First Candy Ever Made

First Candy Ever Made – Sweet Treasures Of the Confectionery Culture

If you like sweets, chances are that at some point in your life, you will wonder what the first candy ever made was.

The truth is that there can hardly be a person found who does not enjoy these sweet treats. It is a natural and biological thing that our bodies crave sweetness. People have been trying to cure their sweet tooth since ancient times. 

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It is very hard to determine what the first candy ever made looked like. In different places, sweet treats are very different from each other. It depends on the environment and lifestyle. 

Some think that the first candy ever made was conceived by cavemen. They mainly used honey to treat their sweet tooth. They used to remove the honeycombs from the beehives, and it was actually a pretty risky task to do so too.

First Candy Ever Made - Sweet Treasures Of the Confectionery Culture

First Candy Ever Made – Origins & Facts

From what we know, people used honey to make sweets. And yet, there is still a question. Who was the creator of the first candy ever made and what was it like? The candy made by cavemen is believed to have a taffy-like concentration, and as we already mentioned above, it was mainly made from honey.

Egyptian Candy

When it comes to the first candy in history, old Egyptian sweets naturally come to our minds. Ancient Egypt has a huge part in the history of candy making. In Ancient Egypt, people had ceremonies and celebrations during which they worshiped their gods. The sweet, candy-like treats were a huge part of those ceremonies. It all happened in 2000 BC. The Egyptians actually used honey and added figs, nuts, and different kinds of spices. 

Date Candy

Date Candy

The date is the indigenous fruit of Egypt. It has been growing there since ancient times and mostly grows across the Nile river. Dates were considered a delicacy and were widely used in different recipes.

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old candy

Date Candy has a very deep cultural meaning and can be considered one of the first candy ever made in Egypt. It has a ball shape and comes in bite-size pieces. Basically, it consists of honey, dates, cinnamon, and different kinds of nuts. Finally, the balls are rolled in the ground almonds. 



Semsemeya candy is a sesame candy that has been very popular in Egypt since ancient times. The candy is mainly made from honey and sesame seeds. However, today, it’s made with sugar and sesame seeds. Once the sugar hardens, the candy gets its shape and crunchy texture. Today, many different ingredients are added to the sweet treat to enhance the flavor and taste.

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Indian Candy

It is also believed that the Indians were the first to use actual sugar cane in the candy-making process. It all happened 3000 years ago. Indians managed to get the juice out of sugarcane and actually make brown sugar. Later on, in 250 A.D. Indians made the first sugar candy.

First Candy Ever Made in India – Khanda 


The word “candy” comes from Khanda. Khanda is an Indian word. The Indians were especially famous for their technique of making “honey without the bees”. Khanda was made by boiling the sugarcane juice. After cooling down, the sweet, hard candy was formed.

Gulab Jamun

Gulab Jamun

Gulab Jamun is a very popular sweet treat in India. It is believed that the origin of this is India. However, treatment is considered the national dessert of Pakistan. 

It is mainly milk-solid-based and has the shape of a ball. Milk solids that are received from khoya have the consistency of a soft dough. Mostly, they are garnished with nuts such as almonds and cashews. The word “Gulab” comes from the Persian word “Gulab” and refers to the rose water, or we can say the scented syrup too.

Greek Confectionery

While the Egyptians used nuts, figs, and spices, the Greeks found a new way and started adding candied fruits, flowers, and stems to the honey. Also, during that time, they managed to learn how to make sweet juice out of figs and dates.



Loukoumades is a traditional Greek sweet treat that is loved by both adults and kids. The candy is representative of “Greek Cucina Povera”. which translates as “the kitchen of the poor.” It is called so because the ingredients are easy to get and it is easy to make that delicious treat. They have been around for so long that some consider them to be the first candy ever made. 

Loukoumades are a famous street food even today. They are mainly made from flour and sugar. Some even call it “heavenly fried dough.” After the dough is fried, it is drizzled with honey, nuts, or cinnamon. Variations are never filled with Nutella, vanilla, or other flavors.

