History of Candy: Fruit Juice

Okay, okay. I can hear some of you now. “How in the hell does fruit juice relate to candy at all?!?”

Think of it as an ingredient rather than a final commodity, and your perspective may change some.

If we’re looking at sweeteners, then fruit juice plays a distinct role. As I’ve still hovering around 5000 BC, it’s difficult to see at this point. But in the pre-domesticated bee era (AKA before a readily accessible supply of honey), what one could do with fruit juice could make one quite popular.

Because if one had access to fruit juice, then one had the ability to make fruit syrup. There are several archaeological findings from the middle east where a brown resin had been found upon shards of pottery, and the hypothesis is that some of this would have been date syrup. Others think it was date wine, which was just as likely and would have left a similar resin. But if they were making wine from dates, then they were still using some sort of date juice, and the logical connection to syrup could be made.

So why is this a big deal? Juice and syrup would eventually lead us, many hundreds and thousands of years later, into candy flavorings, digestifs, soda pop you, and many other products that we find on the shelves today.

So yeah, fruit juice is kind of a big thing upon reflection. It deserves to be more than a footnote in candy’s history.