Wild honey, the forerunner of sugar
In Ancient Egypt, honey was part of recipes for very sweet delicacies. In Roman Gaul, dried or chopped fruits were dipped in honey to make sweets. Sugarcane or "honey reed": "In India, there exists a reed capable of producing honey without the intervention of bees." That is how an admiral of Alexander the Great described sugarcane during a military campaign in India 2,200 years ago!
Sugar at exorbitant prices
Persians began cultivating sugarcane around 500 BC, and sugar was sold at exorbitant prices throughout the Middle East. For centuries it remained a luxury, even when sugarcane was exported to the Caribbean and South America for cultivation in the late 15th century.
The Queen of candy
In the 16th century, Catherine de Medici, future Queen of France, introduced Italian sweets to her new homeland. At that time, Venice was a step ahead of France when it came to candy. Confectioners and ice cream makers accompanied her on her trip, making mouths water at the French court.
Confectioners’ imaginative innovations
The 18th century saw the appearance of sugared almonds, hard candies, candied chestnuts, nougats, candied fruits, pralines, etc.
In the 19th century, industrialization and the discovery of beet sugar unleashed confectioners’ imaginations.
A taste for never-ending sensations!
The United States invented chewing gum and cotton candy, England imagined the lollipop, Mexico came up with chili pepper candy – a delicacy that has yet to cross the Atlantic. In France, new inventions flourished: powder candy, rolled candy, candy drops and marbles, king size, regular or miniature. Gourmet candy-lovers’ favorite flavors were mixed together, new textures were created and combined. Now there is candy for the playground, the office, for every minute of the day... yumm!
The adventure continues!
What will the candy of tomorrow look like? Ever more "natural" and delicious? Simply amazing? We’ll soon find out; Verquin is on the job!