Several places claim the origin of cotton candy, with some sources tracing it to a form of spun sugar found in Europe in the 19th century. At that time, spun sugar was an expensive, labor-intensive endeavor and was not generally available to the average person. Others suggest versions of spun sugar originated in Italy as early as the 15th century.
Machine-spun cotton candy was invented in 1897 by dentist William Morrison and confectioner John C. Wharton, and first introduced to a wide audience at the 1904 World’s Fair as “Fairy Floss” with great success, selling 68,655 boxes at 25¢ per box (equivalent to $6 per box today).
Joseph Lascaux, a dentist from New Orleans, Louisiana, invented a similar cotton candy machine in 1921. In fact, the Lascaux patent named the sweet confection “cotton candy” and the “fairy floss” name faded away, although it retains this name in Australia.
In the 1970s, an automatic cotton candy machine was created which made the product and packaged it. This made it easier to produce and available to sell at carnivals, fairs, and stores in the 1970s and on.
Tootsie Roll Industries of Canada Ltd., the world’s largest cotton-candy manufacturer, makes a bagged, fruit-flavored version called Fluffy Stuff.
The United States declared National Cotton Candy Day to be on December 7.
1 can sweetened condensed milk
2 cups crushed pineapple, well drained
1 cup strawberry pie filling
12 oz tub cool whip
8 large strawberries, halved
¾ cup pecans, chopped
Fold all ingredients together.
Top with strawberries
Chill and Serve.