What is National Candy Day?
We hope your sweet tooth is ready, because November 4 is National Candy Day. These sweet and sour treats have been our favorite snack since childhood. Whether they’re hard, chewy, fruit flavored, or a “melt in your mouth not in your hand” sort of treat, candy has been a consistent source of happiness and, as we get older, nostalgia.
National Candy Day History
The story of candy begins in India. Between the 6th and 4th centuries BC, the Persians and Greeks learned that the people in India had, what they called, reeds that make honey without bees. These reeds were actually sugarcane, which is indigenous to Southeast Asia. Ancient Indians would boil sugarcane juice, turning it into individual pieces of sugar, which they called “khanda.”
Before sugarcane was domesticated outside of Asia, honey was used in ancient China, the Middle East, Egypt, Greece, and Rome to coat fruits and flowers, which would preserve them and turn them into a form of candy. Before the Industrial Revolution, candy was used as medicine to either calm the digestive system or cool the throat. In the Middle Ages, candy was mostly consumed by the wealthy and was made of sugar and spices to aid digestive problems, which were very common, as food was neither fresh nor balanced.
Candy first came to America in the 18th century from France and Britain. Very few colonists were skilled in sugar work, meaning only the wealthy were able to enjoy these new treats. In the 1830s, when the Industrial Revolution was in full swing, technological advances allowed candy to be accessible to more than just the rich, including a new market specifically for children. While some artisan sugar workers remained, candy stores were becoming an American staple, especially in the lives of children across the country. Penny candy became the first thing a child would spend their money on, and candy store owners relied mostly on the business of children and families to keep them running.