Archive for the ‘Candy History’ Category

Norbert Rillieux: All the Sugar that You Eat and a Bizarre Twist

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If you like sweets, eat sweets, or give gifts of made sugar, you have Norbert Rillieux to thank. His story is remarkable and his legacy regarding cane sugar in specific and sugar in general is profound.  He was born in 1806; his mother was a free woman of color, and his father, Vincent Rillieux, a European American plantation owner and inventor. At that time, 25 percent of African Americans in New Orleans were free and mixed couples often raised families together. Rillieux was a precocious student – so precocious his father sent him to the famous l’École Centrale in Paris…

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Holiday Art Candy

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You have to love art candy. It’s a standard in old time grandmothers’ candy bowls, pieces sometimes sticking together…not to form a mound, exactly, but maybe a cluster. Let’s not get distracted from the reality of these candies – they’re beautiful with lovely little colors centered in each one. Very Christmas. Maybe very Easter, if anyone thought to eat them then. But they’re also very summer, and that’s what I like about them most. Originally, they were a standard at beach-side resorts in England in the late 1800s. The hotels would roll their image and name into the center of…

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Sugar Plum? What Plum?

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Of all the Christmas candy that everyone loves, the sugar plum resigns supreme in folk lure, song, and a general representation of the Christmas spirit. This is odd, since almost no one knows what the sugar plum really is. So, I’m here to tell you. In essence, sugar plums are sugar coated seeds or nuts first made in the 17th century. They were made by skilled craftsmen who apprenticed for years, absorbing the nuances of a trade that makes Julia Child look like a scullery maid in comparison. First, they coated seeds or nuts with gum Arabic, then put them…

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Cherry Cordials: A Chocolate Covered & Distilled Delight

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One of our favorite candy-makers sent us a truly delicious candy he agreed to make just for us: the cherry cordial. The cordial is jollier than the truffle with its relatively round chocolate exterior, its distinctive runny center, and deliciously sweet cherry nugget at the center. So, naturally, that got me thinking: who thought to put the cherry in the center of the chocolate? Why not just a good-old plain cherry? And why all the fuss involved in making it a maraschino cherry? So, after a little exploring I found that – like so much in the candy kingdom –…

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