Candy - History of Candy

Candy

Candy is something that we all recognize. Everyone has had hard candies or chocolates. We eat a lot of candy on some holidays, like Halloween. Giving chocolates as a gift is popular on Valentine's Day. But, who invented candy?

Candy has been around for a very long time. Some researchers say that cavemen made candy out of honey by drying it and forming a sort of taffy, or gum-like candy. There is also evidence that cavemen ate a fruit-nut-barley mixture that is a lot like today's granola bar.

There are also sources that have candy dating back to the ancient Egyptians in 2000 BC. The Egyptians were using honey around 1500 BC, and they eventually began mixing it with nuts and fruits-at least those who were rich and could afford to eat this way.

By 950 AD, Arabs had invented caramel. Indians were the first to make sugar candy in about 250 AD. The Greeks used honey and fruit to make candy, and the Chinese also added other flavorings, such as ginger, nuts, and licorice.

When Europeans began to explore the Americas, they discovered that the Incas in Mexico used the cocoa plant-used in making chocolate. The cocoa was used to make a drink, and the drink was reserved for nobles and their "god-king." This new sensation spread to Spain and then the rest of Europe, but the Europeans found that the cocoa, or chocolate, tastes much better if sweetened with sugar.

The first chocolate bar was created in 1847 by Joseph Frye. He made a paste of melted cacao butter, chocolate powder, and sugar and pressed the paste into a mold.

Another popular candy-the candy cane--originated in Germany about 1670. The first modern day candy canes were made as special Christmas treats in the 1920s. In the 1950's modern machinery was introduced to increase production as demand increased. The basic form has remained unchanged since they were first developed.

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