Item description for Sugar-Plums and Sherbet: The Prehistory of Sweets by Laura Mason...
This excellent study of the ingenuity of sugar boiling and the manufacture of those intriguing avatars of childhood happiness: the humbug, the gobstopper, the peardrop and the stick of rock is now published in paperback. As well as a history, it is also a recipe book, with twenty tried and tested methods for sweets ancient and modern. The byways of knowledge that are illuminated make this so rewarding. There have been studies of modern-day sweeties and their immediate antecedents, but this goes further back, to the late Middle Ages. As much as a history of sweets, it is also a study of sugar and its place in our early diet.
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More About Laura Mason
LAURA MASON is an independent scholar who lives in York, England. She writes on aspects of British food culture for various publications.
Reviews - What do customers think about Sugar-Plums and Sherbet: The Prehistory of Sweets?
Absolutely Fascinating Mar 31, 2005
Sugar-Plums and Sherbet is not a quick read, but it's a fascinating one. The author goes into the history, chemistry, and early manufacture of sugar candies in Britain, and even includes a few recipes for unusual treats. This book is full of facts you probably never knew. (For example: Sugar was considered a medicine when it first arrived in Britain. Or: some people boycotted sugar when slave labor was used to produce it.)
Anyone who is interested in food history will love this book.