of taking an after-dinner mint' has some foundation." ---Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 1999 (p. 508) "Mint is an aromatic herb that people have used since ancient times both as a condiment and as a medicinal. It was highly valued by the ancient Hebrews, the Greeks, and the Romans, all of whom used mint much more frequnetly than people do today. Mint was alluring, but at the same time satisfying. The ancients considered it an aphrodesiac, yet also believed that it made women sterile and men impotent." ---Nectar and Ambrosia: An Encyclopedia of Food in World Mythology, Tamra Andrews [ABC-CLIO:Santa Barbara] 2000 (p. 151) "Lamb is a fatty meat, and most cuisines recognize the need for some kind of acid ingredient or sauce to 'cut' this. In England, mint sauce, composed of chopped fresh mint, sugar, and vinegar, has been the accepted accompaniement for roast lamb since the mid-19th century...Around the North Mediterranean, including Spain, the Balkans and Greece, sauces for lamb are thickened with egg yolks beaten up with lemon juice." ---Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 1999 (p. 441) "Lamb, Sauce for.--Mint sauce is usually served with lamb. To make it: Strip the leaves from some fresh young mint, wash and dry them well, and chop them as finely as possible. Put them into a tureen, and cover them with powdered sugar in the proportion of a table-spoonful of sugar to one and a half of mint. Let these remain for half an hour, then pour over them three table-spoonfuls of vinegar. If after a trial this sauce is found to be too sweet, a less proportion of sugar can be used; but it has been very generally approved when prepared as above. The vinegar is sometimes strained from the mint-leaves before being sent to table. Time, a few minutes to prepare. Probable cost, 3d. Sufficient for three or four persons." ---Cassell's Dictionary of Cookery with Numerous Illustrations [Cassell, Petter, Galpin & Co.:London] 1875? (p. 360) Americans continued the English tradition of pairing of lamb with mint jelly. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Pop Rocks Food historians credit General Foods chemist William A. Mitchell for this unique confection. His 1956 patent "Gelatin Derivates and Their Preparation." [number: 2834771], a method for combining carbon dioxide with hard candy, made Pop Rocks possible. It took General Foods nearly 20 years to figure out how to market Mitchell's carbonated consumable. Enter Pop Rocks, first test marketed in Arizona, February 1976. The candies were soon bootlegged and eventually sank into the realm of urban legend. When rumors warned consumers mixing this product with soda made people's stomaches explode sales plumetted. GF dropped Pop Rocks, divesting the loss leader to another company. But you can't keep an explosive idea under wraps. Especially if it's tasty, sweet, and cheap. The new trademark owner successfully reintroduced the candy a few years later. Today, Pop Rocks are alive and well, thriving in both current and nostalgia lines. They celebrated their 40th anniversary in 2006. According to the records of the US Patent & Trademark Office, Pop Rocks were registered by General Foods Corporation June 15, 1976: "Word Mark POP ROCKS Goods and Services (CANCELLED) IC 030. G & S: NO GOODS/SERVICES STATEMENT ON TRAM Mark Drawing Code (1) TYPED DRAWING Serial Number 81041425 Filing Date 0000 Current Filing Basis UNKNOWN Original Filing Basis UNKNOWN Registration Number 1041425 Registration Date June 15, 1976 Owner (REGISTRANT) General Foods Corporation UNKNOWN White Plains NEW YORK Register PRINCIPAL Live/Dead Indicator DEAD Cancellation Date November 9, 1982" The earliest print reference we find for test marketing is this: + "Enter "Pop Rocks": General Foods Co,. tests a "crackling candy" in various fruit flavors. Ingredients are similar to conventional hard candy except that carbon dioxide is included. Result: a sensation of candy particles bursting noisily in the mouth as the Pop Rocks dissolve." ---"Business Bulletin: Special Background Report on Trends in Industry and Finance," Wall Street Journal, February 5, 1976 (p. 1) " One of the great challenges of modern industry has been the problem of soda pop. Most of it is water, which means that most of the money spent to transport the stuff from bottling joint to store has been spent to transport water. How much nicer if the pop and its bubbles could be powdered. General Foods' efforts to solve the problem of powdered pop have led to the already legendary Pop Rocks and Space Dust candies, wich are still being test marketed, and black-marketed by kids where they aren't available. The candies fizz, releasing carbonation in the mouth or in the hand when they come in contact with moisture. While General Foods wrestles with the problem, Eugene Dana, president of Nellson Candies, is testing his solution, Advertising Age reported. His Carb-O-Nated powdered mix cones come in cherry, lemon-lime, grape, and orange. It is being tested in Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Texas. Six packets, each of which makes a 10-ounce drink, retail for 99 cents, one cent an ounce chaper than buying a name brand six pack of canned soda pop in Chicago. No cola yet, but give them time." ---"News for you: Powdered soda pop." Chicago Tribune, August 22, 1977 (p. B1) "With nothing but word-of-mouth advertising behind them, General Foods' Space Dust and Pop Rocks carbonated candies are outselling most--if not all--major candy brands 'in any makret where they are introduced,' according to a GF exec. But the unusual candies, which cause a bursting, tinlging sensation in the mouth, can be marketed only for 13-week periods at a time in order to prevent the carbonation from dissapating and spoioing the moment for kids. They are also sensitive to heat, so GF has a policy of not introducing them in markets where the average temperature exceeds 85 degrees. GF is attempting to educate the trade about the prdoucts because of instances where they have been 'bootlegged' into other markets. In one case, a heat in a truck carrying the prudcuts was accidentally turned on. The gas released from several hundred Pop Rocks cases eventually blew the truck doors open. 'When that happens, you're left with just hard candy,' the exec said. The carbon dioxide in Pop Rocks is one-tenth of the amount contained in a can of soft drink...Now that temperatures are beginning to climb across the nation, GF has stopped selling them. When fall arrives, however, Pop Rocks and Space Dust willl reappear in much wider distribution, perhaps as many as 37 states. During a 13-week introduction, a reatailer is permitted a single order and receives one shipment. According to the GF exec, a retailer can expect to sell half his supply within four weeks and 90% by the tenth week. The candies have been subject of much free publicity in newspapers and on network tv talk shows, including Johnny Carson's monolog on the 'Tonight Show' April 12. Although there has been no advertising to date, Benton & Bowles has done some concept work on the products. Pop Rocks was first tested in Flagstaff and Yuma, Ariz, in 1976. It was followed by Space Dust, whose initial test markets were in Colorado and Arizona. Both sell for 15 cents. In February of last year, the phrase 'explore the far reaches of your mind.' was removed from packages of Space Dust after GF received complaints that the reference seemed based on drug use. At the time, the company expressed shock that anyone would misinterpret the phrase. The company earlier denied rumors that the patented technique used to produce Pop Rocks and Space Dust would be applied in development of a carbonated powdered drink mix." ---"Pop Rockes hot item--but not too hot, please," Adverstising Age, April 17, 1978 (p.1) "General Foods has a hit with Pop Rocks and Space Dust, two forms of the hard candy with locked-in carbonation that makes an audible appearance when it his the mouth. But despite their success, both 15-cent candies have not left test-market status, regardless of how many kids bootleg them across the country. The problem is the manufacturer can't introduce them "in markets where the average temperature exceeds 85 degress," Advertising Age reported. Not only are kids bootlegging them, but eager merchants are, too. And one hapless fellow lost his whole shipment wehnt he truck carrying it accidentally had its heat turned on. The Pop Rock cargo released its carbonation and blew the truck doors open. Next fall, though, General [Foods] plans to market the candies temporarily in 37 safely cool states, making the candies perhaps the only processed snack available soley in season." ---"News for you: Too successfull for their own good," Mary Knoblauch, Chicago Tribune, April 19, 1978 (p. A2) """It's like raining on the roof of your mouth," says a middle-aged person who tried it...""It" is Pop Rocks, a new carbonated hard candy that sizzles, snaps, pops and tingles in your mouth, and brings grimaces, faint smiles and startled reactions from first-time tasters. "Explore the far reaches of your mind," says the package. Since it has no apparent purpose or social significance--two key fad criteria--Pop Rocks promises to win a place in the pantheon of freaky gimmicks that infect America from time to time. All of which brings more smiles than grimaces to General Foods, maker of Pop Rocks, which has sold "hundreds of millions" of the packets...In fact, in true fad fashion Pop Rocks seem to be something of a hot underground item. They're being bootlegged to New York and sold on the street and in a few stores for three and four times the normal price. Rumors about their existence and even a few samples of the 20-cent packages have reached Washington, but exactly when the product will be on sale here, the manufacturer isn't saying. Meanwhile reports like a recent on in Advertising Age (confirmed by General Foods) that a overheated load of Pop Rocks blew the doors open on a delivery truck have raised questions about the product's safety. Speculation that Pop Rocks might harm the esophogus or the taste buds led NBC consumer reporter Betty Furness to take to the air recently to calm parents' fears. The secret ingredient of General Foods' smach seller is carbon dioxide, about one-tenth the amount that's put into soft drinks to make them fizz. While a Pop Rock left on the tip of the tongue with one's mouth open will "explode," ingredients