A circus, carnival, street fair, or amusement park would not be the same without this invention; spun sugar. Across the globe, the name changes, but it is still the same sweet delight. Called cotton candy in the US and Canada, candy floss in the UK and Southeast Asia, tooth floss in South Africa, papa’s beard in Finland, old ladies hair in Greece, and fairy floss in Australia.
The treat made up of 99.99% sugar, with a dash of food coloring and sprinkling of flavoring, surely had to be the creation of a candy maker, right? Nope… how about a dentist. How about two dentists? Dr. William Morrison of Nashville, a dentist, along with the confectioner John C. Wharton introduced their visually attractive, and delicious treat at the 1904 World's Fair in St. Lewis, using a device that spun the sugar. Coincidentally, that same world’s fair introduced the ice cream cone. The name of their treat was "fairy floss" and sold for a whopping 25 cents a box, which is approximately $7 in today's standard. A SECOND dentist, Joseph Lascaux from New Orleans, created a similar, but more advanced, machine in 1921, and called the treat "cotton candy". Lascaux's version was so popular that the earlier version, fairy floss, faded into history.
The most popular flavors of cotton candy are pink vanilla and blue raspberry. Gold Medal (you know them as the flour company) created the formulas for the colors, which they call Silly Nilly and Boo Blue.
Now if they could just make a change that would stop the sugar from sticking to our fingers and face, it would be perfect.
#foodhistory #cottoncandy #dentist #nola