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Where 8 of Your Favorite Candies Originated From

Travelers Today       By    David Thompson

Updated: Jan 20, 2023 05:24 PM EST

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Photo by Viktor Talashuk on Unsplash

(Photo: Viktor Talashuk on Unsplash)

If you have a sweet tooth, you might wonder who invented some of your favorite candies. From chocolate favorites to licorice, let's take a closer look at where eight of your favorite candies originated from! 

1. Cherry Chocolate Cordials - France

For many of us, it's a tradition to receive cherry cordials during the holiday season or for Valentine's Day. The chocolate-enclosed cherries first came from the Franche-Comte region of France during the 1700s.

Since the original chocolates were made from sour griotte cherries, they were first known as griottes. During those times, they didn't contain alcohol. It wasn't until Americans began producing them that they thought of soaking the fruit in liqueurs. Today, cherry chocolate cordials are typically made from maraschino cherries. 

2. Chocolate Truffles - France


It might not surprise you that this sweet treat also came from France, one of the most famous countries for chocolate. Chocolate truffles were invented in the city of Chambéry.

The idea of the chocolate truffle came about in 1895 when Louis Dufour invented the ganache, the center of a chocolate truffle. The ganache is shaped into a ball and then dipped in chocolate and rolled in cocoa powder. Truffles got their name from mushroom truffles due to their similar shape and color. 

3. Lollipops - New Haven, Connecticut

Many of us have fond memories of lollipops from when we were kids. George Smith started making lollipops in 1908 at his candy shop, the Bradley Smith Candy Company, in New Haven, Connecticut. He patented the word "lollipop" in 1931.

The idea wasn't entirely original, however. Although the candy is hailed as a modern American invention, archaeologists have found that cave dwellers actually had their own version of a lollipop. They would preserve fruit and nuts in honey, which they would put on sticks to eat rather than using their hands. 

5. Licorice - England

Today, many of us either love or hate it, but licorice has a long history.

As a candy, licorice was born in Yorkshire (formally recognized as the County of York) in England during the 1700s. The credit goes to George Dunhill of the town of Pontefract, who added sugar to the locally grown licorice to form coin-shaped candies. By the 1800s, licorice was popular throughout all of Yorkshire. 

Prior to that, licorice was used for medicinal purposes, dating back to 400 B.C. Alexander the Great even fed it to his troops to keep them hydrated during their long war missions. 

6. Rock Candy - Istanbul 

It's a common wedding favor in America, but did you know that rock candy has been around for centuries?

Islamic writers first mentioned the crystal sugar candy during the 9th century. That being said, it's believed that Hafiz Mustafa, who resided in Istanbul, was the first well-known maker of rock candy in 1864. 


7. Peppermints - Germany 

Although England often gets credit for selling the first popular peppermints during the 1700s, legend has it that a choirmaster in Cologne, Germany, was the one who came up with the minty candies. As the story goes, the choirmaster sought a way to silence restless children during Christmas Eve mass. He had a candy maker create what was then known as "sugar sticks." 

8. Salt Water Taffy - Atlantic City, New Jersey 

According to food historians, saltwater taffy first came to be during the 1800s. An Atlantic City boardwalk shop owner named John Ross Edmiston hired a man named David Bradley to sell taffy at his shop. When Edmiston fired Bradley, he learned that the taffy had been soaked in sea foam - which led to the name "salt water taffy." 

These are just a few facts about some of the most well-known candies. Whether you like cherry cordials or saltwater taffy, each candy has a unique history!

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