How Long Have People Been Eating Candy?

Pictures and written records show that candy was made and eaten in Ancient Egypt over 4,000 years ago. These records show that honey, figs, and dates were the chief sweetening ingredients, since sugar was not yet known. As the taste for candy spread, each tribe had its own candy-maker, who guarded his secret recipes very closely.

Candy-making as a business began in Venice, Italy, in 1470, when a candy-maker imported sugar from the Orient and developed a technique for refining it. Later, when maple tree sap was discovered in the American colonies and sent to Europe, the candy-making business expanded. Today, there are over 2,000 different kinds of candy made all over the world.

The quick energy supplied by the carbohydrates in candy makes it a fine body fuel. Athletes often eat candy before big events; soldiers are given candy as part of their field rations; and explorers take supplies of candy with them on long journeys.

But people usually eat candy simply because it tastes good. In the United States alone, 3,420,000,000 pounds of candy are eaten each year, or about 18 pounds by each person.

The world’s top-selling candies are Life Savers. From the time Life Savers were introduced in 1913 until 1973, over 25,000,000,000 rolls of these hard candies were sold!