for the product were okayed by the Food and Drug Administration before General Foods started to test market it in 1976. Meanwhile, the company's hot product has its own unique sales difficulties. The company says Pop Rocks can't be sold in areas where the average temperature is over 85 degreses. And sales are being suspended over the summer for the same reason. The shelf-life is also limited because the carbonation dissapates over a period of time and then you're left with "just another hard candy." But wherever they appear, says the company, they are being hoarded. It's not unusal to see people walk out of a store, carrying a large shopping bag filled with nothing but Pop Rocks or Star Dust (the former are large rock-like pieces; the latter, dust-like bits.) Which explains why the candy is outselling most, if not all major candy bars "in any market where they are introduced." General Foods says." ---"It Snaps, Crackles And-Yes-Pops: Carbonated Candy That Explodes in Your Mouth," Washington Post, April 21, 1978 (p. C3) [NOTE: This article contains a photograph of the package.] "The giant semi raced through the night across America from California to Brooklyn. Inside was a precious cargo whos street value in New York would be double its West Coast price. Thousands of packs were unloaded at one distributor's warehouse, then channeled stealthily to selected candy and variety shops. Candy shops? Yes, the cargo was destined to feed the latest kid candy craze: Pop Rocks. Says the Brooklyn distributor: "The kids sare like junkies--hungry for the stuff. It's the fastest-moving new candy I've ever seen." The candy, so goes a Wall Street analyst's version, was born when a General Foods Corp. chemist mixed a little "Kool Aid technology" with cargon dioxide...Crystalline in shape and so far available in three flavors (cherry, orange, grape), Pop Rocks are made of sugar, corn syrup, milk derivative and artificial coloring and flavoring. When the small crystals of candy are placed in the mouth, tiny chambers of trapped CO2 are activated by moisture. The result: a popping and crackling that delights kids. Pop Rocks are hard to get in most places, which only adds to their appear. General Foods markets the candy mainly in California, although there have been other test sales around the country in the past three years. GF tries to confine sales of the candy to its test markets, where a one-fifth-ounce package sells for 20 cents retail, but entrepreneurs have managed to obtain supplies and spirit them elsewhere, at prices up to 50c cents a package. Despite the potential demand, GF is moving cautiously before going national. Reason: although the food makes more than 400 food products, it has never before sold a candy." ---"Rock It to Me: Feeding a Candy Craze," Time, May 1, 1978 (p. 44) "General Foods has expanded its carbonated confection technology to a bubble gum and is testing Increda Bubble gum in a small market in the Northwest. The company hopes the bubble gum will become more of a year-round entry than its carbonated Pop Rocks and Space Dust candies, the latter which is due to be reintroduced under the name Cosmic Candy. GF has been marketing the candies on a cyclical basis because of their fad nature...According to sources close to the company, GF chose a very small Northwest market to aviod bootlegging--as serious problem that has occurred with the [Pop Rock] candies. In contrast to the more usual concern of concealing a test market because of competition, GF's worry is taht cand and gum wholesalers/distributors will buy up truckloads of the gum to ship East. In the New York area, the candies have sold for more than triple their suggested list oruice of 15 cents. In a card shop near Advertising Age's midtown New York office, Pop Rocks go for 50 cents a packet. Candy and gum distributors advertise in the New York Times to sell their supplies of Pop Rocks and Space Dust to retailers. One classified ad reads, "Pop Rock. Hottest candy in the U.S. Fast turnaround--large profit, available whoesale." It's the large profit and "consumer ripoff" that GF is hoping to avioid by concealing its test market. GF is worried taht in addition to making the test market impossible to read properly, hijacking and subsequent high retail prices will hurt GF's image and the product's sales potential when it is offically introduced in the East. Pop Rocks was first tested in Flagstaff and Yuma, Ariz. in 1976. It was followed by Space Dust in Colorado and Arizona. It has since been marketed sporadically in a number of western markets, but none has been sold since the spring because GF is accumulating enough candy for a major fall introduction in as many as 37 states...The package fods marketer recognized the fad aspect of the carbonated candies from the start. That is one reason it produces and wharehouses the candies until there is a 13 week supply. Usually either pop Rocks or Space Dust--not both--is introduced to a market area. Nine months later, long after the firest candies have dissappeared from the retail shelves, GF moves into the same market with the other item, and the fad begins anew...Prime targes are children under 15, who buy the candies not so much for themselves but to watch their friends try them. After three or four packets, the effect of the carbonation on one person has reached a saturation point, noted one source. The candies are expected to be introudced in a broad area this fall. Space Dust has been repackaged and renamed Cosmic Candy because of compliant about its association with the drug Angel Dust. Earlier, the phrase "explore the far reaches of your mind," was removed from packages of Space Dust after GF received compliants that the refernece seemed based on drug use. Network affiliated tv stations also expressed soem apprehension about tv commercials. The two candies are similar, although Pop Rocks is a somewhat larger particle." ---"GF keeps carbonated gum test hush hush to avoid bootleggers," Advertising Age, July 31, 1978 (p. 1) "What kind of mind thinks up products like exploding candy? "I'm basically a farmer type. I like to work with fruits and vegetables," says 67-year-old William A. Mitchell, a silver-haired father of Pop Rocks, a crackling confection so popular that black markets have appeared in schools all over the country. Pop Rocks, a General Foods product, is sold in most parts of the country for 20 cents a pack. That's 20 cents a pack in the store. "What's happened is that school kids would buy the packets and then sell them to their friends with quite a surcharge," Mitchell said in a interview. "They were profiteering." The tremendous demand for Pop Rocks led General Fods to build another manufacturing plant and Mitchell is now touring the country to introduce another sizzling sweet called Cosmic candy. Along the way, he's doing his best to quash rumors about Pop Rocks. The incendiary effects fo Pop Rocks, a carbonated combination of sugar, flavoring and coloirng, apparently inspired stories of exploding stomachs and other maladies among enthusiasts. All false, says Mitchell. "The amount of gas in a pack of Pop Rocks is less than one-tenth of what's in a can of soda pop," says Mitchell, noting that Pop Rocks have U.U. Food & Drug Administration approval. "The worst thing they can do is make you burp." Because of the peculiar nature of Pop Rocks, the product languished for more than 20 years after Mitchell first created them in 1956. General Foods simply wasn't sure what to do with them. "I always thought it should be candy, but most of our people thought it should be in some other product--cereal or soemthing," Mitchell said. Finally, a Canadian division started selling Pop Rocks in packets and General Foods decided to market them nationally." ---"Father of the Candy Bomb Just a Farmer at Heart," Los Angeles Times, April 30, 1979 (p. D12) "In 1976, General Foods Corp. began marketing a new candy called Pop Rocks--carbonated crystals that fizz and crackle in the mouth. Pop Rocks became what one distributor called "the fastest-moving new candy I've ever seen." Three years later, General Foods is planning to adapt the carbonated-candy idea to other products. Pop Rocks have posed some unusual marketing problems, however. Earlier this year, a false but widespread rumor that Mikey, the boy on the Life cereal commercial, had died from popping too many rocks prompted General Foods to take out ads in 45 newspapers assuring parents that the ingredients in Pop Rocks have FDA approval. Also, the company has to take the unsold candy off the shelves when the daily temperature averages more than 85 degrees. In high heat, Pop Rocks can start crackling ouside the mouth--and a shipment once blew open the doors on an overheated delivery truck. The company has so far sold more than 500 million packages of Pop Rocks and Cosmic Candy...Bill Mitchell, who invented Pop Rocks, believes that carbonated candy is only the beginning--that eventually such crystals will be an ingredient in everything from breakfast cereals to medication. General Foods has already begun test-marketing a product known as Increda Bubble--carbonated gum." ---"A Candy Craze Keeps Popping," Newsweek, June 4, 1979 (p. 15) "The bubble gum market is continuing to explode with new entries--American Chicle's Crackups, Life Savers' sugarless Bubble Yum and General Foods' especially appriate Increda Bubble gum with bursting candy particles...Although GF researchers have experimented with carbonation for years, it wasn't until recent years that the company came up with a viable product--carbonated candies. As that business expanded via some incredible successes on the West Coast for Pop Rocks and Cosmic Candy, GF began to work on a gum and carbonated candy concoction. Increda Bubble went into test in a small northwestern market a year ago. GF took great pains to maintain secrecy in order to avoid the bootlegging that occured with its carbonated candies. The unauthorized shipping of the candies, which crack and pop in the mouth, has been cited as a factor in the sales failure in the east. Just as Increda Bubble is rolling out, GF is mulling over the fate of the candies. After making what once source descried as a "mint of money" with the candies on the West Coast, GF lost all but a couple of million dollars wtih the disaster in the East. The exposure of the candies in eastern markets before they officially debuted eliminating the surprise factor so important in a fad