History of sweets
Sweets were really invented in the 19th century. However people have always liked eating sweet food. The earliest sweet was, of course honey, which people have eaten since prehistoric times. (Until the 19th century sugar was a luxury and few people could afford it). In the Middle Ages rich people ate desserts like preserved fruits, jelly and dried fruit and wafers made from batter.
The Tudors were also fond of sweet foods (if they could afford them), which they called sweetmeats. The rich ate preserved fruit, gingerbread, sugared almonds and jelly. Marzipan was introduced into England in the late Middle Ages. It is a paste made of almonds and sugar. The Tudors used marzipan to make edible sculptures of animals, castles, trees and people called subtleties.
Furthermore people have eaten barley sugar since the 17th century. In the late 17th century the rich began eating ice cream. Many rich people built special underground chambers in the grounds of their houses for preserving ice during the summer. The ice was covered in straw to preserve it. Then in the late 18th century people began to eat macaroons.
Furthermore the French have made nougat since the 17th century and caramel was known in England by the 18th century. However before the Industrial Revolution confectionery was hand made and so was very expensive.
19th Century Sweets
In the 19th century people first began to eat sweets in their modern form. Potato crisps were invented in 1853 and Kendal mint cake was invented in 1869. Turkish delight was invented in 1777 and it became popular in Europe in the 19th century.
Meanwhile as sugar became cheaper during the 19th century new boiled sweets were developed. Other new sweets invented during the 19th century included peanut brittle (1890), candy floss (1897) and liquorice allsorts (1899) (liquorice was originally used as a medicine but Pontefract cakes were invented in the early 17th century and people began to eat it as a sweet).
Chocolate was drunk in Central America before 500 AD. The Spaniards brought it too Europe in the 16th century. However until the 19th century Chocolate was only drunk not eaten. The first chocolate bar was made in 1847. Milk chocolate was invented in 1875. Furthermore the first chocolate Easter egg was made in 1875.
Modern marshmallows were invented about 1850. Toffee was also invented in the 19th century (the exact date is not known) but in 1890 John Mackintosh opened a shop in Halifax, where he created his celebrated Toffee and fudge was invented in the the USA in the 1880s. Moreover people have chewed gum from trees for centuries but chewing gum was first made commercially in 1848, The gum they used was first tried out for bicycle tyres but proved unsuitable. In 1892 a young salesman, William Wrigley began selling gum in Chicago. He was dynamic and innovative:Juicy Fruit was formulated in 1893 and spearmint gum in 1894. In 1911 Wrigleys was introduced to Britain. Jelly babies were invented in 1864 and named “unclaimed Babies” they were renamed as “Peace Babies” in WW1 and given names Brilliant (Red-Strawberry), Bubbles (Yellow-Lemon), Baby Bonny (Pink-Raspberry), Boofuls (Green-Lime) Bigheart (Purple-Blackcurrent) and Bumper (Orange) and wine gums were first sold in 1893. Furthermore seaside rock was invented in the late 19th century.
20th Century Sweets
In 1903 the ice cream cone was invented. Choc-ices went on sale in the USA in 1921. Meanwhile bubble gum was invented in 1906 (although it wasn't actually sold until 1928) and the first lollipops were sold about 1908. Lollie means Tongue in north Britain. In 1922 ice cream was sold in the street for the first time from tricylces with a box on front. Sales of ice cream boomed in the 1930s.
Also in the early 20th century manufacturers began to use peppermint to flavour sweets. They also added sherbet to sweets.
Many new kinds of sweets were introduced in the 20th century. Dairy Milk was introduced in 1905. Toblerone followed it in 1908. Later came Flake (1920), Fruit and Nut (1921), Milky Way (1923 in the USA 1935 in Britain), Crunchie (1929), Snickers and Freddo (1930), Mars Bar (1932), Whole Nut (1933), Aero and Kit Kat (1935), Maltesers and Blue Riband (1936) and Smarties, Rolo and Milky Bar (1937). Later came Polo mints (1948), Bounty (1951), Munchies (1957), Picnic and Galaxy (1958), Caramac (1959), Topic (1962) Toffee Crisp (1963), Twix (1967), Curly wurly (1971), Yorkie, Double Decker and Lion Bar (1976) and Wispa (1983). Amazin Raisin bars went on sale in 1971 but they stopped making them in 1978.
Meanwhile the ice-lolly was invented in 1923. Black Jacks have been sold since the 1920s. Lovehearts were first made in 1933. Starburst was invented in 1960 and Spangles were sold from 1948 to 1984. Chewits were introduced in 1965. Skittles were first made in 1974.
Walnut Whip was first sold in 1910. Furthermore boxes of chocolates were introduced. Milk Tray dates from 1915. Terry's Chocolate Orange and All Gold were introduced in 1932. Black Magic was introduced in 1933. Dairy Box and Quality Street came in 1936. Cadbury's Roses date from 1938. After Eight dates from 1962.
The first ready salted crisps were sold in 1960. Flavoured crisps followed in 1962.
In Britain sweets and chocolate were rationed from 1942 (2-3 ounces per week) to 1953. 5 February 1953 was a day of rejoicing for children!
The Middle Ages People eat preserved fruits, jelly and wafers
16th Century The Tudors eat sweet foods called sweetmeats, preserved fruit, gingerbread, sugared almonds and jelly. They also eat marzipan.
17th Century People start eating barley sugar, Pontefract cakes and ice cream. The French make nougat.
18th Century People eat caramel and macaroons. Turkish Delight is invented.
1848 Chewing gum is first made commercially
c. 1850 Modern marshmallows are made
1853 Potato crisps are invented
1864 Jelly babies are invented
1869 Kendal Mint cake is invented
1875 Milk chocolate is invented
Late 19th Century With the Industrial Revolution sweets are mass produced although they are still expensive.
1890 Peanut brittle is invented
1893 Wine gums are first sold
1897 Candy floss is invented
1899 Liquorice allsorts are invented
1903 The ice cream cone is invented
1905 Dairy Milk is introduced
1906 Bubble gum is invented
c. 1908 The first lolly pops are sold
1910 Walnut whip is introduced
1915 Milk Tray is introduced
1920 Flake is introduced
1921 Choc-ices go on sale in the USA. Fruit and Nut is introduced.
1922 Ice cream is sold in the street for the first time
1923 Milky Way is introduced in the USA. The ice lolly is invented.
1929 Crunchie is introduced
1930 Snickers and Freddo are introduced
1932 Terry's Chocolate Orange and All Gold are introduced. Mars bars are first made.
1933 Whole nut is introduced. So are lovehearts and Black Magic.
1935 Aero and Kit kat are introduced. Milky Way is introduced in Britain.
1936 Maltesers and Blue Riband are introduced. Dairy Box and Quality Street are also introduced.
1937 Smarties and Rolo are introduced. Milky Bar is introduced.
1938 Cadburys Roses are introduced
1948 Polo mints are introduced
1951 Bounty is introduced
1957 Munchies are introduced
1958 Picnic is introduced. So is Galaxy.
1959 Caramac is introduced
1960 Starburst is introduced. The first ready salted crisps are sold.
1962 After Eight Mints are introduced. Topic is introduced.
1963 Toffee Crisp is introduced
1965 Chewits are introduced
1967 Twix is introduced
1971 Curly wurly is introduced
1974 Skittles are introduced
1976 Yorkie, Double Decker and Lion Bar are introduced
1983 Wispa is introduced