NATIONAL CANDY DAY
On November 4th we celebrate the sweet holiday, National Candy Day. Candies have a long history of attracting us with their bright colors and delightful flavors. They also come in a variety of fun sizes and shapes.
In the late 13th century, Middle English first began using the word candy. Borrowed from the Old French cucre candi, it is derived in turn from Persian Qand and Qandi, cane sugar.
People use the term candy as a broad category. We treat candy bars, chocolates, licorice, sour candies, salty candies, tart candies, hard candies, taffies, gumdrops, marshmallows and much more as candy.
Sugar wasn’t always readily available, so the first candies were made from honey. Candymakers coated coat fruits and flowers with honey. This method preserved the flowers and nuts or created forms of candy. Today, we still create these confections, but they are typically seen as a garnish.
Originally a form of medicine, candy calmed the digestive system or cooled a sore throat. At that time, combined with spices and sugar, candy only appeared in the purses and the dishes of the wealthy.
By the 18th century, the first candy likely came to American from Britain and France. At the time, people made the simplest form of candy from crystallized sugar – rock candy. However, even the most basic form of sugar was considered a luxury and was only attainable by the wealthy.
Since 1979, the world has produced more sugar than can be sold, making it very attainable and cheap.
With the advent of the industrial revolution, many advances improved the availability of sugar. By the 1830s, markets opened and the candy business underwent a drastic change. Not only did the price of candy drop, but penny candies targeted children.
- 1847 – Invention of the candy press making it possible to produce multiple shapes and sizes of candy at one time.
- 1851 – Confectioners begin using a revolving steam pan to assist in boiling sugar.
The two top-selling candies in America have been:
- M & M’S — M&M’s are milk chocolate drops with a colorful candy coating on the outside. Forrest Mars, Sr. and William Murrie developed M&M’s following the Spanish Civil War. They dubbed the new candy with the initials of their surnames. The candies debuted in 1941 and were given to American soldiers serving in the Second World War.
- Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups — Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups are round chocolate disks that are filled with a sweet, creamy peanut butter filling. Hershey’s company first manufactured the iconic cups in 1928.
HOW TO OBSERVE #NationalCandyDay
It’s four days after Halloween. Either you have leftover candy or can sneak some of your kid’s stash to celebrate. Or, invite some friends to enjoy their favorite candies with you! Of course, it’s always better to celebrate with a crowd. Use #NationalCandyDay to post on social media.
NATIONAL CANDY DAY HISTORY
National Day Calendar® continues researching the origins of this sweet tasting holiday.
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