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February 22, 2017

Discover candy and medicine's intertwined history

Shane Confectionery will lead a discussion and demonstration

Demonstrations History
Cough drops Chris Crimson/Shane Confectionery

Some of Shane Confectionery's finished cough drops on a tray.

When Mary Poppins sang "A spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down," she might have been on to something.

In Shane Confectionery's collection of antique cookbooks, there are plenty of recipes for candy medicine.

"Candy and medicine have a long and intertwined history, starting with pre-Roman digestive cures that used honey and herbs," said Laurel Burmeister, the old-fashioned candy shop's archivist.

For those curious about the history, Shane will host a discussion on March 11. 

Here's one not-so-fun fact: Laxatives have become associated with chocolate because the candy was often used to cover up the taste of cod liver oil, which was an active ingredient in the constipation treatment.

The talk will take place in Shane’s historic kitchen and will be followed by a hands-on demonstration. Attendees will be able to assist in making cough drops on antique drop rollers.

Tickets for the event are $12 per person. Space is limited.

NoneChris Crimson/Shane Confectionery

It takes three people to work the drop roller. They must push the candy through, crank the machine and guide the candy out.

A Spoonful of Sugar: Candy Medicine Talk & Taste

Saturday, March 11
7-8 p.m. | $12 per person
Shane Confectionery
110 Market St.
(215) 922-1048