If you’ve got a sweet tooth, you’re going to be smiling a lot today. November 4 is National Candy Day!
Candy is defined as a sweet confection made with sugar or other sweeteners, and often flavored with fruits or nuts. The word is believe to derive from the Persian Qandi (=قندی ), meaning “cane sugar.” In the U.S. it’s a pretty broad term that includes candy bars, chocolates, licorice, hard candies, taffies, and gumdrops. In Europe it’s often called “sweets” or “confectionery,” and in Australian and New Zealand, is referred to as “lollies.” How fun would it be to walk around Melbourne, approach a stranger, and say, “G’day, mate! Let’s throw another shrimp on the barbie. And then eat lollies for dessert.” There’s no way you would be mistaken for a tourist if you talked like that! Regardless of what it’s called, candy has been enjoyed as far back as ancient times, when people scooped honey from beehives and ate it raw. The first true confections consisted of fruits and nuts rolled in honey. Sugar was initially expensive and enjoyed only by the wealthy, but as prices dropped in the 17th century, hard candies became popular. In the mid-1800s, there were over 400 candy factories in the U.S., giving Willy Wonka some seriously stiff competition. A survey by Bloomberg Businessweek ranking the world’s bestselling candies lists M&M’s at #1, followed by Snicker’s. Can’t say I’m really surprised. Rounding out the Top 5: Trident gum, Kit Kat, and Wrigley’s Orbit gum.
This is one holiday where the timing makes perfect sense. It’s four days after Halloween, so most homes have at least some candy on hand. Ours is no exception. We live in a condo complex and never get trick-or-treaters, but we’re always prepared just in case. That preparation inevitably leads to left over candy, of course. Which made today pretty easy to celebrate.
- Old-fashioned candy stores doing a sweet business (nydailynews.com)
- Sugar Knife Artisan Sweets. Candy for adults. (marketing555.wordpress.com)
- Women more likely than men to steal Halloween candy from their babies, study finds (theprovince.com)