Friday, May 29, 2015

Let's Talk About Fairy Floss...!

What's that, you say? You probably know it by another name...cotton candy!

Did you ever wonder when it was invented and by who? Bet the answer will surprise ya! The answer is a little freaky, for sure!

A dentist invented cotton candy. We swear we’re not making that up. The year? 1897. The place? Nashville, Tennessee.

Dentist William Morrison – perhaps seeing more than a few holes in his appointment book – teamed up with candy maker John C. Wharton to invent the device that makes cotton candy as we know it today. At the time, the air-spun sugary treat was called Fairy Floss. Whether Doc Morrison actually advocated flossing teeth with it, we don’t know.

The sticky sweet substance was a huge hit at the 1904 World’s Fair in St. Louis, where the duo sold 68,655 boxes of it.

Though cotton candy may have been a dentist’s homespun invention, its precursor may be an Italian goody from the 1400s, when cooks started using a new, labor-intensive culinary technique to create spun sugar. Using a fork, the cooks melted sugar and separated it into very fine strands which they draped over objects to create various decorative forms. Because of the high cost of sugar and the labor involved, this was a treat that only the very wealthy could afford.

At the World’s Fair, Doc Morrison and Wharton sold Fairly Floss for $0.25 a box, a hefty price back in 1904, equivalent to $5.99 today. The partners grossed $17,163.75, more than $410,000 in today’s dollars. Not bad, considering back then the average U.S. worker was earning between $200 and $400 a year. (Did we mention the cost of sugar was only four cents a pound and this well-received new confection was mostly air? These guys were literally spinning gold!

In 1920 Fairy Floss was reborn as cotton and in 1972, inventors patented an automatic cotton candy making machine, greatly speeding up the production process.

Nowadays, a circus just wouldn’t be a circus, a carnival just wouldn’t be a carnival, and Animals & Acrobats just wouldn’t be Animals & Acrobats without cotton candy! Oh, and popcorn too, which kids get FREE when you buy tickets online to this weekend’s circus extravaganza at Van Cortlandt Manor.

But, if cotton candy is your thing, make sure you brush and floss and take heart: at a mere 115 calories per serving, moderate consumption won’t expand the waistline.

I got this article freom the folks at Amazing where some of this stuff comes from, right?

Coffee inb the kitchen this morning. Rain is supposed to come back with a vengence.


Mamahen said...

A few years ago I started my second childhood lol and got a yearning for the experience of enjoying some cotton candy on a stick "a paper cone" that we use to have in my youth, but you could find at events my area was in bags. after about three yrs of hearing me talk about it, my daughter found a vender selling them at our St fair a ll and bought a big cone of it for me....What a fun walk down memory lane that was! Thank you for this article :))

Chickenmom said...

Mmmmmm! Can taste it now!!!Send some of that rain our way - we need it more than you do!

Dizzy-Dick said...

Wow, Mr. Hermit, you sure brought back some fun memories of long, long ago. Thanks.

JO said...

The good old cotton candy that you ate while walking the board walks of NJ.

Hope you will be OK with all the flooding happening your way.

HermitJim said...

Hey Mamahen...
Isn't it funny how some things stay with us for a long time? I know you must have really enjoyed the treat!

Thanks for dropping by today!

Hey Phyllis...
I can imagine the taste as well! Glad to see I'm not the only one!

Thanks for coming over this morning!

Hey Dizzy...
One of those good memories that hangs around, right?

Thanks, buddy, for coming by today!

Hey Jo...
I can see where you have some fond memories of it. Can you get it in your area?

Thanks, sweetie, for stopping in today!

Flier389 said...

I remember how they had different colors of cotton candy. It would sometimes stain your teeth and lips, and your fingers.

HermitJim said...

Hey Flier309...
All it takes is a little food coloring, but always seemed to me that the colors changed the taste. Guess my mind was playing games with me, ya reckon?