The Panic, Pleasure and History of Candy, In One Bite
If you have kids, chances are they are sitting on a big stash of candy today. But this is just the beginning of what can best be described as candy season, that is “the bags of Halloween candy, followed by chocolate turkeys, chocolate gifts, the Chanukah chocolate, endless Christmas candy” which all portend to “a season of secret consumption by adults, watchful eyes on kids and endless candy guilt.”
So says Jeff Schechtman in this week’s Specific Gravity interview, in which Schechtman chats with Rutgers University professor Samira Kawash about his book Candy: A Century of Panic and Pleasure.
We all know where the pleasure comes from – sugar. The guilt, Schechtman points out, comes in the form of the “requisites articles about how sugar is more addictive than cocaine and seemingly every disease studied by the CDC.”
As we discover in Kawash’s book, the story of candy is really a story of American industrialization, sensuality, the beginnings of artificial food, and the seduction and independence of children, as they first use candy to control their own pleasure.
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