Sunday, March 19, 2006

Want To Make Some Cotton Candy?

Written by James Fohl

I must admit, one of my new hobbies is pretty strange. I mean, I know we all have hobbies, but I think that when I start talking about my new hobby I am going to get a couple of weird glances pointed this way.

My new hobby is simply making cotton candy. You know, that delicious pink and blue stuff that you can buy in a bag or a cone at pretty much any fair or carnival? Well making that delicious candy is my latest hobby.

To start off, cotton candy is not a very sophisticated substance. It's made from plain old sugar, some food coloring, and sometimes a little artificial flavoring is thrown in to the mix in order to give it a little extra zing.

Next, cotton candy is not really new. It has been around since the 15th century in Italy, however it has not been mass produced since the 1904 Worlds Fair in St. Louis. While it has not been around forever, it has still been around for a fairly long time.

Making cotton candy is not a sophisticated process. It is actually really simple. While I am sure that the original inventors of cotton candy had to spend hours making the delicious treat, with a simple machine it only takes a few minutes. Don't be intimidated by the use of a machine either! While carnivals and fairs have large cotton candy machines, a lot of companies sell very small machines for home users. I found a small cotton candy machine on clearance at a local department store for only ten dollars.

Now let's get to the part on how cotton candy is made. Basically, it is just sugar. That's correct, cotton candy is made from sugar, as in that's the main ingredient. You might be getting freaked out right now, considering how large a bag of cotton candy is, but the truth is a simple teaspoon of sugar is all you need to create one of those big bags of cotton candy. In other words, a twelve ounce can of cola has more sugar than that really big bag of cotton candy that you can buy at any carnival, or make your self.

Getting back on track, making cotton candy is a simple process when you have a cotton candy machine. You simply turn the machine on, let it warm up for a bit, and insert the sugar, food coloring, and if you want the artificial flavorings.

The machine will then heat up the sugar, and melt it. The melted sugar is then pushed through very tiny holes, in which the cotton like fibers begin to form. As the molten sugar is pushed through the tiny holes, its mass begins to expand. Suddenly, from that tiny teaspoon of sugar, you have a giant ball of warm cotton candy that is ready to be eaten.

It is so easy to make, that it is no wonder why making cotton candy is one of my new hobbies. Pretty much everybody who has gone to a carnival has eaten cotton candy, and knows how expensive it is. I mean, look at it, you are paying five dollars for around ten cents of sugar.

While I myself am getting sick of eating cotton candy, I have noticed a lot of my friends and family member continue to ask me to whip them up a batch. It is getting kind of funny, because I am slowly becoming the cotton candy guy of my neighborhood; I have been dropping of bags of cotton candy to my neighbors, and exchanging the bags for other delicious treats such as homemade chocolate chip cookies.

So, if you like cotton candy, or are just looking for a new hobby to occupy some of your time, then I suggest looking into making cotton candy as a hobby. As I said before, it is not very hard to make it, and the materials to make the delicious candy (including the machine) are also very cheap. While making cotton candy may get boring, you can also try to make new colors, or introduce new flavors to the mix. Who knows, maybe some day everybody in your neighborhood will be asking you to make them a nice big batch of delicious cotton candy.

1 comment:

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