Sweets for the youngsters, chocolate for heartbreak, ice cream for the duration of lunch break: We love sugar in every form — and the industry loves it too. Whether in bread, toddler meals, yogurt or sauces, sugar is found in just about the entirety we devour.
The average German consumes extra than 30 pounds (66 kilos) of the white crystal 12 months. The instances whilst possessing it to become a signal of wealth and electricity are maximum truly over; today it’s infamous as some thing horrific for our health and that makes us benefit weight.
In the start there was fruit
Like almost the whole thing else, sugar had to come to Europe earlier than the craving may be developed there. But how did Europeans fulfill their choice for candy treats earlier than merchants added sugar to the continent?
Two thousand years in the past, fruit changed into the most effective supply of sweetness. The Romans started out growing it in Germany, and from then on, a wide style of culmination, from apples and pears to plums and grapes, persevered to be planted. The extracted and preserved fruit juice was processed into mush or jelly. “It became long-lasting and might be used to sweeten food,” explains Carl Pause, an archaeologist who curated the exhibition “Sweet stuff: Snacking in Neuss” on the Clemens Sels Museum in the German town of Neuss, positioned next to Düsseldorf.
The extraction of sugar from sugar cane commenced inside the early Middle Ages, imported to Europe from the Middle East. However, it changed into too luxurious for the overall populace, says Pause. Even the Aristocracy ought to handiest have enough money for unique activities.
Legend has it that the name of the famous candy, bonbon, originated at these very fairs. After testing the sugar aggregate for the primary time, French royal kids were stated to have replied enthusiastically, “Bon! Bon! (French for “good”), giving the sweet its call.
The sweet revolution
In the 18th century, the British commenced domesticating sugar cane of their colonies, generating sugar in massive portions. France led to war in opposition to Britain beneath Emperor Napoleon who “wanted to prevent the British from doing business,” says Pause. Thus, the so-called Continental Blockade put a prevent to sugar imports. The battle was long over and Napoleon lifeless for years when sugar beet sooner or later made it to Germany inside the middle of the 19th century. From then on, sugar changed into to be had to everyone and — above all — low cost.
A source of energy
Today, an excess of sugar is appeared as “white poison” and connected to several diseases. This makes it all the extra surprising that seeing that historical instances, it becomes found where it might be least expected: in pharmacies.
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As early as the first century A.D., sugar becomes stated to have restoration residences. In the 12th century, pills called “sine confectioners” consisted of ninety percent sugar. Five hundred years later, but, pharmacists used sugar in medicines specifically for maintaining and correcting the sour flavor and as a source of energy. The sweet medicinal drug sold well. Eventually, with a purpose to improve income, pharmacists genuinely overlooked the active clinical ingredients, selling handiest the candy meals — and the confectionery turned into born.
How pies have become desserts
After the confection left the pharmacy, it did not take long for the variety of chocolates to widen. The cake turned into one candy deal with that ultimately became famous. With its airy sponge cake base, sweet cream and plenty of cherries, the Black Forest cherry cake became one of the most popular desserts in Germany.
Although it celebrated its 100th birthday in 2015, the forerunners of this baked product existed as a long way back because of the sixteenth century. However, the desserts of that time did no longer have lots to do with our modern-day understanding of what shape the Black Forest cake takes. Several hundred years ago, they regarded quite specific.
At the time, the cake turned into prepared by using pastry or confectioners and consisted of a dough that turned into full of each candy and savory ingredients after baking. It becomes “a sweet variant of a pie,” Pause explains.
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The curator has experimented with two hundred-year-antique cake recipes and has even attempted baking them with the help of a confectioner. The result was comparable to a form of cake full of jam or fruit after which blanketed with icing. The desserts tasted rather dry, he says: “In the 19th century, you couldn’t cool anything, so that you couldn’t use cream.” This method that the Black Forest cake handiest have become feasible in the intervening time whilst you had the opportunity to preserve the cream cool.
Sugar has long on the grounds that misplaced its true popularity as a luxurious object and status symbol. Today it’s far ample and elaborate. Fortunately, all this may be in short forgotten with a huge piece of cake.