What Was The First Sweet Ever Invented?
Sweets - Where did they come from?
When you next chew on that foam banana or attempt to blow a bubble, you are enjoying the results of thousands of years of sweet evolution. It seems that man has always had a sweet tooth. Even cavemen were working at ways to satisfy their sweet cravings.
Historian Tim Richardson has written entire volumes on the subject. He concludes that the first incidence of candy being made goes back about 8000 years. Caveman drawings, apparently depicting honey being dried out to form a sweet treat have been dated as that old.
Whilst this was a crude method, it shows man’s determination. Yes, even in the caves, man was well on the way to developing the chocolate lime.
The History of Confectionery & Sweets
The ancestry of confectionery is fascinating. There is not much evidence of further developments until the Egyptians started experimenting about 4000 years ago. According to Candy History, candy was taken to a new level in ancient Egypt. Candy was enhanced with figs, dates and spices and was revered. It became a focal point in ceremonies worshipping the gods and goddesses.
Around this time, the Romans and Chinese had developed sugar candies which were created by heating in an oven. In Greece, honey was being used to coat fruits and flowers. The clever Greeks were also developing syrups made out of figs and dates.
In India, Sanskrit texts detail milk being laced with sugar to create another wonderous ancestor of the modern-day candy.
The juice of sugar cane was first used to create what was effectively brown sugar about 1000 years later. Historians have found evidence for this in ancient texts and dates have been disputed. Despite this, we can be sure it was a long, long time before the first bag of demerara appeared on the supermarket shelves.
19th Century Sweets Was When The Big Turnaround Happened...
Jumping forward several hundred years, the 19th century saw advances in confectionery across the globe. The abolition of slavery in America brought changes to sugar cane farming. Combined with the rapid advances in industry, the sweets we know and love today started to be developed.
There is plenty written about how Scotland and Switzerland enjoy their sweets. Some suggest the Scots eat more sweets than any other nation. Whether this is true or not, they certainly led the way in the 19th century with crystallizing fruits to form versions of the boiled sweets we enjoy today.
The 19th century also saw Morecambe in England being credited with creating the first seaside rock. The English are also credited with developing licorice allsorts, still a firm favourite with all ages today.
Developments came thick and fast in the 20th century, and they are showing no signs of slowing down. There are no end of resources for those who wish to delve deeper into the wonderful world of the history of sweets. Why not read all about sweets in Turkey for example? Many manufacturers provide the history for you, such as Cadbury.
We like to think we know our sweets here at Appleton. Whilst we can’t promise cave paintings to explain the manufacturing process, we do ensure that we only stock the very best selection.
Get in touch for all of your sweet needs and grab yourself a piece of this fascinating history.
What was the first sweet ever invented? We can’t be sure. Whatever it was, we're bound to stock something similar!