Cotton candy (also known as candy floss or in France, la barbe de papa -- Papa's beard), along with candy apples and popcorn make up the trinity of fairground foods. Usually served in a plastic bag or wrapped around a paper cone, cotton candy is literally coloured, flavoured sugar. Most commonly coloured pink or blue, one serving generally weighs one ounce (roughly thirty grams).

Cotton candy is made from melted sugar, stretched into very thin, very sticky strands which form light, cottony clumps.

Originally called fairy floss, cotton candy was invented in 1897 by two candymakers from Nashville, Tennessee, William Morrison and John C. Wharton. Fairy floss was first sold at the 1904 Louisiana Purchase Exposition (better known as the St. Louis World's Fair) for twenty-five cents a box -- half of the price of admission. 68,655 boxes were sold.

Cotton candy is very simple to make, provided one has the right tools. Unfortunately, those tools don't come cheap -- cotton candy machines can cost anywhere from $USD 300 to $USD 2000.

According to the FunFoodZ company web site, cotton candy is incredibly profitable -- $USD 0.15 worth of sugar and $USD 0.05 for a bag can be sold for anywhere from $USD 1 to $USD 3 dollars.

One one ounce serving of cotton candy contains approximately 100 calories and less sugar than a can of pop.


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