Loukoumades are recorded as being the oldest sweet treats that were first served to the Greek Olympic Games winners. Because of that, they were also called “Honey Tokens”.

Chinese Confectionery

China is no exception to those mentioned above. Once the knowledge of getting sweet syrup from sugarcane spread, the sweet-making habits of China changed. They started to turn everything they loved and worshiped into sweet treats. By adding the sugarcane sweet juice, they turned ginger, licorice roots, and nuts into candies.

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Dragon’s Beard Candy 

Dragon’s Beard Candy 

Dragon’s beard candy is considered to be a traditional confectionery masterpiece in China. The candy looks like cotton candy. Originally, that kind of candy was created in China and then spread to the rest of the world. 

Among the many, this particular one can be considered one of the first candies ever made in China. Candy is actually very low in sugar and only contains 19% sugar in comparison to cotton candy. 

According to the legend, candy was created during the Han Dynasty. The chef wanted to entertain the emperor and experimented with sweet treats. The steps involved the stretching of a dough-like mixture that was created from rice flour. The candy was reserved for only the ruling classes.

Arab Candy

The first candy ever made with caramel belongs to the Arabs. In 950 A.D., they actually managed to invent caramel. It was originally used for hair but soon turned into a sweet treat. 



Halvah is believed to be one of the first candies ever made in the world. It dates back to 3000 years. This traditional sweet is made from tahini and has a crumbly texture. Some consider halva to be the first candy ever made in Asia. The treat originated in Persia and made its first appearance in the 6th century. 

The sweet treat is made mainly with mashed dates and milk. So, normally it has a sweet taste that comes from either sugar or honey. This relatively dense confection has many variations nowadays. For example, there is semolina-based halva that is more buttery and moist compared to others. 

The different variations are spread in many countries. Variations include Grain-based, Sesame, Sunflower, Peanut, and Floss Halva. Floss halva is the most interesting of all because it is threaded and has the shape of a ball. 

First Modern Candies

The first modern candies were created in the 16th century. In the 19th century, the manufacturing process started to flourish and turned into a global industry. Since then, candy-making has been increasing. 

The mass production of candies started in the 19th century. One of the very first mass-produced candies back in time were boiled sweets, now known as hard candy, marshmallows, Turkish delights, peppermint candy, and lemon drops.

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Where Does Cocoa Come From? 

The cocoa plant is widespread in South America. It is known that the Mayans and Aztecs were growing cacao in 1200 B.C. The invention of cacao belongs to the Mexicans. They managed to do it in 1519. However, back then, cocoa was not considered to be like candy. They used to make a liquid from it and enjoy it like that. Cocoa was brought to Europe by Christopher Columbus.

The cocoa powder-making process was established in 1828. However, chocolate itself became mass-produced in the nineteenth century. The first candy ever made with chocolate was a mix of cocoa and sugar. In the beginning, the taste of it was bittersweet.

Fry’s Chocolate Cream

Fry’s Chocolate Cream 1866

Candy, as we know it today, was actually first recorded in 1847. This can be considered the first candy ever made and sold officially on the market. The candy was created by Joseph Fry. He used bittersweet chocolate. 

Fry’s Chocolate Cream is considered one of the oldest candy bars and the very first candy ever made with industrialized chocolate. The candy was coated in plain chocolate and had a fondant center. Today, we know Fry’s chocolate factory as Cadbury’s.

The Invention of Milk Chocolate

Nestlé Milk Chocolate 1875
Nestlé Milk Chocolate 1875

In 1875, Henri Nestle and Danier Peter made history in the confectionery industry by creating milk chocolate. Many confectioneries have used milk chocolate in their products since then, and it still remains very popular. The oldest candy bar containing milk was manufactured by Henri Nestle and Daniel Peter and was called “Gala Peter.”

Bottom Line

Nobody knows for sure what was the first candy ever made, when it was created, or by whom. However, we know that people have loved and enjoyed sweet treats since ancient times. There are many ancient recipes for the oldest treats, most of which have become part of the culture. We can only be thankful to them for creating amazing sweets that people enjoy all around the world.

Share your opinion in the comments section about what you think is the first candy ever made.

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