product's success,GF also was faced with combating all sorts of rumors about kids suffering illness or death after tyring the candies. One of the most bizarre and unfounded rumors centered around the youth who played "Mikey" in Life cereal commercials. It was rumored he ate the candy with a soda chaser, his tomach exploded and he died. The final blow was the unfortuante introduction of the carbonated candies in the Midwest last winter when markets such as Chicago where hit by as series of winter storms that dumped record levels of snow and forced people to remain homebound for days. Despite these setbacks, GF has not given up on carbonated technology. A spokesman said Pop Rocks are still sold in some western markets, anthough it won't be there for long. She said no decisions had been made on the candy's future...GF has also filed for trademark registration on the name Freeze-In for a freezable carbonated soda concentrate...The company also is looking at novelty items, possibly for Halloween, and and ice cream novelty on a stick that would contain the carbonated candy inside. These items are all byproducts of the company's search for the so far elusive carbonated drink mix that would expand its franchise in the drink mix field." ---"More Gums Burst Onto Scene," Advertising Age, September 2, 1979 (p. 8) "Pop Rocks, the popular carbonated candy that General Foods Corp. quit making after less than three years and many rumors of exploding tummies and choking children, is back in stores. The crackling, mouth-tingling treat is being test marketed in New England and the Dakotas by Carbonated Candy Ventures of Buffalo, N.Y. False rumors once claimed the candy killed little ``Mikey,`` the young character featured in cereal commercials a decade ago, by making his tummy explode, and that it made other children gag and choke. While Carbonated Candy said it hasn't seen a resurgence of the rumors, it's not taking any chances. It had a laboratory in Connecticut retest the product, which the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) earlier found safe. Wholesalers were instructed to contact the FDA about any new rumors." ---Pop Rocks candy returns, St. Petersburg Times, November 23, 1986 "Despite bad publicity and several health-food crazes, Pop Rocks soldier on. For 50 years, in fact. To celebrate the anniversary, Pop Rocks Inc. has released a limited edition line of Cherry Pop Rocks in their original 1970s packaging. They were developed by General Foods chemist William A. Mitchell in 1956 while trying to create an instant soft drink (he holds a patent on Tang). For their first two decades, though, no one quite knew what to with this odd concoction. In 1975, they were given suitably garish packaging and christened Pop Rocks. They took off immediately. A hard candy like no other - little fragments containing hidden pockets of carbonation - they explode in the mouth, fizzling and darting about. Soon, there was even a Pop Rock mythology. Rumors emerged that Mikey ("Give it to Mikey - he'll eat anything!") from the Life cereal commercial died after ingesting an ill-advised combination of pop rocks and soda. The rumors were so pervasive that General Foods executives took out ads in major publications and sent out up to 50,000 letters to school administrators extolling Pop Rocks' virtues. Inventor Mitchell even hit the road and spoke to audiences about his product. Pop Rocks, he told crowds, were safe, good and right; Mikey was alive and well. But rumors die hard. Pop Rocks were briefly discontinued in the mid-1980s." ---"Pop Rocks Still Rock," William Weir, The Hartford Courant, April 18, 2006 EVEN though Pop Rocks' 30th anniversary officially fizzled out this Jan. 1, Spanish company Zeta Especial will continue to exploit its "explosive" retro candy brand with promotions and licensing. Later this month, Pop Rocks will leverage the sixth season of American Idol with the launch of its I Want to Be a Pop Rocks Star promo, in which kids write a song about their love of the popping candy and mail it in with two proofs of purchase. (Entrants don't have to show the songwriting skills of Elvis Costello—winners will be chosen through a drawing.) Running through October and dangling special-edition Pop Rocks gear, the sweeps will be marketed via print in kids mags such as Disney Adventures, radio promos, sampling, pr and ads on Web sites including Freestanding store displays sporting an Idol-reminiscent blue oval will communicate the sweeps. The Steven Style Group, New York, is Pop Rocks' full-service agency. Popping candy was an afterthought when a General Foods scientist attempted to invent instant soda with carbonized crystals that melt in water. That idea never panned out, but his crystals became Pop Rocks, a candy that proved so popular in the '70s that kids were selling 15-cent packs for $1 or more on the candy black market. The brand is still reeling from an urban legend in which Life cereal spokeskid Little Mikey's stomach purportedly exploded after he washed down Pop Rocks with a Coke. (Mikey, aka John Gilchrist, is doing fine, thank you.). Originally sold in a cherry flavor, Pop Rocks is planning gourmet flavors like pumpkin and candy cane, and cotton candy this year. The popping candy has been embedded in fruit rollups, sprinkled on Kellogg's cereals and served as subjects for science experiments in a Klutz activity book. Additionally, the brand expects to launch a full licensing program in 2007 with apparel and other lifestyle products." ---"THE BIZ; The Biz: Pop Rocks Candy Recharged; OMG! ODMG Gets Strategic, Brandweek, January 8, 2007 -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Pralines The history of pralines is full of interesting stories. While sugar-coated nuts were known in the middle ages (Jordan almonds & dragees), food historians generally attribute the "invention" of the praline to Lassagne, officer of the table to Marechal du Plessis, duke of Choiseul-Praslin. The first pralines were made in the 17th century. Presumably, these confections were transported to Lousiana by French settlers. "Sugar almonds. Almonds coated with a layer of fine sugar, as for dragees...Sugar almonds play an important role in rites of passage, particularly christenings and weddings, at which they are offered as symbols of good fortune. This custom is strong in France, Greece, Italy, other Mediterranean countries, and as far east as Iran and Afghanistan where they are known as noql...As a New Year offering they are supposed to ensure that the mouths and lives of the recipients will remain sweet for the whole of the coming year. Less sophisticated versions of almond dragees are sometimes made at home by cooking almonds, or other nuts, such as hazel, in sugar syrup and then stirring the mixture till it grains.' The almonds, with some of the sugar clinging to them, are separated and dried. Many 17th- and 18th-century praline recipes are of this type." ---Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 1999 (p. 766) "Praline. A combination of almonds and boiled sugar, is a popular confection with a long history. The name is originally French, and the Dictionnarie de l'epicerie (1898) gives this definition" Praline.--Bonbon forme d'une amande rissole dans du sucre dont ell form ensuite le noyeay, et parfue it colore de diverse manieres.' The important points in this definition are that it refers to almonds which are whole and separate, each covered with boiled, grained sugar. This remains the primary meaning of the word in modern French. According to the often-repeated but unverifiable legend dating back to the end of the 18th century at least, the name praline' is derived from the Duke of Plessis-Praslin (1589-1675). His cook is supposed to have invented a method for coating whole almonds in grained caramelized sugar, and later to have retired to the to produce the sweets commerically. Whatever the truth, pralines were well known, outside as well as inside France, but the 18th century, when recipes for Prawlins', or for Almonds Crisped' appeared in English cookery books. Borella (1770) observed that ;praline' is French Anglicized, as there is no English word to express the real idea of the French in this sort of preserving almonds.' Eventually, however, praline, like many other French culinary terms, became an adopted word in the English language. As an English word, praline now has the main meaning of a powdered nut-and-sugar confection, the nuts commonly (but not exclusively) used being almonds...In North America pralines are a specialty of several southern states. In Louisiana, especially New Orleans, the name applies to candies made with pecans in a coating of brown sugar which used to be sold by Creole women known as pralinieres." ---Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 1999 (p. 631-2) "Praline...The praline is a specialty of Montargis, where its inventor, Lassagne, who was chef de bouche (master of the household) to the Compte du Plessis-Praslin, came to retire. Legend has it that his creation came about this way: seeing a kitchen boy nibbling at leftovers of caramel and almonds, Lassagne had the idea of cooking whole almonds in sugar. The sweetmeat that resulted had a bread successs and even, it is said, contributed to certain diplomatic triumphs, for which the Compte du Plessis-Praslin, minister to Louis XIII and Louis XIV, took all the credit (he also gave his name to the sweets). Lassagne finally retired to Montargis in 1630 and there founded the Maison de la Praline, which exists to this day." ---Larousse Gastronomique, Completely updated and revised [Clarkson Potter:New York] 2001 (p. 934) "We owe it [praline] to Lassagne...One day, in the servants' quarters of his residence at Montargis, Lassagne found his children caramelizing almonds almonds stolen from the kitchens. The wonderful odour emanating from the spot where the little cooks were at work gave away their guilty secret and its delicious results. His mouth watering, Lassagne promsed to keep quiet in exchange for some of the sweetmeats. He perfected the recipe and took it to the court of Louis XIII, where the confection became known as prasline, not that the duke himself had anything to do with inventing it. Another sotry holds that the reicpe was the result of clumsiness on the part of an apprentice, who dropped some almonds into caramel made with Gatinais honey. Whatever the truth of the matter was, Lassagne retired to Montargis and