The Candy Store

Hi!  Winnie Griggs here.  In my current work in progress I’m considering having a few scenes take place in a confectionery.  So I’ve been doing some research into what sort of treats would have been available in such an establishment at that time (1895).  And what mouth watering research it was!

 Here’s just a little of what I learned (it is by no means a comprehensive list):

  • Turkish delight has been around for quite some time – it is thought to have been brought toEuropeby returning crusaders.  It is a gummy, fruit flavored treat that is the forerunner of our modern day gumdrops, jelly beans, jujubes and other such candies
  • Marshmallows as we know them today, were invented around the 1850s
  • Butterscotch – the first known reference to this treat was in 1855
  • Ribbon candy – this treat, most popular at Christmas time, has been around since 1856 and was first created by an American.
  • Chocolate – the first chocolate bar was made in 1847 and milk chocolate came about in 1875
  • Fondants date back to 1877
  • Fudge was also an American contribution to the sweet treat line up and came about in the 1880s
  • Peanut Brittle was first documented in 1890

But the thing I discovered that delighted me the most was when I came upon this entry on the history of pralines:

From the Encyclopedia of American Food and Drink, (pg. 255)
“Praline. A Confection made from almonds or pecans and caramel. It is a great favorite of the South, especially in New Orleans, and derives from the French preparation of praline, caramelized almonds or hazelnuts and sugar pounded into a fine, crumblike texture, Both terms come from the name of French diplomat Cesar du Plessis-Praslin, later duc de Choisuel (1598-1675), whose cook suggested that almonds and sugar aided digestion.

What tickled me about this entry is that my maiden name is Duplessis.  Do you suppose that’s my ancestor who had that little footnote in the food history timeline?

So what are some of your favorite sweet treats?  And do you have any favorite memories of a trip to the candy store?

Website | + posts

Winnie Griggs is the author of Historical (and occasionally Contemporary) romances that focus on Small Towns, Big Hearts, Amazing Grace. She is also a list maker, a lover of dragonflies and holds an advanced degree in the art of procrastination.
Three of Winnie’s books have been nominated for the Romantic Times Reviewers Choice Award, and one of those nominations resulted in a win.
Winnie loves to hear from readers. You can connect with her on facebook at or email her at

21 thoughts on “The Candy Store”

  1. Your blog roused my sweet tooth, Winnie. Yum. I love anything chocolate, but my real vice is licorice. Would love to know where it came from.
    My grandpa used to give us cough drops for treats. We’d pretend to have a cough so he’d reach into his pocket. Loved the Ludens and those black Smith Brothers. Don’t know how well they worked, but they tasted good.
    Thanks for a fun blog to start the week!

  2. Oh, Winnie, you’ve started my week with temptation. But, I’m glad you mentioned Turkish Delight, I’ve heard of it before in stories, but never quite knew what it was.

    I’m really not one for candy. But I cannot resist a cupcake. Seriously, it’s a cake made for one. Perfect. :o)


  3. Hi Elizabeth. Ooooh I love licorice too – my siblings always gave me the black jelly beaans out of their Easter Baskets because they didn’t care for them and that’s the ones I liked most! I did come across a few entries on it in my research – seems it’s been around for a very long time and was first used medicinally before it became thought of as a candy.

  4. Hi Kirsten – I’m the same way – heard of it before but never knew what it was until I started this research. And yum – I love a good cupcake too! (of course there aren’t many things on the sweets menu I DON’T like 🙂

  5. What candy do I like?
    Well, first of all, I didn’t get into this shape I’m in by being picky. So that’s fact #1.
    Which candy?
    I love Gummi Savers. Lifesavers flavored, Lifesavoers shaped, Gummi candies. (that’s almost Turkish Delight.)
    I’ve always kind of wondered what Turkish Delight was. And by ‘always’ I mean, not enough to spend ten seconds looking it up, but I’ve read about it and wondered. I always pictured something different. I think my imaginary Turkish Delight had coconut and nuts in it.
    Apparently my imagination has failed me!

  6. I love York Peppermind Patties.
    I have to be careful about candy anymore because of a couple of caps on my teeth. A Milk Dud catastrophy once cost me $800 in dental bills. Cap gone…led to a root canal…let to an extracted tooth…oh it got way out of hand…

    I’ve never had another one (a Milk Dud that is, I’ve had another root canal unfortunately) and that’s saying a lot because I loved them. But who can afford that?

