If you have a sweet tooth, you may be wondering if candy existed in ancient Greece. After all, the Greeks are known for their contributions to art, philosophy, and science – but what about their sweets
What is Candy
Before we delve into whether ancient Greece had candy or not, it’s important to define what exactly we mean by “candy.” Candy is a sweet treat usually made from sugar and other ingredients like chocolate or fruit flavorings. It comes in many forms, such as hard candy, gummies, chocolates, and more.
Ancient Greek Sweets
While the ancient Greeks did not have the same types of sweets that we do today, they did have desserts and treats that were considered delicacies. One such dessert was called “glykysmos,” which translates to “sweetmeat.” These were small cakes made from honey and sesame seeds that were often served at weddings or other special occasions.
Another popular sweet treat in ancient Greece was called “halva.” This dessert also featured honey as a main ingredient but also included nuts like almonds or pistachios. Halva was often served during religious festivals or as a snack with tea or coffee.
Did They Have Candy
While it’s unclear if the ancient Greeks had something that we would consider modern-day candy, they did make a type of sweet called “pasteli.” Pasteli is similar to halva but is made with sesame seeds and honey. It is formed into small rectangular bars and can be eaten as a snack.
The Evolution of Candy
Candy as we know it today did not come into existence until much later in history. The first recorded mention of sugar candies was in India in the 6th century CE. It wasn’t until the Middle Ages that sugar became more widely available in Europe and candy started to become popular.
In the 18th and 19th centuries, candy-making became a big business in Europe and North America. Companies like Cadbury, Hershey’s, and Nestle emerged during this time, producing chocolates and other candies on a mass scale.
While ancient Greece may not have had the same types of candy that we do today, they did have their own sweet treats that were enjoyed during special occasions. As the world evolved and sugar became more widely available, candy as we know it today started to take shape.
- Key Takeaways:
- Ancient Greeks had sweet treats like glykysmos and halva, but it’s unclear if they had modern-day candy.
- Pasteli is a type of sweet made from sesame seeds and honey that was enjoyed in ancient Greece.
- Candy as we know it today did not come into existence until much later in history when sugar became more widely available in Europe and North America.