The History of Candy

History of Sugar Candy

It is generally believed that the idea of a sweet treat was first conceived by cavemen, who liked honey from beehives. Before they had sugar the Egyptians, the Chinese, the Indians, the people of Middle East, and then the Greeks and Romans combined fruits and nuts with honey to make candy. It is believed that the first sweets were consumed as a sort of medical treatment for digestive troubles.

As civilization began to develop and when sugar processing was discovered it became a highly traded commodity.

During the middle Ages, sugar candy came at a high price which made it a delicacy available only to wealthy. During the same period sugar was classed as a drug that was regarded as the cure for many ailments and was sold by the apothecaries.

In the seventeenth century, as sugar became a little more available, people in England and in America ate boiled sugar candies mixed with fruit and nuts. Caramels and lollipops were known in the early eighteen century. By the mid-1800s over 380 factories was built in the United States to manufacture candy. Most of them were producing individual hard candies which were then sold loose. First chocolate factory in the United States was established in 1765.

During the early nineteenth century, after the discovery of the ''sugar beet'' and the advancement of the mechanical age sweet-making developed rapidly into an industry and an assortment of flavors began to be introduced into the candy mixture. Since sweets no longer handmade and started to be mass-produced, they were available for the first time to all people. The very first sweets were boiled sweets, marshmallows and Turkish delight. Also at this time, hard candies, such as peppermints and lemon drops became hugely popular in America. England was the first country to manufacture hard candies in large quantities, and at 1851 London Prince Albert's Great Exhibition, a large assortments of boiled sweets, bonbons, chocolate creams, caramels and many others types of candy were represented to European and American confectioners.

Ancient Olmec civilizations of Mexico made the first chocolate drink. The Spaniards introduced Europe to chocolate in 16th century.

Cocoa powder was made in 1828 but chocolate became mass produced and widely available in the middle of the nineteenth century when it was introduced into the candy industry as both cocoa and sugar production rose to new heights. In the beginning the chocolate was made of a bittersweet chocolate. The first candy bar for the mass market was created by Joseph Fry in 1847. In 1854 the first packaged box of Whitman's chocolates was introduced. Richard Cadbury introduced the first Valentine's Day box of candy in 1868.

David Peter and Henry Nestle from Switzerland created the first milk chocolate in 1876 which made the American candy bar such a phenomenon of the late nineteenth century.

Today many different sorts of other ingredients are added to the chocolate bar. The popular Halloween candy, Candy Corn, was invented by George Renninger in 1880.

George Smith invented the first Lolly Pop in 1908.