Sweet Tooth: The Bittersweet History of Candy
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A cultural history of candy-how it evolved from medicine and a luxury to today's Kit Kat bars and M&M's
Told through the Kate Hopkins' travels in Europe and the U.S., Sweet Tooth is a first-hand account of her obsession with candy and a detailed look at its history and development. The sugary treats we enjoy today have a prominent past entertaining kings, curing the ill, and later developing into a billion-dollar industry. The dark side of this history is that the confectionery industry has helped create an environment of unhealthy overindulgence, has quelled any small business competition that was deemed to be a risk to any large company's bottom line, and was largely responsible for the slave trade that evolved during the era of colonization.
Candy's history is vast and complex and plays a distinct part in the growth of the Western world. Thanks to the ubiquity of these treats which allows us to take them for granted, that history has been hidden or forgotten. Until now. Filled with Hopkins' trademark humor and accompanied by her Candy Grab Bag tasting notes, Sweet Tooth is a must-read for everybody who considers themselves a candy freak.
according to the more fundamental Catholics in the Vatican, these were heathen traders. When Saladin was able to conquer a great part of Jerusalem in 1291, the pope retaliated in the only way he could: he prohibited trade between Catholic Europe and Muslim Egypt. Venice was displeased and advocated a return to the trade routes. This was permitted in 1345, and by 1395 the volume of spices reaching Venice via the major Mediterranean ports of Alexandria and Beirut dwarfed that coming via the Black
fruits from the poisonous, we found ways to domesticate the plants that held these fruits. From there, we were able to indulge our developing sweet tooth at our whim. Unfortunately, my sweet tooth wasn’t really calling out to me at the moment. That honor belonged to my general state of grogginess. This needed to be addressed before searching the streets of Palermo for candy. After finding the requisite amount of energy to adequately present myself to the world, I escaped the confines of my hotel
open the door, and a lone woman, her black hair encased in a hairnet, gave me a brief nod of acknowledgment as she looked out from the back room. Otherwise, the only things in the room were several dozen types of Haribo products and an eerie silence that was broken every time I picked up a rustling cellophane bag full of gummies. “Can I help you?” the young woman from the back eventually said. Her black hair contrasted against her pale skin, and her bright red lipstick made it appear as if she
consciousness. Other aspects are far more nuanced. The clue here is the size of the shop. Because rents are high for stores located so close to Piccadilly Circus, the smaller the shop, the lower the rent. There is clearly no room for these places to be making confectionery of their own. All the candies that decorate the shelves are made elsewhere, likely in an industrial environment of one sort or another. These “shoppes” (there are several throughout London, and even more throughout the United
anything to do that would pay proper homage to these flavored lozenges. My first plan was to head over to where the Necco plant used to be. I quickly scrubbed this idea as being needlessly sentimental. Necco hadn’t closed. They moved five miles up the road to Revere, Massachusetts, and were, as far as I was aware, still a distinctive part of the Boston landscape. “Oh, this is ridiculous,” I said to myself. The first thing I should do was give them a break. I hadn’t eaten the candy in ages, and