National Candy Day: 10 facts you never knew about candy

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MIAMI, FL – JANUARY 16: Nestle BabyRuth bars are seen on a store shelf, the day the company announced plans to sell its US candy business on January 16, 2018 in Miami, Florida. Nestle has agreed to sell its U.S. confectionery business to Italy’s Ferrero for $2.8 billion. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Nov. 4 is “National Candy Day” in the U.S.

Whether you are a chocoholic or prefer Pez from dispensers, almost everyone craves something sweet at some point.

Just days after Halloween every year, people who ration their (or their children’s) holiday candy can easily celebrate or use the empty trick-or-treat bags as an excuse to go get more.

To honor this day of sweets, we found out some obscure facts about candy you may not have known:

  1. According to CandyHistory.net, the first candies can be traced back to 2000 B.C. in ancient Egypt. According to Wonderopolis.org, the Egyptians used honey to make candy by combining it with nuts, figs, dates, and spices.
  2. According to Dictionary.com, the word “candy” has been used in the English language since the mid to late 14th century, but it was not its own word until the 17th century. It was referred to as “sugar candy,” derived from the Old French term “sucre candi.”
  3. According to WhereTraveler.com and multiple other sources, the oldest candy company in the U.S. is Ye Olde Pepper Candy Company outside Salem, Mass. Curiously, it was founded by an English woman who was shipwrecked and produced candy to make a living. It remains in the family to this day.
  4. According to Oldest.org, the oldest candy bar is Fry’s Chocolate Cream, produced in England in 1866 and still sold today.
  5. According to CandyFavorites.com, the namesake of Fry’s, Joseph Fry made the first “modern” candy bar 19 years earlier in 1847 by mixing cacao butter, cocoa, and sugar into a paste and placing it in a mold.
  6. According to CandyHallofFame.org, also in 1847, Boston inventor Oliver R. Chase created and patented the first candy press in America: a lozenge cutter. Lovers of Necco Wafers are familiar with this candy.
  7. Not to be confused with Joseph Fry, confectionery historians believe fellow Brit Thomas Fryer developed the first gelatin candies 50 years or more before German-born Hans Riegel created the world-renowned Haribo gummy bears in 1922. This is according to an investigation by the BBC and the Lancashire Post.
  8. According to TodayInCTHistory.com, in 1908, George Smith of the Bradley Smith Company in New Haven, Conn. named his hard candy on a stick “lollipops” after a racehorse he had seen at a local fair. However, it took 23 years to trademark the name because the term “lollipop” was already in the English dictionary dating back to the 1800s. But, by changing to the spelling to “Lolly Pop” — which was the actual name of that racehorse — the trademark was granted to the Bradley Smith Company by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in 1931.
  9. According to the book A History of Food (2009), the world has produced more sugar than can be sold since 1979, which is the reason sugar is so cheap.
  10. According to NationalDayCalendar.com — the website who announces more than 1,500 American national holidays — the origins of “National Candy Day” are unknown.

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