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“Who Loves Cotton Candy?”

December 7, 2021

By Kimmy Foulds

What a delectable puff piece to fluff on the annual December 7th National Cotton Candy Day.

Remember the days of pulling the sticky chunks of sugar off your face? For me, it was stuck to my hair but I didn’t care. I looked forward to choosing the biggest bag of my favorite light blue color of cotton candy at a Midwest state fair and was lucky to see a pink bag of the sugary treat at the summer county fair. Woo-hoo.

Fond memories of this delicious colorful, airy sugar spun on a stick surfaced when I lived in the Monterey Peninsula of the beautiful California coast. I took my oldest son to the famous Carousel Candies at the Monterey’s Fisherman’s Wharf.

This majestic lavish bright fuchsia building was (and is) an icon at the Wharf.  I was enticed and thrilled that this endless smorgasbord was serving handmade goodies and an incredible amount of savory childhood wafting candies year-round. I was overjoyed that I didn’t have to wait for a festival. The day’s excursion inside this enchanting dwelling was the carnival.   

Wow! Drifting smells of dainties with happy people and smiley faces would describe this amazing experience. To have seen the regular granulated sugar spun in the silver round mechanism was alluring to stay for hours to watch as the tiny crystals grew into a massive cloud, reminisce with my son, nibble the variety of candies from fudge, brittle, apples, toffee and taste new formed sugars from the store’s glass cases. Returning home with to-go sacks of taffy and unbelievable palate treasures were the jewels of the day.

Ironically, a dentist William Morrison and confectioner John C. Wharton are credited for the invention of a heated electric spinning plate where crystallized sugar was poured through a screen, creating a thin thread floss-like texture back in 1897.

While spun sugar has been around a while, cotton candy’s popularity made its grand debut during the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair as fairy floss. The public loved the sensation and bought over 68,000 boxes for 25 cents a box.

Another dentist, Josef Lascaux, joined the cotton candy scene in 1921. To avoid association with the original floss-like candy, he decided to market his version of the splendid confection as cotton candy that resembled the cotton grown in Louisiana, the state he resided.

Today, cotton candy is used as the basis for inventive bonbons such as ice cream, hard-shell roll ups, sprinkles, doughnuts, pancakes, burritos, pizzas and a jolly more of bountiful concoctions including clothing, accessories, cosmetics and edible art masterpieces.  

In celebrating this memorable old fashioned sugary sweet for all ages, may the joy of the season continue in the magnificent hues of the tasty cotton candy as its traditionally known in America.

Cotton candy is a popular gift with a variety of names throughout the world. England calls this special pick as candy floss. Australia and Finland refer to cotton candy as fairy floss. In the Netherlands, it’s known as suikerspin, which means sugar spider. And in France, it’s barbe à papa, which means papa’s beard.

This vivid flavored sugar proclamation of the 1800s does make me ponder.

Why do dentists to this day, offer candy after a visit to their dentist office?

Hum, with a goodness of one ingredient, sugar, cotton candy is still a truly loved, Mmm indulgence, right?

Reflect, from sunrise to sunset.

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Graciously thanking everyone with grateful appreciation expressed.

Looking forward to virtually meeting and getting to know you!