"Fairy Floss", "Spun Sugar", or "Cotton Candy", which ever name you prefer, is a unique treat invented around the 1400's. The original origin was an Italian tradition. In Italy, melting sugar in a pan and then using a fork to make strings of sugar over an upside down bowl was believed to be one of the first methods to make cotton candy.
Years passed and in 1904 two candy makers from Nashville, TN, William Morrison and John C. Wharton introduced the sweet treat to the St Louis World's Fair. It was a huge hit. Selling approximately 68, 655 boxes of cotton candy at a cost of $.25 a box. The two took in $17,163.75. However, it's believed Tootsie Roll of Canada actually introduced a simliar product at the 1893 World's Fair.
Over 100 years ago the first machine was used to make cotton candy was patented. The machine had a small bowl, into which sugar is poured. The cotton candy machine's bowl would spin at a high speed and heaters near the rim melt the sugar, which is squeezed out through tiny holes by centrifigual force. As the molten sugar comes in contact with the outside air, it solidifies in strings, and starts to "web" up in the large bowl. To gather the cotton candy, simply twirl a stick, around the large bowl. Since the cotton candy is sticky and moist, it's really easy. However, in 1949 Gold Medal Products of OH, introduced a floss machine that made the production of cotton candy a little easier. The first automatic cotton candy machine came out in 1972.
Cotton candy floss machines have greatly improved over the years. Now it's possible to put out over 300 ounce servings per hour. Imagine, if Morrison, and Wharton had this type of machine, oh the money they would have made!
Not only have there been improvements in floss machines, but cotton candy is available in many different flavors. Most popular are Pink Vanilla and Blue Raspberry. People young and old still enjoy cotton candy at the circus, county fairs, baseball stadiums and just about anywhere there is a crowd.
Many companies can pre-bag the cotton candy for sales at other locations. Once the cotton candy is put in a closed bag, it has a tendency to last longer than just sitting on a cone.
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