opened a confectioner's shop there, the Maison de la prasline, which still exits and is as good as a museum. Praline is made and sold at modern fairs in France, but the cheap sort contains peanuts instead of authentic almonds." ---History of Food, Maguelonne Toussaint-Samat [Barnes & Noble Books:New York] 1992 (p. 569) "Praline. A Confection made from almonds or pecans and caramel. It is a great favorite of the South, especially in New Orleans, and derives from the French preparation of praline, caramelized almonds or hazelnuts and sugar pounded into a fine, crumblike texture, Both terms come from the name of French diplomat Cesar du Plessis-Praslin, later duc de Choisuel (1598-1675), whose cook suggested that almonds and sugar aided digestion. The American Creoles substituted pecans for the almonds. The confection is first mentioned in print in 1715, and part of Louisiana food culture as early as 1762. The term had various meaning by 1809, when one chronicler told of pralines made from corn and sugar." ---Encyclopedia of American Food and Drink, John F. Mariani [Lebhar-Friedman:New York] 1999 (p. 255) "Pralines. The word "Praline" is entirely associated in New Orleans with the delcious pink and white sugar cakes, made of cocoanut and sugar, or the brown ones, made of pecans and sugar, which are sold by the old Creole negro women of New Orleans. The "Pralinieres," as they are called, may always be found in Canal street, near Boubon or Royal, or about the entrance of Jackson Square, in the dim cathedral alley, or going about the streets of the Old French Quarter, selling their wares of an evening, when the little Creole children are taking an airing with their faithful old mammies. These little one always have a "Picayune," or five-cent peice, with which to buy a praline or a "La Colle," or a stick of "Candi Tire a la Melasse." ---The Picayune's Creole Cook Book, second edition, facsimile 1901 reprint [Dover:New York] 1970 (p. 375) [NOTE: This book has more information about Creole candy and several praline recipes. Ask your librarian to help you find a copy.] Louisiana praline recipe, 1904 ABOUT PECANS ABOUT PEANUTS Suggestions for further study: 1. Food in History, Maguelonne Toussaint-Samat, chapter 17: Confectionery and Preserves ---background on the history of confectionery 2. Cambridge World History of Food, Kiple & Ornelas ---history of almonds, pecans, peanuts, & sugar 3. Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson ---history of sugar almonds and dragees 4. Need recipes? Check French and Cajun cookbooks. Related food? Pecan pie & brittle. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Tablet (aka Scottish Tablet) According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the oldest print reference to tablet, in the confectionary sense, dates to 1736: "Hence, orig. and chiefly Sc. (also taiblet), a type of fudge (formerly hardbake or almond toffee) made in tablets; a piece of this. 1736 MRS. MCLINTOCK Receipts for Cookery 35 (heading) To make Orange Tablets with the Grate." Why call it "tablet?" Etymology notes from the OED suggest this confection may have borrowed its name from medicinal origins. In the world of candy, this is common. "Anglo-Norman tablet, tablett, tablette, tabelet, tabillet and Old French, Middle French tablete, Middle French, French tablette small slab or panel, smooth stiff sheet (originally made of wax-covered wood) for writing on (both c1200 or earlier in Anglo-Norman; in later use chiefly in plural (compare sense 1b)), small slab or panel bearing a painting or drawing (early 13th cent.), flat ornament made of precious metal or precious stone (a1376 or earlier in Anglo-Norman), table diamond (mid 15th cent. in tablette de diamant; also diamant en tablette), medicine in the form of a small disc or lozenge (1564), food in the form of a small disc or lozenge (1690), horizontal projecting course or moulding (1701) < table TABLE n. + -ete, -ette -ET suffix1. Compare also Old Occitan, Occitan tauleta (late 12th-early 13th cent., originally in sense ‘castanet’), Catalan tauleta (first quarter of the 14th cent.), Spanish tableta (late 13th cent., originally denoting a small plate in an astrolabe; probably < French), Portuguese tabuleta (15th cent. as taboletas, plural), also (in sense 3a) tablete (20th cent.; < French), Italian tavoletta (1294), and Middle Dutch tafelet, tafelette, taffelet, taflet (Dutch tafelet)." Laura Mason, British culinary expert, observes: "...Scottish tablet, which is similar to a crisp version of fudge--brown, sugary, with a characteristic flavour derived from sugar and milk cooked together. A version was known in the eighteenth century when Lady Grisell Baillie recorded purchases of 'Taiblet for the bairns' in her household book between 1692-1733. Recipes for tablets flavoured with orange, rose, cinnamon and ginger were published in Glasgow by Mrs. McLintock in 1736. These are simple candy recipes, made only with sugar, water and flavourings. This is her recipe: "Orange Tablets with the Grate: Grate the Oranges, take 2 lib. of sugar, and a mutchkin of water, then clarify it with the White of 2 Eggs, and set it on a slow Fire, and boil it till it be almost candyed, then put in the Grate of the Oranges, and take your white paper, rub it with fresh Butter, pour it on your Paper, and cut in little pieces." This is a candy similar to those from the previous century. The word tablet has medicinal overtones, as in the commonly accepted meaning of a small flat disc containing some drug or health-giving substance...In tablet now made in Scotland, both orange and ginger are still found amongst the flavourings, but milk has become essential to the defiintion." ---Sugarplums and Sherbet: The Prehistory of Sweets, Laura Mason [Prospect Books:Devon] 1998 (p. 70-71) Recipe circa 1829: "Tablets and Confectionary Drops. A few receipts in this department may be useful in most families, as these things are cordial and sometimes even medicinal, and may be easily and very cheaply prepared at home...To make cinnamon, lemon, horehound, or ginger tablet.--Take either oil of cinnamon, fine sifted China ginger, essence or grate of lemon pounded, in the proportion wanted for flavouring the article to be made. Two drops of oil of cinnamon, a half-ounce of ginger, or the grate of two lemons, is a medium quantity to a pound of sugar. Mix the flavouring ingredient very well with the boiling sugar, and pour it out when boiled candy-height, on a marble slab or stone previously rubbed with sweet oil. Mark the tablet quickly in small squares with a roller and knife." ---Cook and Housewife's Manual, Mistress Margaret Dods, facsimile 1829 edition [Rosters Ltd.:London] 1998 (p. 440) "Scots Tablets....(Traditional recipe) Granulated sugar, thin cream or milk, flavouring. Put into an enamelled saucepan two pounds of granulated sugar and three teacupfuls of thin cream or milk. Bring it gradually to the boiling-point, stirring all the time. Let it boil a few minutes. Test as for toffee, but do not boil it so high. When it has reached the consistency of soft putty when dropped in cold water (about 245 degrees F.), remove the pan from the fire. Add flavouring as below. Now put the pan into a basin of cold water and stir rapidly with a spoon. It soon begins to solidify round the edge, and this must be scraped off repeatedly. Keep stirring until the mass is sufficently grained, and then pour it immediately on to a buttered slab. If too highly grained, it will not pour out flat; if too thin, it will be sticky. Only practice makes perfection. When sufficienty firm, mark into bars with a knife, or cut into rounds with the lid of a circular tin." ---The Scots Kitchen, F. Marian McNeill, originally published in 1929 [Mercat Press:Edinburgh] 2004 (p. 228) [NOTE: Flavourings in this book include: Cinnamon, Coco-nut, Fig, Ginger, Lemon, Orange, Peppermint, Vanilla, Walnut.] Related food? American fudge. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Toffee, taffy, butterscotch, caramel & toffee apples The history of taffy (and its British counterpart, toffee), and butterscotch are intertwined. When were these confections invented? No one quite knows for certain. Food historians generally agree that taffy/toffee first became popular in the 1800s. The first recipes were somewhat different from the product we know today, in that they did not involved "pulling." The basic ingredients for taffy/ toffee were readily available to European cooks during the Roman occupation. Treacle (a uncrystalized syrup produced dring sugar refining) was routinely employed to make cakes and gingerbread during the Middle Ages. Karen Hess notes treacle was considered to have medicinal value, which explains why it became the sweetener of choice during these times. (Martha Washington's Booke of Cookery, transcribed by Karen Hess [p. 200-1]). C. Anne Wilson confirms "Molasses was rather slow in coming into general use as a sweetener, due perhaps to the influence of the apothecaries and treaclemongers." (Food and Drink in Britain From the Stone Age to the 19th Century [p.304]). Northern European cooks typically used butter [rather than oil] for cooking because it was readily available. ABOUT TAFFY The earliest written reference to taffy in the Oxford English Dictionary dates back to 1817: "R. Wilbraham, Cheshire Glossary, Taffy,...a treacle thickened by boiling and made into hard cakes." "Taffy. A confection made from sugar, butter, and flavorings that has a chewy texture obtained by twisting and pulling the cooked ingredients into elasticity. The British term for such candy is toffee or toffy, possibly from tafia, a cheap West Indian rum made from molasses and used originally to flavor candy. The Oxford English Dictionary notes that taffy...seems to refer to an older form of the candy. By the 1870s taffy bakes and taffy pulls, at which young people would gather to stretch the candy between them, had become social occasions." ---The Encyclopedia of American Food and Drink, John F. Mariani [Lebhar-Friedman:New York] 1999 (p. 321) "In the 1840s...candy pulls became popular, being called taffy pulls by the late 1870s, when taffy also came to be a slang word for flattery. Taffy (British toffee) was simple to make, from molasses or brown sugar and butter, and the taffy pulls entertained young and old alike and were a suitable face-to-face pastime for courting couples. Salt water taffy became associated with the Atlantic City