As kids, we often asked adorable yet stupid questions. Why can’t I eat sweets all the time? Will the tooth fairy give me a dollar for my tooth? What does a cloud taste like?
Thanks to the crazy ingenuity of humanity, parents at least have an answer to the last question that will satisfy the ridiculous curiosity of their kids. Because who knows what we would’ve done if we didn’t know what a cloud tasted like.
What is Fairy Floss?
Known widely as “Cotton Candy”, fairy floss is an iconic sweet typically seen in summer fairs and festivals. It resembles a candied cloud spun around a stick, has a sweet taste, and feels very soft to the palate. Its delicate sugary threads instantly melt in the mouth which makes it a curious treat for kids wondering why clouds tasted sweet. Even how white fairy floss is made was a spectacle to watch. While we all grew out of our childishness, there are still a few things that might surprise you about fairy floss. Read on to satisfy your sweets-induced curiosity.
It was a dentist who brought fairy floss to the world.
Ironic, isn’t it? Aren’t candies a dentist’s worst enemy? In 1897, Dr. William Morrison of Nashville and candy maker John C. Wharton invented a device that melted sugar and blew it through a fine screen to produce “Fairy Floss”. He brought forth his creation at the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair and sold over 68,000 boxes for 25 cents each.
Its name differs in every country.
Fairy floss is popularly called “cotton candy” in the US and known as “candy floss” in the UK and India. In Australia and Finland, it is called “fairy floss”. In France, it is known as “papa’s beard” (barbe à papa), while its name is “old ladies’ hair” in Greece.
Fairy floss does not have any fat.
A normal serving of fairy floss or cotton candy is typically two tablespoons of sugar and a lot of air. While some cultures might have additions to sugar, there is typically no fat involved and its volume is mainly because of the air incorporated into the spinning of the floss.
December 7 is National Cotton Candy Day.
Yep, this candied cloud has its own day of celebration. Because why not?
Fairy floss threads are thinner than human hair.
A heater melts the sugar, reducing it to syrup. The spinning head generates a centrifugal force that whips the syrup at 3,400 revolutions per minute and forces the liquefied sugar through the tiny holes to produce long skinny strands of floss two-thousandths of an inch in diameter.
Other versions of fairy floss
Iran has is Pashmak, or popularly marketed outside of its country as Persian Fairy Floss, with sesame or vanilla added to the sugar before melting and hand-spun; Bhutan has its ngathrek golop lhakpa, which is spun sugar with butter tea and chili pepper; China has “dragon’s beard candy,” which includes peanuts and coconut with the texture like horsehair.
Unlike the typical fairy floss, Persian fairy floss is hand spun.
A machine is typically used to achieve the cloud-like appearance of a fairy floss, but our Persian fairy floss sticks to its traditional way of making its special fairy floss. Instead of sugar granules, our floss begins as a toffee texture that is stretched on a table until it turns into the swirly fine tufts of sweet threads we love. It’s also not sickly-sweet because it is mainly composed of natural flavour and colour.
To cap it off, you might want to satisfy your cravings for white fairy floss. Check out our website for our range of Persian fairy floss and get a taste of premium hand-spun fluffy treats that will take your desserts and drinks to the next level.