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Submitted by on Apr 19, 2022

Cotton candy is a spun sugar delicacy that mimics cotton. It’s also known as fairy floss or candy floss. Small quantities of flavour or food coloring are generally present.

The candy is manufactured by spinning sugar centrifugally through minute holes after it has been heated and liquefied, causing the sugar to quickly cool and re-solidify into tiny strands. It’s commonly offered in a plastic bag or on a stick or paper cone at fairs, circuses, carnivals, and festivals.

Cotton candy is created and marketed all over the world, including in the United Kingdom, Ireland, EgyptIndiaNew Zealand, Sri Lanka, and South Africa, as well as in Australia as fairy floss. The Korean kkul-tarae and the Persian pashmak are also similar desserts.

Cotton candy is said to have originated in Europe in the 19th century, according to several sources. Spun sugar was an expensive, labor-intensive activity at the time, and it was not widely available to the general public. Others claim that spun sugar may be traced back to the 15th century in Italy.

Dentist William Morrison and confectioner John C. Wharton devised machine-spun cotton candy in 1897, and it was first exposed to a large audience as “Fairy Floss” during the 1904 World’s Fair, when it sold 68,655 boxes for $25 (equal to $7.2 in 2020). Albert D. Robinson of Lynn, Massachusetts, filed a patent for an Electric Candy-Spinning Machine on September 6, 1905. The invention was for a heating system that included an electronic starter and a motor-driven rotating bowl. He sold the rights to the General Electric Company of New York in May 1907. His patent for the basic cotton candy machine is still in use today.

A comparable cotton candy machine was created in 1921 by Joseph Lascaux, a dentist from New Orleans, Louisiana. The delicious delicacy was given the term “cotton candy” in the Lascaux patent, which gradually surpassed the moniker “fairy floss” in popularity, but it is still known by that name in Australia. In the 1970s, an automatic cotton candy machine was developed that manufactured and packed the product. This made it easier to make and sell cotton candy at carnivals, booths, and other events that required a more portable approach.

Fluffy Stuff is a bagged, fruit-flavored cotton candy made by Tootsie Roll Industries, the world’s largest cotton candy maker.

National Cotton Candy Day is observed on December 7 in the United States.

A spinning head encloses a tiny “sugar reserve” bowl into which a charge of granulated, colored sugar (or separate sugar and food coloring) is put in typical cotton candy machines. Heaters at the lip of the head melt the sugar, which is centrifugally pushed out via small holes. Colored sugar is milled with melting characteristics and a crystal size optimized for the head and heated holes, whereas granulated sugar used in baking contains fine crystals that spin out unmelted, and rock sugar crystals are too large to properly contact the heater, slowing cotton candy production.

The molten sugar condenses in the air and falls into a bigger bowl that completely encircles the spinning head. When the cotton-like product accumulates on the interior walls of the bigger bowl after a time of operation, machine operators spin a stick or cone around the rim of the huge catching bowl, collecting the sugar strands into parts that are delivered on stick or cone, or in plastic bags. The operator replenishes the sugar reserve bowl with new feedstock when it empties. Because the product is sensitive to humidity, the procedure can be messy and sticky in hot summer climates.

Vending machines that mechanically create single portions of cotton candy, invented in Taiwan, and lit or luminous sticks are examples of modern developments in cotton candy technology.

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