Ten Teaspoons of Sugar in My Chocolate?
The recently released revisions of the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee for the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion Health bring the conversation about sugar circling ‘round the measuring cup. These warnings against more than 10 teaspoons of added sugar a day boil up questions about nutrition. Surprisingly, just a century ago, nutritionists touted the benefits of sugar, especially candy.
In her book Candy: A Century of Panic and Pleasure, Samira Kawash unpacks the recipes for today’s sugar addictions. Popular food prescriptions for the early 20th century dished out that “Candy is a nourishing and sustaining food.” Professor John C. Olsen of the Brooklyn Polytechnic Institute at the American Museum of Natural History in NYC in 1910 served up the idea that candy and chocolate, “contain all the four chief food elements, fats, carbohydrates, proteins and mineral salts and have a higher calorific value than fish, meats, vegetables and fruits.” He frosted his argument for this diet, “Any vigorous adult could make a good breakfast on these chocolate creams and peanuts. … A person living on candy could feed himself on 50 cents a day easily.” The equivalent caloric amount of eggs would cost much more, $1.84 a day. Scientific American similarly fed the public sugar in its issue of July 28, 1917, wrapping the healthiest and the cheapest together.
Candy replaced food. Boxing champion Willie Richie in 1914 declared, “I never let a day go by without eating 12 or 15 sugar lumps or a large quantity of mild chocolate or other kinds of candy.” Cadbury still sells its “Lunch Bar” of peanut, caramel, wafer and chocolate. Klein’s also sold a “Lunch Bar.” Goo Goo Cluster of the 20’s and 30’s were advertised as “A Nourishing Lunch for a Nickel.” A “Graham Lunch” offered a peanut butter and graham cracker sandwich dipped in chocolate. Tootsie Rolls were marketed in pocket sized tubes marked “Lunch.” In 1923 the Sperry Candy Company of Milwaukee launched the Chicken Dinner candy bar.
How lucky I am that my preferred dark chocolate means less sugar in my chocolate.
A Chocolate Cake for October’s Tricks: Devil’s Food
Heading into October and its culmination in Halloween, I find myself hankering for Devil’s Food Cake, despite its initially derogatory name. Supposedly in 1690 Pilgrims traveled to Plymouth Rock via Amsterdam. They stayed in a house near the city’s biggest chocolate houses and called that chocolate “the Devil’s food.” Later, a chocolate cake, perhaps simplyRead more ›
How About Some Mindful Chocolate Tasting?
These days comforting chocolate seems more necessary than usual. You could just grab a bunch and stuff yourself to help (maybe?) you feel better. Of course, you could add the chocolate in to your cookies, cakes, and ice creams. Or, you could taste chocolate with a mindfulness that focuses your attention solely on the chocolate,Read more ›
Celebrating Ice Cream Month with Chocolate
When needing a new word for ice cream for the revitalized Hebrew language, Eliezer Ben Yehudah turned to the Torah. Actually, he opened the Aramaic translation of the Torah by Onkelos to Exodus 16:14. There the Aramaic uses “glidah” in the passage that describes how manna fell in the desert like a fine, flaky frostRead more ›
Choco-dar first erupted on our multi-country circuit of Europe in a VW van. That adult onset, self-diagnosed radar for chocolate experiences led us serendipitously to many wonderful chocolate discoveries and surprises. In the process I learned some chocolate travel tips. Chocolate travel generated the book and the website that I came to call On theRead more ›
Some Previous Posts
(in alphabetical order)
- Announcing Second Edition: On the Chocolate Trail
- Book Optioned: Museum Exhibit
- Celebrating Ice Cream Month with Chocolate
- Choco-Travel Tips
- Chocolate Exhibit Hits the New York Times
- Chocolate Trail Broadens: "Semi[te] Sweet: On Jews and Chocolate" Travels
- Chocolate, Coffee, Tea and Me
- Election 2016: Winning Fudge Brigadeiros
- Hunting for Chocolate: Fancy Food Show, NYC, 2016
- Jews on the Chocolate Trail
- Mothers and Survival by Chocolate
- No End to Chocolate Exhibits Part III: Visits #3, 4 & 5
- Of Chocolate Exhibits There is No End: Part 2
- On the Chocolate Trail in Brooklyn
- Super Food Chocolate for Super Bowl Sunday: Three Recipes
- Talking Chocolate in February
- That Time Jews Smuggled Chocolate to France — and a Recipe for Basque Chocolate Cake
- Warm Up: 3 Historical Drinking Chocolate Recipes