Before sugar was readily available, candy was made from honey. Honey was used in Ancient China, Middle East, Egypt, Greece and the Roman Empire to coat fruits and flowers to preserve them or to create forms of candy. Candy is still served in this form today, though now it is more typically seen as a type of garnish. Candy was originally a form of medicine, either used to calm the digestive system or cool a sore throat. In the Middle Ages candy appeared on the tables of only the most wealthy at first. At that time it began as a combination of spices and sugar that was used as an aid to digestive problems. Digestive problems were very common during this time due to the constant consumption of food that was neither fresh nor well balanced. Banquet hosts would typically serve these types of ‘candies’ at banquets for their guests. One of these candies, sometimes referred to as a ‘chamber spice’, was made with cloves, ginger, aniseed, juniper berries, almonds and pine kernels dipped in melted sugar.
In the United States
The first candy came to America in the early eighteenth century from Britain and France. Only a few of the early colonists were proficient in sugar work and were able to provide the sugary treats for the very wealthy. Rock candy, made from crystallized sugar, was the simplest form of candy, but even this basic form of sugar was considered a luxury and was only attainable by the rich. In contrast, since 1979 the world has produced more sugar than can be sold, making it very attainable and cheap. The candy business underwent a drastic change in the 1830s when technological advances and the availability of sugar opened up the market. The new market was not only for the enjoyment of the rich but also for the pleasure of the working class as well. There was also an increasing market for children. Confectioners were no longer the venue for the wealthy and high class but for children as well. While some fine confectioners remained, the candy store became a staple of the child of the American working class. Penny candies epitomized this transformation of candy. Penny candy became the first material good that children spent their own money on. For this reason candy store-owners relied almost entirely on the business of children to keep them running. Even penny candies were directly descended from medicated lozenges that held bitter medicine in a hard sugar coating. In 1847, the invention of the candy press (also known as a toy machine) made it possible to produce multiple shapes and sizes of candy at once. In 1851, confectioners began to use a revolving steam pan to assist in boiling sugar. This transformation meant that the candy maker was no longer required to continuously stir the boiling sugar. The heat from the surface of the pan was also much more evenly distributed and made it less likely the sugar would burn. These innovations made it possible for only one or two people to successfully run a candy business, and thereby lowering the cost to the customer.* *Wikipedia And now here we are in the year 2013, over 2000 years after Candy was first available. It seems as though only recently, within the last 50 years, that Candy became so diverse that there are almost too many choices to choose from. To date, there are hundreds of thousands of candies, including flavors. Nobody really knows the actual number though. So, it is extremely difficult to choose what to offer at SugarPop’s. So, we have done is to count on you to tell us what you want in our Shop. We wanted to offer a good variety of not only Candy, but Soda as well. So, at first, we relied on our memories of what we liked as kids. Next, we asked the wholesalers what is popular. But really, the most important additions to the store, now and going forward, has been our feedback from our patrons. Its been pretty great to hear some of the Candies that people request, mostly from a memory from the past. So that brings us to today, where we are extremely happy to offer Premium Chocolates. Today, we are in the process of setting up our Display Case, and on Friday, the 11th, we will be stocking it! Some of the items we will have to start will be: Jelly Squares ButterCrunch Peanut Clusters Pecan Delites Truffles Almond Bark Dark Chocolate Milk Chocolate Marzipan Of course the timing could not be better with Valentine’s Day coming up. So we urge you guys to come and check us out soon. With that said, we also have to announce the addition of freshly-popped popcorn (Butter, White Cheddar, and eventually Caramel) in February, Cotton Candy in March, and Ice Cream for Floats in April. So we are listening, and we are growing to suit your needs. We want to be your destination for everything Candy. And we are excited for the New Year. Happy New Year! -Sean