With eye-catching shapes, interesting flavours, and enticing textures, sweets and candy are much-loved worldwide by people of all ages. They provide minor treats, lessons in economics for children, and colourful novelties to mark festivities. Methods for making sweets can be traced back to the importance of sugar in Arabic medicine and the probable origin of this in ancient India. But these seemingly inconsequential items are freighted with centuries of changing cultural attitudes, social and economic history, emotional attachments, and divergent views on the role of sugar in health. How did confectionery become so popular? Why do we value concentrated sweetness in such varied forms? Why persist in eating sweets?From marzipan pigs and nutty nougat to bubblegum and bonbons, Sweets and Candy looks behind the glamour and sparkle to explore the sticky history of confectionery. Laura Mason describes many of the bewildering varieties and the fascinating ways in which different cultures have made, consumed, valued, and adored sweets and candy throughout history. Featuring a selection of scrumptious recipes to try at home, this global history will appeal to sweet-toothed readers, as well as all those interested in the history of food.
Laura Mason is a food historian and writer with a special interest in British foods and food customs. Her books include Sugar Plums and Sherbet (2003), Pine (Reaktion, 2013) and several recipe books for the National Trust, and she also contributed to The Oxford Companion to Sugar and Sweets (2015). She lives in Yorkshire.