Sugar-plums and Sherbet: The Prehistory of Sweets

Front Cover
Prospect, 1998 - Cooking - 250 pages
The original hardback gained universal praise; 'A fascinating account’ said the TLS; echoed by national and local press; 'A fascinating book full of off-beat information’, wrote Derek Cooper. This book looks beyond the brilliant colours of the sweet-shop shelf and consider the ingenuity of sugar boiling and the manufacture of those intriguing avatars of childhood happiness: the humbug, the gobstopper, the peardrop and the stick of rock. As well as a history, it is alsoa recipe book, with twenty tried and tested methods for sweets ancient and modern. Who has not wondered how they got the marbling into humbugs and the fantastic patterns into Just William’s gobstoppers? The byways of knowledge that are illuminated make this so rewarding. Did you know how they got the letters into rock? How they twisted barley sugar? The difference between fudge and tablet? The connection between humbugs and an Arab sweet from 13th-century Spain (where it was borrowed it from the Persians)?

From inside the book

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.


some definitions
the alchemy of sugar

9 other sections not shown

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (1998)

Laura Mason is also the author of Traditional Foods of Britain (Prospect) and many other studies in food history, published in journals such as Gastronomica and Petits Propos Culinaires.

Bibliographic information