Boardwalk by the 1880s, and the box of neatly wrapped pastel rows of taffy became its typical souvenir." ---Listening to America, Stuart Berg Flexner [Simon & Schuster:New York] 1982 (p. 138) "taffy...flattery, 'sweet talk' (from the candy), 1879." ---Listening to America, Stuart Berg Flexner (p. 86) About salt water taffy Salt water taffy is popularly attributed to Fralingers, on the Atlantic City NJ boardwalk, 1883. Additional notes here. Our survey of historic newspaper articles reveals there were several claimants to the origination of this seaside treat. Not surprisingly? The issue became a matter of court record. "Mr. Fralinger retired from business several years ago. Though he was widely known as the 'Salt Water Taffy King,' the claim that he was the originator of the taffy has been disputed. He was one of the first to manufacture it however, and probably did more than anybody else to popularize it." ---"Joseph Fralinger Dies," New York Times, May 14, 1927 (p. 19) "Fralingers,'s Inc., the oldest original business on the Boardwalk, has been making and selling saltwater taffy since 1885 at the same location, Tennessee Avenue and the Boardwalk, where Joseph Fralinger set up his stand a century ago. Mr. Fralinger did not create saltwater taffy, but he was, by all accounts, its most successful merchandiser...According to Arthur H. Gager 3d...the founder of the family business first took note of taffy in a letter to a relative, written in 1883 in which the candy was referred to as 'Ocean Wave,' 'Sea Foam,' and 'Salt Water Taffy.' How it got the name saltwater taffy is a pleasant Atlantic City fable. It is said that a Mr. Cassidy and a Mr. Bradley--nobody knows for sure--had a taffy stand and that one night a northeaster hit the Boardwalk, overturning everything and washing the sea over his stock. The next day a girl came by, tasted a piece of the candy and asked, 'Is this saltwater taffy?'...Mr. Gager says is that the name was coined 'simply because of the proximity of the water to the Atlantic City beach and the Boardwalk.'" ---"100 Years the Tons of Taffy Later...," Fred Ferretti, New York Times, June 12, 1985 (p. C3) Who were the other contenders & what was the outcome of the legal battle? "About sixty years ago a man had a small candy store on the Atlantic City waterfront--which, in those remote days, had no grand Boardwalk, as it now has, raised many inches above the sea. One morning when he opened up for business he found that a recent hight tide had flooded his stock during the night. 'As he stood tearing his hair, a little girl came in with some pennies in her nahd. 'Please, sir, half a pound of taffy,' she said. 'Here's some salt water taffy,' groaned the storekeeper, handing her a package of sea-soaked candy. Munching delightedly, she returned to her parents on the beach. 'It's salt water taffy,' she said: the man told me so.' They started munching also, with a delight equal to hers. 'The candy merchant's mother happened to witness the scene. At once an idea sprang, full-fledged, into her brain. She rushed to her son's flooded shop. 'When you make your next batch of candy, mix it with salt water!' she told him.'He did. Others did..." ---"Topics of the Times, New York Times, October 25, 1947 (p. 18) "John Ross Edmiston Sr.,...claimed to have originated 'saltwater taffy,'...Mr. Edmiston, born at Tyroe, Pa., was graduated from Lebanon (Pa.) Business College and had been a penmanship teacher. He used the name of salt water taffy shortly after he opened a confectionery store in Atlantic City in 1884. Mr. Edmiston first opened his shore store at the ocean end of the boardwalk at South Carolina Avenue. He had been making the candy for some time when his customers insisted that he give it a name. One day, the sea splashed into his stand, wetting a quantity of the candy which was cooling on a slab. Fearful lest the salt water had ruined his batch, Mr. Edmiston found that the water had not penetrated into the candy and the thought struck him to call it 'salt water taffy.'" ---"John Ross Edmiston Sr. Claims He Was Originator of 'Salt-Water Taffy...'", New York Times, Septebmer 18, 1939 (p. 24) "With millions at stake in royalties and the future of their industry in jeopardy, about 500 candy manufacturers in this country, chiefly along the Atlantic seaboard, have won the right, after months of litigation, to continue using the trademark 'salt water taffy.' The decision was given by the United States Supreme Court. The right to exclusive use of the trademark was claimed by John R. Edmiston of Wildwood, N.J. in 1923. He contended he was the originator and the only one to manufacture 'salt water taffy' for ten years prior to 1905. His petition for registration of the trade-mark was granted by the United States Patent Office officials. Edmiston then notified all other manufacturers of the confection to cease using the trade-mark and served notice that he would collect royalties on all taffy made since 1895. These royalties would have run into millions. The fisght for the confectioners was made by James Brothers of this city, beginning in August, 1924, resulting in a decision that the term 'salt water taffy' cannot be registered." ---"'Salt Water Taffy' Makers Win Fight Against Patent," New York Times, March 30, 1925 (p. 19) "Candy interest are following with close attention a temporary victory for manufacturers who contend that John R. Edmiston of Wildwood, N.J., has not the exclusive right to use the trademark 'Salt Water Taffy.' The examiner for interferences of the Patent Office has ruled that Mr. Edmiston is not entitled to sole use of this trade name. When Mr. Edmiston filed application for his trade mark some years ago, the Patent Office decided that the name was 'descriptive' and therefore he would have to apply under a proviso that for ten years previous to 1905 he had, to the best of his knowledge and belief, been entitled to the trade name. Under such an application thirty days are left open for any one to file an opposition, but this was not done. Under a proviso, however, contendants may at any time apply for a cancellation of the registration, and this application has been made by James Brothers of Atlantic City, representing a large number of candy manufacturers. The examiner for interferences now has ruled against Mr. Edmiston. The latter has until April 15 to appeal from this decision to the Commissioner of Patents...The Edmiston appeal has not yet been filed." ---"Denies Sole Right to 'Salt Water Taffy,'" New York Times, April 12, 1925 (p. 13) We also found this tasty Prohibition-era tidbit: "Ocean City's fifth candyless Snday since the enforcement of Lord's Day rgulations, was ameliorated today by the free distribution of 1,000 boxes of salt water taffy to convertionery-hungry excursionists. John C. Funk, manager of the Arcadia restaurant, staged the candy barbecue. The situaion was further relieved when Willian F. Shriver and J. Frank Shellenhberger...dispensed ice cream and soda water for the first time on Sunday since the blue ordinance was enforced. Since that time they had kept their places closed on Sunday." ---"Ends Candyless Sundays: Restaurant Man Gives Free Taffy in Blue-law Town," New York Times, July 30, 1923 (p. 4) Does salt water taffy really contain salt? Sometimes. Recipes here: [1919?] "Genuine Atlantic City Salt Water taffy. Mix four pounds of sugar and one tablespoonful of corn starch, then place in a kettle and add: 4 pound corn syrup 1/4 pound Nucoa Butter 1 1/2 pints water Cook to 256 degrees F., then add one tablespoonful salt, pour on slab and when cool enough, pull on hook for a long time. Spin into strips as with stick candy, cutting into pieces about 3/4 inch long. Wrap each piece in thin wax paper and you have the genunine salt water taffy such as originated, and is made and sold on the boardwalk at Atlantic City. [NOTE: Nucoa brand "butter" was really a margarine.] "Salt Water Taffy 4 pounds "C" sugar 2 pounds corn syrup 1/2 pound butter 1 1/2 pints water. Cook to about 260 degrees F., the add tablespoon of salt and 2 ounces glycerine. Pour on slab and when cool, pull well on hook adding vanilla flavor when pulling. Pull out in round sticks about the size of stick candy, cut in small pieces with shears and wrap in wax paper." ---Rigby's Reliable Candy Teacher, W.O. Rigby, 19th edition [1919?] (p. 146-7) [1970] "Salt water taffy. You can divide taffy, tinting and flavoring each portion differently 2 c. Sugar 1 c. Light corn syrup 1 1/2 c. Water 1 1/2 tsp. Salt 2 tsp. Glycerin 2 tblsp. Butter 2 tsp. Vanilla Combine sugar, syrup, water, salt and glycerine in a 3-qt. Heavy saucepan. Place on low heat and stir until sugar dissolves. The cook without stirring to the hard ball stage (260 degrees F.). Remove from heat and add butter. When butter is melted, pour into a buttered shallow pan (about 13X9"). Whe cool enough to handle, gather into a ball and pull until rather firm. Add vanilla while pulling. Stretch out into a long rope and cut in 1 or 2" pieces. Wrap each piece in waxed paper when hard; twist paper at both ends. Thsi will keep candy from becoming sticky. Makes about 1 1/4 pounds. NOTE: You can tint taffy while pulling it. Different flavors may be added, also in the pulling, instead of the vanilla. Pink taffy usually is flavored with wintergreen, white with vanilla, green with spearmint." ---Homemade Candy, Nell B. Nichols, Farm Journal field food editor [Doubleday & Company:Garden City:New York] 1970 (p. 154) ABOUT TOFFEE According to the Oxford English Dictionary, toffee ("a sweet meat made from sugar or treacle, butter, and sometimes a little flour, boiled together; often mixed with bruised nuts such as almond or walnut toffee") was first mentioned in print in 1825. We know that most words are typically used long before they appear in print form. "Toffee...the modern British name for a sweet formerly called 'taffy.' The older name survives in the USA, but British toffee and American taffy are not quite the same....Welsh forms of toffee (variously called taffi, ffani, or cyflaith) are much more like American taffy. In particular, they are usually pulled, as is most American taffy. The agreeable custom of taffy-pulling parties has survived up to modern times in parts of Wales, while it is probably extinct in England. " ---The Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson, [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 1999 (p. 797-798) "Toffee became