This Sunday, December 7th, is National Cotton Candy Day! We Americans have been calling this spun sugar confection "cotton candy" since 1920, but when it made its debut appearance at the 1904 at the St. Louis World's Fair, it was called Fairy Floss. The Australians still call it "fairy floss"; the British call it "candy floss"; but the French call it "barbe à papa", or papa's beard. In Greece, India and Israel, it is known as "old woman’s hair". I must say that pink-haired ladies make a bit more sense than pink-bearded fathers.
No matter the name, the sweet treat was an instant success despite its high asking price of twenty-five cents a box. In today's prices that's about $5.75. At this first world's fair they sold 68,655 boxes. Do the math and that means the cotton candy vendor made approximately $400,000 in sales. That translates into a very hefty profit considering that there is only one food ingredient in cotton candy: sugar. The other ingredient is colored dye.
Here at South 'n France our ingredient list is much more extensive. Our bon bons are made with a variety of real food ingredients like hand-shucked pistachios, coconut, finely chopped cherries and dates, chocolate chips, pure coffee extract, homemade fudge and brownies. Yes, there's some sugar in them too. But thank goodness our mark-up isn't as high as cotton candy; otherwise, an ounce of bon bons would cost more than an ounce of platinum! There is still plenty of time to order delicious, affordable holiday gifts that everybody will love. The world over, from the United States to Britain to France, everyone agrees on the name for these incredible treats: bon bons!