A Sweet Guide to Yuletide – A History of Christmas Candy, Part Deux

Say Thank You (and Merci) to the English and French forInspiring some of the best Christmas Candy!

Part II:  The International History of Christmas Candy:

Cherries in Chocolate. Finger licking Goop! The Best Christmas Candy?

Perhaps the most surprising fact about chocolate covered cherries is that when they are covered in chocolate, the “goo” is paste! The enzyme invertase actually reacts with the paste to turn it into a delicious goop!

There’s no denying the contribution French cuisine has made to the American dinner table. So it’s no surprise that some of our favorite Christmas

candy also has its roots in the French culinary experience. Among them, the much lovedCHOCOLATE-COVERED CHERRY CORDIAL.  Both the Cella and Queen Anne’s brand are American interpretations of the French griottes, sour cherries in chocolate and kirsch. In America, cordials were originally made with liqueur. In modern times the

alcohol content has been replaced by sugar syrup. But one thing remains the same: bite through the chocolate shell and release the taste of the Yuletide.  Sweet fruit and sticky syrup—Vive la France!

For most of us, cotton candy is reminiscent of the long hot summers and State Fairs of childhood. But cotton candy is actually an English invention that made its sticky-fingered debut at the Paris Exposition in 1900. Back then it was known as Spun Sugar or Fairy Floss and was wound around a stick or cone so that elegant Parisians could avoid a mess. Today, it appears during the holiday season as FLUFFY STUFF SNOWBALLS COTTON CANDY and comes in foil packaging for freshness and, well, less mess.

The treat with a bang: the CHRISTMAS CRACKER originated in 19th century England as an adaptation of the French bon-bon. The English treat consisted of sugar lollies wrapped in a twist of colorful paper. But it was only when sales slumped that a confectioner added strips of overlapping silver fulminate to produce a small, explosive sound when tugged apart. Unfortunately for the sweet tooth, the sugar lolly was dropped from the cracker and replaced by toys and paper fortunes. Today, Harrods department store sells a box of six luxury Christmas crackers for about £400. That’s roughly $640 US dollars worth of trinkets and holiday cheer.

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