Carnival Knowledge: Sweet Foods invented at Fair

Treats at South Beach!

I'd like to make an important announcement. Me and my friend Rachel of Coconut & Lime have started a podcast. OMG! We are still taking it slow, but it's pretty exciting.

Our first topic was Fair Food. We think about nerdy food stuff a lot, and it was an appropriate subject to totally geek out about, I thought.

You can listen to the podcast here.

But I'd also like to share some interesting factoids I learned while doing internet research for the show. It mainly involves foods invented at state or other fairs. A lot of iconic sweets are included, and I thought you might be interested in hearing about some of the famous sweets that are said to have been invented at fairs. 

Cotton Candy: Apparently, this concoction which amounts to spun sugar and food coloring was originally fair fare. Some brilliant fellows named William Morrison and John C. Wharton are said to have introduced it to the world at the 1904 World's Fair in St. Louis. It was called "fairy floss". 


Cracker Jacks: A snacking intersection of sweet, salty, and sticky, this stuff was not debuted at the ballpark, but instead at the Chicago World's Fair of 1893. The combination of popcorn, molasses, and peanuts was originally called "Candied Popcorn and Peanuts"--thankfully, they made the name a bit snappier before starting mass production.

Dr. Pepper: This soda, which is older than Coke or Pepsi, was debuted at the 1885 St. Louis World's fair. 

Ice Cream Cones: Neither ice cream nor waffles were invented at a fair, but they were both served at fairs, and the most famous documentation of them coming magically together occurred at the 1904 World's Fair in St. Louis, when an ice cream vendor named Arnold Fornachou ran out of serving containers and formed a quick partnership with nearby vendor Ernest Hamwi, who rolled his zalabia (a waffle-like pastry) into a cornet shape, and the ice cream cone was born.