(Last Updated On: February 14, 2022)


Cotton candy evokes images of street fairs, carnivals, and just about any place where kids get to enjoy a sweet treat. It’s fun. It’s messy. And where candy is concerned, unique. It comes in nearly every color of the rainbow, too! We explored 5 Sweet Facts About Cotton Candy and found it can be quite an adventure.

1. Spinning Sugar

Cotton candy is a type of spun sugar made when heated sugar is forced through a centrifuge. The fine strands of sugar look like cotton. Centuries before machines allowed candy makers to make this fluffy, sweet treat, chefs in Renaissance Italy were pulling fine strands of sugar and creating pieces of edible art. At the time, sugar was expensive so only the wealthy and royalty enjoyed spun sugar.

This method also creates a harder candy. However, handmade cotton candy is still made today and in a softer form. One kind is called Dragon’s Beard. The strands are thicker than the fine strands from a machine, but they are soft and flexible and just as delightful to eat!

2. The Dentist Did It

Inventor and dentist William James Morrison partnered with candy maker John C. Wharton in 1887 to develop a machine to make a spun sugar candy. They filed their patent under the title “candy machine” that same year and patent No. 618428 was granted on January 1, 1890. The partners first introduced their light, fluffy and sweet candy at the Louisana Purchase Exposition in St. Louis, the world’s largest fair with over 70,000 exhibitions. Many other creations gained popularity at the fair including the ice cream cone, club sandwich, and peanut butter.

3. Candy Makers Promoted Its Purity

Candy makers snatched up cotton candy machines and started making fairy floss, cotton candy, candy floss in their stores. They promoted it for its purity because the main (and usually only) ingredient was cane sugar. Purity is next to healthy, right?

4. World Records

On July 13, 2013, Sv Feldkirchen-Mitterhartshausen eV, Abenteuer Leben, and Kabel Eins organized the making of the world’s tallest candy floss. The giant cone of sugar measured 17 feet 10.57 inches (5.45 meters).

5. It’s An Art Form

Cotton candy making has also become an art form. Candy makers create elaborate (and large) sculptures in every shape imaginable. The process is entertaining and when they are finished you have a beautiful, sweet flower or colorful teddy bear. They make fun gifts, too.

Guinness World Records also has a category for the world’s largest candy floss art. They have yet to name a record in this category, so if you’re interested in applying visit the website.

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