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At the height of the Middle Ages sweetmeats reappeared, on the tables of the wealthy at first...

In fact the confectionery of the time began as a marriage of spices and sugar, and was intended to have a therapeutic or at least preventative function, as an aid to digestive troubles due to the excessive intake of food which was neither very fresh nor very well balanced...guests were in the habit of carrying these sweetmeats to their rooms to be taken at night.

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Many sources (including company Web sites) vaguely date the recipe in the 1940s. Apparently this product (or similar products) is known in other parts of the country by different names: fairy candy, fairy food, sea foam, angel food and honeycomb toffee.

An examination of old confectionery texts confirms recipes with these names.

While the British called such confections, "sweetmeats," Americans came to call "candy," from the Arabic qandi, "made of sugar," although one finds "candy" in English as early as the fifteenth century...

Caramels were known in the early eighteenth century and lollipops by the 1780s..."Hard candies" made from lemon or peppermint flavors were popular in the early nineteenth century...

Boiled "sugar plums were known in the seventeenth-century England and soon were to appear in the American colonies where maple-syrup candy was popular in the North and benne-seed [sesame seed] confections were just as tempting in the South.

In New Amersterdam one could enjoy "marchpane," or "marzipan," which is very old decorative candy made from almonds ground into a sweet paste.This ingredient is generally omitted from the other recipes."Those who know about it come in with mouths watering, cast their gaze across the rows of chocolate creams and molds to see if they'll taste any today.You see, to get sponge candy at Stone Brothers Home Made Candies, conditions have to be jsut right. Makes about 35 pieces." ---Ideals Candy Cookbook, Mildred Brand [Ideals Publishing: Nashville TN] 1979 (p. a food rich in sugar as a: candied or crystallized fruit b. The primary definition is a concessionaire hawking sweets on trains, circuses, state fairs, and movie theatres.And that means candy junkies are sometims left wanting for a delicacy seldom found outside upstate New York. 44) Why are confections sometimes called "sweetmeats? 76 Their breathes with sweet meats tainted are." (2nd edition, accessed online 15 April 2011) American English definitions generally mirror the British: "Sweetmeat. a sweet delicacy, prepared with sugar honey or the like, as preserves, candy, or , formerly, cakes or pastry. Usually, sweetmeats, any sweet delicacy of the confectionery or candy kind, as candied fruit, sugar-covered nuts, sugarplums, bonbons, or balls or sticks of candy." ---Webster's New Universal Unabridged Dictionary, fully revised and updated [Barnes & Noble Books: New York] 1996 (p. candy, confection." ---Webster's Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary [Merriam-Webster: New York] 1988 (p. It was a popular profession for young boys, who were strong (they had to carry their wares in a large carton/tray hooked around their neck), outgoing (they had to actively promote their wares to make money) and savvy (spot potential customers, make change on the spot). Some confectioners crafted cheap novel candies shaped in meat forms (bologna and sauerkraut) in the Philadelphia area during the early 1920s.When the mixture bubbles to 293 degrees, the copper bowl is removed from a gas-fired stove and gelatin is added. This comprehensive catalog with instructions exemplifies the time when British and American confectionery were one in the same. The Webster's New World Dictionary of the American Language defines "Candy Butcher" as selling confections and newspapers on trains.

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