Until the 1800s, the chefs of Europe prepared delicious deserts made with sugar. Unlike the sugar of current times which is cottony spun, in those days, the strands of sugar was quite thick and was similar to blown glass. The candy came in various shapes and were given the look of bird’s nests, eggs, golden webs, castles etc.
In order to make the candies such fanciful, the chefs had to undertake a tedious procedure. Loaf sugar made out of beet or cane was utilized, as until World War I granulated sugar was not discovered. Water, Sugar and other ingredients were put into large pots and boiled until the correct temperature was reached with the appropriate level of consistency. Cooks generally preferred to use the best quality of cane sugar to avoid any kind of failures, and they also used copper bowls for achieving optimum results. When the melted mixture was successfully accomplished, in no time the chef had to pull it out with a whisk or fork and fling it in the air. This would lead to fast solidification and cooling of the concoction. The chefs had to be extremely cautious to avoid any kind of burns and some even oiled their skins so that any accident would not turn out to be a fatal one.
In 1899, two men from Tennessee named John C. Wharton and William Morrisson invented the electric cotton candy machine for the first time. This machine melted sugar, forced it to spin using centrifugal force and finally made it pass through small outlets before letting it go.
Thomas Patton was yet another individual who found interest in researching with caramelized sugar. He utilized a fork to make threads out of sugar. Thus, he came up with a machine which had a gas-fired rotating plate in it which gave the sugar a threaded texture by spinning it. These threads were gathered together to give the look of a big cotton ball of candy, popularly known as cotton candy today.
In 1949, Gold Medal Products discovered the cotton candy machine that is used in today’s date. The base of this machine was loaded with spring, which made the preparation of cotton candy much simpler and convenient.
In 1950, cotton candies became a big hit and a part of fair habits in many nations. In New York, Four Seasons Hotel added cotton candy to their menu list for exclusive occasions. In Manhattan, this sweet sticky desert was given in a martini glass and came in vibrant colors and attractive appearance.
With passing name, cotton candies were addressed and served with different names in different places. New Orleans stuck to the name, cotton candy. In Australian culture, it became well known as fairy floss. Children in Great Britain love it as candy floss whereas in Greece and India, it became famous as “old lady’s hair”!