popular around 1800, a time when sugar and treacle (a sugar syrup like molasses) had become cheap. Early references to toffee all come from the north of England and often mention friends getting together to boil treacle with flour to make a sticky treat. Improvements to the basic mixture included adding cream a speciality of Devonshire or butter to make a richly flavoured confection. Buttery toffee is often called butterscotch, which suggests it was invented in Scotland. But the word was first recorded in the Yorkshire town of Doncaster, where Samuel Parkinson began making it in 1817. Possibly the "scotch" part of its name derives from "scorch" rather than from Scotland. As for the word "toffee," an early spelling is "toughy" or "tuffy," probably a reference to the confection's teeth-sticking toughness." ---"ENGLISH TOFFEE Sweet, rich, and beloved by the British," British Heritage, February-March 2002 (p. 16) [NOTE: this article is available full-text from the EBSCO Masterfile database. You may be able to access this from your library/home computer. Ask your librarian for details] Recommended reading: "A Later Developer: Toffee," Sugar-Plums and Sherbet: The Prehistory of Sweets, Laura Mason [Prospect Books:Devon] 2004 (p. 179-194) Taffy/toffee recipes In 19th century American and British cookbooks, the names toffee and taffy appear to be used interchangeably to denote similar recipes. This confection also sometimes masked as "molasses candy" or "pulled molasses candy." Some of these recipes instruct the cook to "pull" the candy, others simply to cut it in small squares. Some refer specifically to "Everton Toffie," named for a town near Liverpool, England. The oldest recipe for "taffy" we have comes from an American cookbook published in 1847: "Molasses Candy (Taffy)...Put a pint of common molasses in a stewpan, over a slow fire, let it boil, stir it to prevent its running over the top, or if necessary, take it off; when it has boiled more than half an hour try it, by taking some in a saucer; when cold, if it is brittle and hard, it is done; flavor with lemon, sassafras, or vanilla, and pour it quarter or half an inch deep in buttered tin pans. Shelled peanuts, (ground nuts) or almonds may be stirred into it, enough to make it thick, or but a few. Molasses candy may be made a light color by pulling it in your hands, having first rubbed them over with a bit of butter, to prevent the candy sticking to them, during the process." ---Mrs. Crowen's American Lady's Cookery Book, Mrs. T. J. Crowen [1847] (p. 341-342) A recipe from 1861: TAFFY 3 lb. sugar 1 pint water 1/2 tsp. citric acid Juice of 3 lemons OR 4 oranges Butter (for pans) Three pounds of sugar dissolved in a pint of water, in which half a teaspoon of citric acid has been dissolved; remove the scum as fast as it rises. Boil until it will crack when dropped in cold water; remove from the fire, and add the juice of three lemons or four oranges. Mix it well and boil very gently, until it is as hard as before the lemon was added; pour it in square buttered pans. It should be about an eighth of an inch thick when cold. Before it hardens mark it off neatly in small blocks that it may break regularly. --- Civil War Cooking: The Housekeeper's Encyclopedia, Mrs. E. F. Haskell, 1861. [1936:London] "Treacle Toffee Put a 1/4 lb. of fresh butter into a tinned saucepan, and when partially melted add 1/2 lb. of treacle and 1/2 lb. or Demerara sugar, and mix well together. Boil for 8 to 10 minutes, then test it by dropping a little in cold water. If it immediately hardens and is brittle, pour all on to a buttered dish. Before it is hard it can be marked into squares with the back of a knife, and it will then break evenly. If liked, almonds can be pressed in before the toffe hardens. Toffee can be pulled until it is any desired light colour, or even white. It is then, while soft, made into rolls or sticks about half an inch thick, and cut into short pieces with scissors." ---Cookery Ilustrated and Household Management, Elizabeth Craig [Odhams Press:London] 1936 (p. 459) ABOUT BUTTERSCOTCH The history of butterscotch is closely connected to that of toffee/taffy. It is essentially the same recipe tempered with lemon flavoring. Exact recipes (molasses, white sugar, brown, sugar, corn syrup) vary greatly according to time and place. Food historians have several theories regarding the name of this candy and its connection to Scotland; none of them conclusive. Theodora Fitzgibbon (Scottish culinary expert) includes a recipe for butterscotch in her Scottish Cookery (p.260), without comment. "Buttery toffee is often called butterscotch, which suggests it was invented in Scotland. But the word was first recorded in the Yorkshire town of Doncaster, where Samuel Parkinson began making it in 1817. Possibly the "scotch" part of its name derives from "scorch" rather than from Scotland." ---"ENGLISH TOFFEE Sweet, rich, and beloved by the British," British Heritage, February-March 2002 (p. 16) [NOTE: the Doncaster's Web site references the product but does not provide history] "Butterscotch, a toffee-like confection of sugar and butter, is first heard of in the mid-nineteenth century. It presumably got its name from being originally manufactured in Scotland, although its history is uncertain. The first known reference to it comes in F.K. Robinson's Glossary of Yorkshire Words (1855), where it is called butterscot." ---An A-Z of Food & Drink, John Ayto [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 2002 (p. 49) "Butterscotch. A confection made from butter, brown sugar, and lemon juice. The association with Scotland has never been satisfactorily explained. Butterscotch sauce, or butterscotch topping, is an American dessert sauce with the flavor of butterscotch candy and is served over ice cream..., on pound cake, and on other sweets. The word was first printed in 1855, earlier as "butterscot." ---Encyclopedia of American Food and Drink, John F. Mariani [Lebhar-Friedman:New York] 1999 (p. 49) "Doncaster butterscotch. In Britain, according to an old cookbook, "candy-making is a regular adjunct to courting...It draws together all the lads and lasses...and the fun and the daffing that go on during the boiling, pulling, clipping, cooling, are...worth the money." Visitors to the annual fair in Doncaster, a coal town in Yorkshire, could treat themselves to this chewy butterscotch specialty." ---The Horizon Cookbook and Illustrated History of Eating and Drinking through the Ages, American Heritage [Doubleday:New York] 1968 (p. 738) [NOTE: includes recipe] The butterscotch recipes we know today are different from those of times past. Although the lemon flavoring is constant, the types of sugar, ingredient proportions, and cooking instructions are the result of an evolving process. Butterscotch recipes through time: [1855] "Everton Toffie...No. 2.--Boil together a pound of sugar and five ounces of butter for twenty minutes; then stir in two ounces of almonds blanched, divided, and thoroughly dried in a slow iven, or before th fire. Let the toffie boil after they are added, till it crackles when dropped into cold water, and snaps between the teeth without sticking." --- Modern Cookery for Private Families, Eliza Acton [London] Southover Press edition with introduction by Elizabeth Ray [1993] (p. 469) [1877] Buckeye Butter Scotch & Butter Taffy Buckeye Cookery, Esther Woods Wilcox [1890s] "Butter Scotch. 8-lbs White Sugar 1 lb Fresh Butter 1 Quart Water Lemon Flavouring Process.--Melt the sugar in the water by an occasional stir when the pan is on the fire, then add the cream of tartar and boil up to 300; lift the pan on to the side of the furnace and add butter in small pieces broken off by the hand; slip the pan on the fire again adding the lemon falvor; let it boil through, so that all the butter is boiled in, then pour into frames; when partly cold, mark the cutter into small squares; when cold, divide the squares; wrap each in wax paper, then tinfoil; sold generally in 1/2 d, 1 d, and 3d packets, the latter containing 6 halfpenny pieces. N.B.--There is good butter scotch and better butter scotch, but no bad butter scotch; this quality may be imporved by the addition of a larger proportion of butter..." ---Skuse's Complete Confectioner [London] (p. 24) [1918] "Butter Taffy 2 cups light brown sugar 2 tablespoons water 1/4 cup molasses 7/8 teaspoon salt 2 tablespoons vinegar 1/4 cup butter 2 teaspoons vanilla Boil first five ingredients until, when tried in cold water mixture will become brittle. When nearly done, add butter, and just before turning into pan, vanilla. Cool, and mark in squares." ---Boston Cooking-School Cook Book, Fannie Merritt Farmer [1929] "Butterscotch Squares 1 2/3 cups light brown sugar 2/3 corn syrup 1/2 cup water 1 1/2 tablespoons butter 1/4 teasoon salt Oil of lemon Put sugar, corn syrup, and water in a saucepan, stir until is dissolved, bring to boiling point, and boil to 280 degrees F., or until it cracks in cold water. Add butter and salt, and boil to 290 degrees F., or until it reaches the hard crack when tried in cold water. Remove from fire, flavor with oil of lemon, and pour out between bars on slightly moistened slab, mark the squares, and bread up when cold." ---The Candy Cook Book, Alice Bradley [Little, Brown:Boston] 1929 (p. 128) [NOTE: This book also has recipes for Butterscotch Wafers, Cream Butterscotch Balls (or Scotch Kisses, Cream Butterscotch With Nuts (walnuts or pecans), and Chocolate Butterscotch Creams] ABOUT CARAMEL The term "caramel" has two meanings: the highest stage of heated sugar (also caramelized/caramelization) and a confection (candy). According to the food historians, caramelization was practiced in France in the 17th century. Pralines are an example of a caramelized confection. Caramel candies, as we think of them today, surfaced in the 18th century. The are related to toffee. In addition to candy, caramel has several other applications. These include: flavoring (caramel custard), sauce (popular with ice cream), and coating (caramel corn). "Caramel is sugar which has been cooked until it turns brown. The word caramel is a comparatively late introduction into English: it is first recorded in 1725. It came via French from Spanish caramelo, but its previous history is speculative; its most likely source is perhaps late Latin calamellus, a diminutive form of Latin calamus, reed, cane' (the implied reference being to sugarcane'). The sweets