I started Kate Hopkins’ Sweet Tooth: The Bittersweet History of Candy with lots of enthusiasm and excitement. It was my first microhistory read. Like many, I have loved candy and I am curious about its origins and place in history.
While I did learn about how the Arabs brought sugar candy to the world, first as a form of medicine, how candy went from something only available to the rich to something children could buy with their allowances or pay and how the use of chocolate developed.
While Hopkins travels to Europe, New England and, of course, Hershey, PA, were often interesting, her writing style often was wordy and she bored me with long-winded descriptions of her memories of her childhood and overly detailed descriptions of trivial observations of her travels. I wish she did a better editing and had talked to more candy experts. Most of her research was from books, which is fine, but adding more interviews with candy makers and experts would improve this book.
The book did make me see that wherever I travel internationally, I should find a local candy shop and taste sweet local specialities.
Have you read a fascinating microhistory? Let me know of any that are must-reads below.
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