The History of Some Classic Easter Treats

WVTF Public Radio recently featured True Treats Historic Candy’s owner, Susan Benjamin, in their “All Things Considered” blog.  Easter is, of course, a major religious holiday for Christians, but for the secular world it’s all about candy.  As it turns out, this country played a key role in the evolution of what fills today’s Easter baskets as Sandy Hausman reports.

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Talk and tasting: History of candy in America is subject at Landis Valley Museum March 18

Author and historic candy store owner Susan Benjamin will talk about the American sweet tooth in three centuries

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About our Talks & Tastings

From Rising Sun Tavern, Fredericksburg, VA:

Valentine’s Day Tasting Sunday at Rising Sun Tavern in Fredericksburg.  Besides candy, folks be given a history lesson about how the treats evolved over the years and what made some more special than others.

From Paula Tarnapol Whitacre,  Sorghum:  The Abolitionists’ Sweet

Following my recent visit to the Alexandria Black History Museum, we were flattered to be featured in Paula’s blog.  Many are unaware of the relationship between African American history and the evolution of sugar.

From the Hungry Bee, Food Blogger, New York City:

Today I braved the first extremely cold Sunday of the season to check out Susan Benjamin’s talk on Candies Through the 19th Century at the Mount Vernon Hotel Museum and Garden on the Upper East Side.  And I’m so glad that I did.

The New York Times, New York, NY:

Mount Vernon Hotel Museum and Garden: Candy Talk
This talk about the history of candy making in the United States will include some tasty extras: samplings of old-fashioned sweets like licorice root, sugar plums (that are not really plums at all) and jelly beans. (Listed as one of the city’s top events that weekend.

About Our Sweets

The Sacramento Bee, Sacramento, CA:

‘Cool’ candy assortment is centuries old Cool Confectionaries of Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, does some very cool things with candies. It specializes in replicated historic candies made from recipes popular in the 18th, 19th and early 20th centuries. The confections are sourced from small candymaking companies (including the tiny Historic Division of giant Mars), and from artisanal candymakers using authentic, original recipes

The Arizona Republic, Phoenix, AZ:

“Food of love: Aphrodisiacs for Valentine’s day”
…According to Susan Benjamin, West Virginia-based author of “Flash” and expert on aphrodisiac foods, their powers are a combination of looks, chemistry and psychology. If you believe something to be an aphrodisiac, it might just turn out to be true.

About The Shop

Wonderful piece by Michael Kane, of the “Ministry of Happiness”:

So I’m back in Harpers Ferry as I get ready to walk back to New York on the Appalachian Trail.  My absolute favorite thing in this town is the True Treats candy shop created and run by Susan Benjamin…

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Pittsburgh, PA:

True Treats sells old types of candy. There’s a lot to take in outdoors, but when it’s a sweltering 97 degrees, a cool refuge is True Treats, a shop that promises authentic candies dating back to the 1600s and air-conditioning. The company attached to the rear of the shop is called Cool Confectionaries. Sweet!

The State Journal, WV:

“HARPERS FERRY — Visitors to Cool Confectionaries clearly enjoy sampling horehound drops, Turkish Delight and other treats rarely tested by modern mouths, but there’s an added bonus, too. Susan Benjamin not only sells authentic sweets from the 1700s through the 1950s at her new shop at 144 High St. in Harpers Ferry, but also gives customers the chance to learn fascinating tidbits about the goodies.

Herald Mail, Hagerstown, MD: 

Candy researcher tracks down original recipes for old-fashioned candies.

Blogger Beth Meyers, Visit Harpers Ferry and True Treats:

To maximize our time, we had a quick lunch at Scoops Ice Cream.  The peach ice cream got good reviews. For another break, you can check out Cool Confectionaries, the only historic candy store in the nation.  Almost every kind of candy sold here comes with an extensive label recounting the story.  You can learn about the history of chocolate, chewing gum, and lollipops.  The enthusiastic owner gives you information with every purchase.  Cold vintage sodas are also available.  Cool Confectionaries was the highlight of our day.

‘Sweet as sin’ offers history of sweet treats

The Greenfield Recorder reviews Sweet As Sin:

‘Sweet as Sin’ Offers History of Sweet Treats

Woman’s Day

Susan discusses the history of fudge with the editor of Woman’s Day in their September issue. Be sure to pick up your copy to learn all about it!

Secrets of the penny candy jar: From Tootsie Rolls to Necco wafers, the real story behind every nostalgic treat

Secrets of the penny candy jar: From Tootsie Rolls to Necco wafers, the real story behind every nostalgic treat.

Susan’s Article

The sweet lowdown – our enduring obsession with candy

In Sweet as Sin, author and candy shop owner Susan Benjamin traces the evolution of North America’s sweet tooth.

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Food Network

Food Magazine raves that True Treats is the “Must-See Sweet Spot” in West Virginia and one of the top 50 destinations for confections in the nation!

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