caramels, a soft form of toffee, are made with sugar and milk, butter, or cream." ---An A-Z of Food and Drink, John Ayto [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 2002 (p. 57) "The five terms--lisse or smooth, pearl, blow, feather, and casse or break--remained standard [confectionery terms] during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. They were split into lower' and higher', which then became regarded as degrees in their own right. The term caramel was added. Confusingly for the modern reader, this indicated the degree just before the sugar begins to colour. It is now regarded as the hard crack stage. Such attention to detail implies that confectionery became very accomplished during the eighteenth century, but, despite this, written instructions were often inconsistent and blase...Confectioners remained circumspect about boiling sugar higher than feather...Higher degrees came into use gradually. In the sixteenth century, only apothecaries were confident with them. In the next, Rose translated one recipe which required sugar boiled to casse or break. In the eighteenth, sugar boiled to the highest degree, grand casse, or caramel, had a limited use. Massailot said that caramel was proper for Barley-sugar and certain small Sugar-works call'd by that name.' His compatriot J. Gilliers, writing in 1751, described caramel as sugar boiled to casse. It was coloured, and used for figures to decorate the table. Other confectioners used caramel for decorative purposes and do not seem to have made many boiled-sugar sweets of the type now familiar. Only at the beginning of the next century did Jarrin make it clear that he included browned sugar in the term caramel." ---Sugar-plums and Sherbet: The Prehistory of Sweets, Laura Mason [Prospect Books:Devon] 2004 (p. 57-60) [NOTE: If you need more information on the history and evolution of caramel we highly recommend this book.] "Toffee recieved a boost in the 1880s when caramels, a North American innovation, were introduced. Caramels relied on slowly boiled sugar and milk to give a delicious flavour. Skuse wrote that these sweets were sold very freely on the lowest and poorest quarters of London, at two-pence per ounce; in the West End the same goods fetch double that price.' They were also suitable for mass production. Coconut oil substitutes were developed to replace the dairy products, and automatic stirrers replaced human endeavour at the boiling pan. Confectioners began experiments. In 1890 John Mackintosh opened a shop in Halifax. Shortly afterwards, he created Mackintosh's Celebrated Toffee, drawing both on English toffee and American caramel formulae." ---Sweet and Sweet Shops, Laura Mason [Shire Publications:Buckinghamshire] 1999 (p. 18-9) What did British confectioners think of American caramels at the turn of the 20th century? "Caramels. When first brought over from America, these goods were certainly a treat. The were rather dear, but they were good; the public appreciated them. Very soon the demand was universal, then competition stepped in with the usual result--the prices lowered, the quality suffered, until anything cut into the shape were called caramels. Consequently, the demand lessened; still they were forced on the market cheaper and cheaper, worse and worse, until only those who liked plenty of money bought the vile concoctions. The very name has almost become a synonym for rubbish. However, several makers had kept up the standard of excellence, so that only those which are identified by a particular brand or name find favour with the retail shopkeepers who study the interest of their customers, but the mischief has already been done to the great bulk of the general trade; the public has lost confidence, and are afraid to buy that which they woudl like, having so often got that which they did not like, bearing the same name and having the same appearance as their former favorites. To remedy this state of things as far a possible, we recommend the making of an excellent article from good and fresh ingredients, using a distinctive name or brand, and, above all, keep the quality up to the standard. Better please old customers with prime goods than try to deceive new ones with cheap and common confectionery goods." ---Skuse's Complete Confectioner, 7/6 [W.J.Bush & Co.:London] 189? (p. 60-1) A SELECTED SURVEY OF CARAMEL RECIPES THROUGH TIME [1864] Definition of carmel and recipes [NOTE: these confections are classed as "caramels," not called caramels]. [1884] Chocolate caramels, Caramel, for coloring Soups, etc. & Caramel custard. [1896] To make caramel, Caramel frosting & Caramel Charlotte Russe [1911] Definition and uses of Caramel, distinct from Caramel candies. Some popular snack foods are coated with caramel: Cracker Jacks (1893) Karmel Korn (1929) Related foods? Pralines and toffee apples. Toffee apples The practice of coating fruit in sugar syrup dates to ancient times. Honey and sugar were used as preserving agents. Food historians generally agree that toffee apples (aka taffy apples, caramel candied apples, candy apples, lollipop apples) probably date to the late 19th century, although difficult to prove in print. Both toffee and caramel are traced to the early decades of the 18th century. Inexpensive toffee/caramels became available by the end of the 19th century. Culinary evidence confirms a variety of recipes, from hard colored sugar to soft chewy caramel coating. What is "candied fruit?" "The use of cane sugar slowly spread outward from Bengal. In the seventh century A.D., the Chinese emporer Tai-Hung sent workmen to Gur to learn the art of sugar refining, and by the tenth century camel caravans were carrying "sand sugar" north through the empty deserts to Europe. This newsly arrived cane sugar was initially regarded as a spice, and in medieval Europe was used principally as a medicine. It was enormously expensive and was therefore only available to the wealthiest households. Nevertheless, sugar gradually began to be more widely appreciated for its appetizing sweetness in sweetmeats, confectionery, and desserts, while it was increasingly valued also as a preserving agent for fresh fruits. Sweetmeats had appeared on the menu of the most sumptuous feasts and banquets of the Romans, the Athenians, and in Byzantium, and the most wealthy and noble households of the European Middle Ages adopted these delicacies for their own tables. These sweetmeats were considered a digestive to clear the palate...Good hosts weven placed little decorated comfit boxes filled with sugared almonds, pralines, nougats, candied spiced preserves and lemon peel, marzipan made with ground almond paste, egg whites, and sugar, and crystallized fruits, flowers, and angelica for the delectation of their guests in the privacy of their chambers. It was believed that sugar helped their digestion...Candying, probably developed in the Middle East, is a very slow process of replacing the natural juices of the fruit with the sugar solution or syrup. As in some fruit-drying processes, citrus peel and some hard fruits are first soaked in strong brine or acid solution to draw out some of the liquid before boiling and to encourage the fruit to absorb more sugar. Once candied, the fruits can be "crystallized" by painting them with egg white and dusting liberally with sugar...Once sugared, the fruit or flower is the left to dry out in a warm,well ventilated place." ---Pickled, Potted, and Canned: How the Art and Science of Food Preserving Changed the World, Sue Shepard [Simon & Schuster:New York] 2000 (p. 168-9) Of the THE best books on the history of confectionery (of all kinds) is Laura Mason's Sugarplums and Sherbet: The Prehistory of Sweets [Prospect Books:Devon] 2004 ISBN 1903018285. This source traces the origins of candy evolving from honey and refined sugar. Candying, Ms. Mason notes, was a method employed in ancient times for fruit preservation. Candied fruit could be dried or stored with syrup in airtight containers. While the book does not specifically address candied apples it does contain a passage which is on point: "Preserved fruit had been a status symbol for centuries. Before canning, freezing and air freight, sugar was the only medium of conservation available...Originally, the technique was used for more than merely keeping the fruit from rotting. Fresh fruit was regarded as suspect by physicians, who thought it mostly 'cold' in humoral terms. In the seventeeth century, Tobias Venner thought quinces, peaches, and apricots cold and dry, apples and pears cold and moist with a 'crude and windie moisture'...Preserving with sugar (which was moderately hot) made delicious sweetmeats that tempered the coldness of the fruit...Fruit sweetmeats, including a few using honey, can be traced back to the earliest collections of recipes. The confectioner faced with a glut of fruit had three options: preserve it whole (in syrup or candied); cook to a homogenous paste; extract the fruit and boil it with sugar to make a jelly. In skilful hands all three were exploited for decorative, beautifully coloured and flavoured sweetmeats. Preserving whole involved a serious attempt to conserve the integrity of fruits to that they appeared as natural as possible. All recipes for preserves or "suckets' begain by cooking fruit gently, and then steeping in syrup over several days. The syrup was concentrated by boiling a little more each day...Finallly, fruit and syrup were transferred to gallipots or glasses and sealed with bladder or paper until needed. Drained, the preserves could be sprinkled with fine sugar, or candied by dipping them in sugar boiled to candy eight so encasing each peice in a sugar shell. This method uses syrups boiled to relatively low temperatures. Candied fruits are still made with varying degrees of skill in France, Italy, Spain, Portugal and their former colonies. The quantities of sugar required, as well as the time and expertize, make these expensive and luxurious sweetmeats even now." (p. 109-111) About toffee apples "Toffee apple. A popular confection on Britian, especially in the autumn, when they used to be prominent, with their vivid red color, at autumn fairs. A whole, fresh apple, on a thin stick, is dipped in a high-boiled sugar syrup which has been colored red; and allowed to set before wrapping in cellophane. The Oxford English Dictionary gives on quotations relating to toffee apples earlier than the beginning of the 20th century. However, the