- The Plate
The Sticky-Sweet Story of Cotton Candy
This frothy fair fare of spun sugar is mostly made of air, and up until fairly recently, was largely out of reach to the average citizen.
Summer is the season of state fairs, and with state fairs comes fair food, the inevitable accompaniment to the Ferris wheel, the Scrambler, the bumper cars, and the carousel. I’m talking corn dogs, fried dough, funnel cake, taffy apples, soft pretzels, onion rings, snow cones, and pink-and-blue bowling-ball-sized puffs of cotton candy.
While these are hardly the stuff of the ideal diet, cotton candy, surprisingly, is the least caloric of the lot, a mere 105 calories for a standard one-ounce serving. The reason for this is that cotton candy is mostly non-caloric air. The rest, however, is pure sugar.
Perversely enough, cotton candy was invented by dentist William Morrison, with the help of confectioner John C. Wharton. Together, in 1897,