  7. Hi Winnie, since my sweet tooth is the biggest chomper in my mouth, I loved this post! My mom brought us a box of Turkish delight when she visited, sheesh, Turkey. It was delish! And ribbon candy always reminds me of my gramma. I think my favorite candy car is Almond Joy, although I can gag down just about anything chocolate. Peanut brittle makes me cringe, though. I just don’t like it against my, well, chompers. Wonderful post! xoxox

  8. Hi Mary. I’ve never heard of gummy lifesavers before but it sounds like something I’d like! And yes pepperment pattors are high on my list to. Ouch on your tooth problems!! That sounds awful – you have my sympathies

  9. Winnie, You sweetie! I’m going to write a LIH about a lady who starts her own bakery and sweet shop along the norther Mississippi River, 1871.

    And yes, pralines are in your blood, my dear. And in my mouth whenever I see them!

  10. Hi Lyn! And LOL – looks like it’s a matter of great minds think alike (though mine ain’t so great). Mine’s set in Texas in 1895 though, so I guess not so alike after all…

  11. I love peppermint sticks. All things mint-flavored, really.

    But right now, I’d love one of my mother’s pralines. At Christmas time, she used to make big batches of chocolate fudge, vanilla fudge (another favorite of mine), divinity fudge, and pralines! It was always so hard to decide which piece to reach for.

    Of store-bought candy, I love peanut brittle, pecan brittle, and life savers–peppomint, wintergreen, and butterscotch. Oh, and the tropical flavors.

    The ribbon candy is so pretty. We always put a bunch of it out at Christmastime, but it never gets eaten. Just sits there and gets dusty. But very pretty!

    I can just imagine the sensual writing you’ll be doing in those candy store scenes.

  12. Winnie, my favorite candy was created by your possible ancestor’s hand – pralines!

    When I read Elizabeth Lane’s comment, it reminded me of a survey that my niece Katie Neil did in high school. She found out that you are either genetically predisposed to like the taste of licorice or to not like it. For her paper, she asked members of different families and found that the majority either did or did not like it at all. The members of my family were mostly non-licorice lovers!

    So Winnie, are you the only member of your family who likes licorice? Do a little check and I’ll bet there was at least one of your ancestors who shared your taste for licorice!

  13. Hi Winnie – I’m a fan of chocolate of course. My favorite is dark chocolate covered raisins..Raisinettes.

    Loved your blog today. I wonder when licorice whips came into being. I think I used it once in my western, but now I don’t recall when they first came on the scene.

  14. I just remembered that at one time I also thought Turkish Delight was a ‘euphamism’ for smoking opium.
    I was young and confused and they made it sound so good it had to be illegal.

  15. I should own a candy store! I had no idea that marshmallows had been around for that long. My fav chocolate bar is a Baby Ruth.
    Never knew what a Praline was. But the ingredients, to me, are like a Heath Bar! Is that a precurser to that? Or am I way out West on that?
    In the mountains or on a dusty trail we all have pockets full, of Lemon Drops. They cause water,(saliva), to form in your mouth! That’s all I know about hard candy. And that it is always available at Christmas time.
    But my all-time favorite is: drum roll please, black licorice. Not the red stuff. BLACK.
    And I, too get the black jelly beans from every one. My daughter even got me a bag of only black ones. I can even leave it out, because nobody will ever touch it.
    Thanks for starting off the week with this delightful blog. YUM.

  16. Shay!!!! Hi lady, thanks for stopping by! Don’t know about my ancestors, but I believe my mom is the only other one in my immediate family (including my kids) who likes licorice.

  17. Hi Charlene – I admit I’m not a big fan in raisens, but I think I’m the only one of my family who feels that way. As for when licorice whips came about, I didn’t find any reference to that specifically, but licorice candies have been around for quite some time.

  18. Mary J – Hello to t a fellow black jelly bean fan!! And oh wouldn’t candy shop owner be a fun occupation to have!!
    No, Pralines are not like Heath bars (though I absolutely LOVE Heath bars!!!) I guess the closest comparison I can come up with as far as texture and consistency is a peanut patty if you’ve ever had one of those.

Comments are closed.