use of the term as a soldier's slang for a type of bomb used in the first World War suggests that they were already well known, and probably have a longer history than the quotations allow. In the phrase toffee apple' the word 'toffee' means simple boiled sugar, not the mixture of sugar and dairy produce which is what the word usually refers to. This may be another indication of an older origin of the toffee apple...There is some similarity between toffee apples and the Chinese dessert items which consist of pieces of banana or apple fried in batter and then coated in a caramelized syrup. Whether there is any historical connection is not clear." ---Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 1999 (p. 798) "Toffee-apples seem to be an early twentieth-century invention; they are first mentioned in the Christmas 1917 issue of the BEF Times." ---An A-Z of Food and Drink, John Ayto [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 2002 (p. 345) Mrs. D.A. Lincoln's Boston Cooking School Cook Book [1884] provides instructions for "Candied or Crystallized Fruit of Nuts" which approximates the formula described by Mr. Davidson. It does not, however, mention the use of apples The oldest recipe we have for toffee apples is this: "Apples on a stick. Take small apples and stick in each one at the top, a small wooden skewer, such as butchers use to pin roasts. Now cook a batch of Molasses Taffy to 280 degress F. Then dip the apple in the hot batch so as to cover it completely. Let the surplus syrup drip off, then stand them on a slab until cold." ---Rigby's Reliable Candy Teacher, W.O. Rigby, 19th edition [USA] 1919? (p. 215) [NOTE: this book contains two recipes for molasses taffy, p. 144 and 145.] [1924] "Lollipop Apples Select very small red apples, wash and dry them, put a stick or skewer in each, and dip them in the glace." Glace Glace or glace sugar is used for the dipping of nuts and fruits and for the making of various hard candies. It is an exceedingly pure form of candy, very easily made, yet requiring careful watching, as it quickly clouds, and obviuosly, when not clear, its beautiful effect is lost. It is from glace that the spun sugar nests used chiefly for their decorative purposes are made. The remains of glace, after dipping nuts and candies, may be very delicately coloured, flavoured with a few drops of cinnamon, clove, lemon, or any other desired extract and dropped or poured on to an oiled slab or platter in the form of small candies. 1 pound sugar, 1/8 pound cream of tartar, 2/3 cupful water Place all the ingredients in a small saucepan, stir only until the sugar has dissolved, then cook to 320 degrees. Remove immediately from the fire and drip whole or half nuts and candy centres, one at a time, into the syrup, gently, so as not to disturb it and make it cloudy. Lift them out immediately with the candy fork and turn on to an oiled slab or platter or table oilcloth to set." ---Mrs. Allen on Cooking, Menus, Service, Ida C. Baley Allen [Doubleday, Doran & Company:Garden City NY] 1924 (p. 790-1) Valentine's Day candies The tradition of proferring offerings of love on St. Valentine's Day is well documented. The role of exchanging confections on this day is not. Some folks believe chocolate is the confection of choice because of its aphrodesiac properties. Others reason the Valentine candy phenomenon a just a clever scheme developed by confectioners to promote products in the seasonal lull between Christmas and Easter. No matter what the reason, the end result is lovely and delicious! Conversation hearts Converation Hearts, as we Americans know them today, descended from British Conversation Lozenges and Motto Rocks. These have been popular confections from the mid-19th century forwards. In older times words were sometimes imprinted by molds or inserted (paper) into the confection. About Conversation Hearts (c. 1902). "Kissing comfits , as detailed by Robert May in 1685, were sugar paste containg musk, civet, ambergris, and orris powder. These were printed in moulds or rolled into little pellets and then squeezed flat with a seal...The combination of sugar and mottoes continued, Hannah Glasse gave instructions 'to make little things of sugar, with devices in them. These were made from the pieces of sugar paste, tinted whatever colour was preferred, 'in what shapes you the middle of them have little pieces of paper, with some pretty smart sentences wrote on them; they will in company make much mirth.' But the writing migrated from paper to the sweet itself with the Victorian fashion for 'conversation lozenges'. Those who were tongue-tied could always offer their companion a little piece of sugar paste printed with some suitable inscription. 'How do you flirt?' "Can you polka?' and 'Love me' were amongst those available from Terry's in York; for those wanting to make a really positive response, a large medallion moulded with a heart and the words 'I will' was available. Another novelty was reminiscent of Hannah Glasse's little things with devices in them. As advertised by the firm of Thomas Handisyde in the East End of London, these were 'Handisydes Secret Charms suck carefully and the secret message will appear'. Handisyde produced various shapes and sizes of conversation lozenges, the larger ones cut in hearts, circles, and elegant oblongs with ogee edges. The temperance movement used the idea of motto lozenges to promote their message. 'Drink is the ruin of man'...The inscriptions were added to the sweets by printing the tops with stamps dipped in dyes." ---Sugar Plums and Sherbet: The Preshistory of Sweets, Laura Mason [Prospect Books:Devon] 2004 (p. 146-147) The earliest reference we find in American print to fancy packaged Valentine's Day confections is from the 1890s: "Among the sweetest valentines seen were those designed by the confectioners. Some shown in beautiful glass-covered boxes were heart shape, the foudation being a layer of pale pink cream confectionery, half an inch thick, edged all around with candied rose leaves in clusters to represent tiny roses. inclused in this flowery frame was a smaller heart formed of a solid mass of the rose leaves, and surrounding it were the words, in raised letters, covered with gold leaf, "For my valentine." The box, into which the lovely confection exactly fitted, was of pink satin, the rim around the glass top being covered with a narrow row of finely-plaited pink silk net. In this dainty casket the valentine can be preserved for generations, if so desired, or, if consumed, the case will serve as a charming receptable for jewels. Others, similary designed, were of candied violets, in violet satin boxes. An exquisitely delicate one, that shows the confectioner's art in its hightes development, resembled a delicate bisque piece in coloring and finish. In the centre of a square of lemon-colored cream, bordered with ale green primroses, were two figures, one of a bewitching little girl in a Greenaway gown and a huge hat loaded with white ostrich tips, and the other a boy in a picturesuqe Continental suit, standing before her, cocked hat in hand, in the act of making an elaborate bow. The faces and dresses are wonderfully well done, and every particle of the whole is composed of the very choicest candy. On the right, in gold letters, are the words, "Will you be my valentine?" Their values range from $5 upward, including box, those with the figures being, of course, higher priced than th others and they make a far more sensible gift than gold-plated bonbons at $40 a pound, which are a caprice just now with the ultra fashionables." ---"In Honor of St. Valentine," New York Times, February 4, 1894 (p. 18) About chocolate packaging: "Initially, chocolate was packed as unwrapped bars in wooden boxes with paper labels, displayed on the shop counter. Individual paper wrappers developed soon afterwards. Gold printing and metal foils repeated the luxury message which gold leaf had given to sweets in earlier centuries. Design used the latest images, and graphics publicized the desirability of chocolate. Even more status was attached to special boxes, decorated with pictures, lined with tissue and paper lace. As the package, not the contents, occupied more and more of the foreground, so advertising has shifted almost entirely from the tast of confectionery towards style by association." ---Sugar-Plums and Sherbet: The Prehistory of Sweets, Laura Mason [Prospect Books:Devon] 2004 (p. 208) The Cadbury connection? "The tradition of giving chocolates on Valentine's Day can be traced to Richard Cadbury, of the English chocolate-making family, who "invented" the first Valentine's Day candy box during the Victorian era. The Victorians, who fancied decorating cards with plump cupids shooting arrows of love, later transferred the image to the lids of heart-shaped boxes filled with dreamy combinations of silken chocolates." ---For Lovers, Chocolate, Niki Dwyer (UPI), The Buffalo News, February 11, 1998, Lifestyles (p. 2D) Cadbury itself acknowledges making fancy boxes of chocolates, though it stakes no claims on Valentine's Day: "Cadbury's 'fancy chocolates' (or assortments) were sold in decorated boxes with small pictures that children could cut out to stick into scrapbooks. Richard Cadbury, who had considerable artistic talents, set out to introduce more ambitious and attractive designs from his own paintings: many of his original boxes still exist. Using his own children as models, or depicting flowers and scenes from holiday journeys, he introduced the first British made fancy chocolate boxes. These proved to be popular, helping both the Cadbury business and the confectionery trade in general. Elaborate chocolate boxes were prized by the late Victorians as special gifts, to be used as trinket or button boxes once the fancy chocolates had been eaten: designs therefore had after-use very much in mind. Designs ranged from superb velvet covered caskets with bevelled mirrors and silk lined jewel boxes, to pretty boxes with pictures of kittens, landscapes or attractive girls on the lid. Their popularity continued until their disappearance during the 1939-45 war: Victorian and Edwardian chocolate boxes are now treasured collectors' items. In the 1870s the quality of the chocolates produced by the company following the introduction of the cocoa press helped Cadbury break the monopoly French producers previously enjoyed in the British market." SOURCE: Cadbury

site  zoomshare