Stalking Sweetness: The Tale of the Modjeska

While leafing through the most recent Williams-Sonoma catalogue, my attention was captured by this description of their caramel marshmallows (pictured above): "dubbed 'modjeskas,' these soft caramel confections were named in honor of a beautiful Polish actress by a fervent admirer".

Sounded like a nice way of saying "serious candy stalker" to me--that is to say, I had to find out more. A bit more lore was available on the Bauer's Candy website:

It's not a word you'll find in Webster's dictionary; it's the name of a Polish actress. Madame Helena Modjeska, famed queen of the European stage, appeared at the McCauley Theater in Louisville, KY. Her appearance in 1883 was the U.S. debut of the play "A Doll's House" written by Henrick Ibsen. Her theatrical performance was enthralling to a patron attending this debut, Mr. Anton Busath, owner of Busath Candies, who was honored by an introduction to the beautiful actress. He asked and was granted permission to name his confection after her. After Busath Candies closed in 1947, we began calling our "Caramel Biscuit" the "Modjeska" in honor of the creator, Anton Busath.

Not only did Modjeska grant permission for her name to be used, says this site, but "in fact, she even agreed to autograph a photo, which Anton then used to promote the candy—an early example of a celebrity endorsement. The rest is confectionary history."

Alas, no information was available on whether or not there was a Mrs. Anton Busath, and if so, how she felt about the candy's name.

What else can be said? Stalking has never been so sweet.

To purchase modjeskas, visit or