Flavour Revolution – Cotton Candy

Daunting Debuts

Cotton Candy was first introduced to the mass public at the 1904 World’s Fair in St. Louis, There, it sold 68,655 units at 25-cents per box (which in today’s money would be approximately $6 each). To say it was a success, would be an understatement. That got me thinking about other famous items that were first unveiled at World’s Fairs or similar events. Here are some of the notable products we may never have known had it not been for masses of people gathering in the name of advancement:

Disneyland Attraction Technology (1964)

Walt Disney played a massive role at the 1964 World’s Fair in New York, presenting a number of the technologies that would later become fixtures at his theme parks, namely Audio Animatronics. The Disney company created two awe-inspiring experiences for visitors to the event, with the It’s a Small World ride, and Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln show. As a Disneyland fan for close to my entire life, I must heap great praise on this turning point in the park’s history.

Hangin with Tinkerbell

Broadcast TV (1939)

Any casual observer of this site knows of the Sip Advisor’s love of television. Well, it all began here, with RCA President David Sarnoff, choosing to put a TV on display for the start of the fair, including broadcasting President Frankiln Roosevelt’s opening address. As if people’s minds weren’t already blown, colour photography, air conditioning and even Smell-O-Vision were introduced to the public, although I think they’re still working out the kinks to that Smell-O-Vision concept.

Telephone (1876)

My love-hate relationship with phones (I love MY phone, I just hate everyone else’s!) wouldn’t be possible without its unveiling at the 1876 World’s Fair in Philadelphia. Who could have imagined then, that phones would become portable, let alone be able to accomplish so much with, while out and about. Other items to be featured at the event, included the typewriter, the steam engine, Heinz Ketchup and Hires Root Beer.

Electrical Outlet (1904)

With developments in electricity rapidly coming down the pipeline, all folks needed was a place to plug in all their future appliances and gadgets. Thanks to the 1904 World’s Fair civilization was introduced to a whole new way of harnessing power, which still exists today. Now, if only companies would stop making unnecessarily large plugs, which take up so much space that you can’t get another cable into the same outlet… and don’t get me started on European adapters!

Going Places Outlet

X-Ray Machine (1901)

This device can be credited with saving an untold number of lives and advancing medical technology in a number of avenues. Interestingly, the 1901 Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo was infamous for the assassination of President William McKinley. After being shot by gunman Leon Czolgosz, doctors were afraid to use the X-Ray Machine on McKinley to locate the bullet, due to fear of adverse side effects… instead, he died from his wounds eight days later.

Touchscreens (1982)

While touchscreens are all the rage today, they were actually first introduced more than 30 years ago, at the World’s Fair in Knoxville. You’d have to imagine that this advancement blew a lot of people’s minds, given they were still fiddling around with rotary phones and such. Why it took so long for the technology to be developed before most of us had it in our hands is likely due to costs. For example, Sega had planned to follow the Game Gear with a touchscreen device, but had to scrap it.

Chuck Norris Touchscreen

Ice Cream Cones (1904)

1904 was a big year for revelations in the snacking industry. Along with cotton candy, ice cream cones also made their debut. While I’m not the biggest ice cream buff, preferring my iced treats to be in bowl or cookie form, I can’t say that I’ve never enjoyed a cone (preferably waffle) covered with all the necessary goodies. I wonder how the original cones held up given even nowadays, you often end up with ice cream all over your hands. Perhaps they used materials back then that are illegal now.

IMAX (1970)

For everyone that’s ever suffered motion sickness from these monster movie screens, you have the 1970 EXPO to thank. It figures that Japan would be the debut site of this technological wonder, but it should be noted that the film (Tiger Child) was produced by a Canadian company. I have never felt so proud of my country than right now! The IMAX might have been rivaled by the large moon rock on display at the American pavilion, recently returned from the second trip to the moon.

Flavour Revolution: Funhouse Cocktail

Some other more “minor” debuts of note at World’s Fairs include Cracker Jack (1893), Dr. Pepper (1904), the Twinkie (1940), and Cherry Coke (1982). It should also be noted that one of the world’s most famous landmarks, the Eiffel Tower, was built for the 1889 World’s Fair in Paris, while other notable attractions were also erected for a city’s turn to host the world, such as the Space Needle in Seattle and Science World (aka that golf ball looking building) in Vancouver.

April 13 – Candy Apple

Fun Fare

With summer rapidly approaching, we’re nearing fair season so it’s time to sit down and plan out what you want to eat when that glorious period arrives. It’s also time to think about how you’ll work off those calories before or after the event!

Cotton Candy

The melt-in-your-mouth treat is fun for the first few bites and then you realize how sticky your fingers are getting and someone (cough, cough, Mrs. Sip) reminds you that cotton candy is pure sugar, while also asking for constant bites of your treat. Which one is it, unhealthy or delicious? Why can’t it be both?

Cotton Candy

Is that Morgan Freeman?

Mini Donuts

You can smell these suckers from miles away and the scent often drags you by the nose to a little booth where you shell out $5 for a bag of 12 mini donuts. And you’ll do it again the next time that cinnamon-sugar deep fried goodness invades your nostrils. It’s always sad how quickly these snacks disappear, but that’s why you happily go home broke.

Caramel Apples

I remember when I was a young’un that our last stop of the day at the fair was to grab a caramel apple for the road. Today they put all kinds of crazy stuff on apples, but back in the day you were happy to have a mound of caramel and if you were really lucky – I’m talking best day ever lucky – you’d find a caramel apple with Smarties on it.

Funnel Cake

This treat absolutely rules with all the options you can stuff in it or heap on top. It’s like a donut-pie combo and I’m a huge supporter of anything deep fried. I’ve even gone so far as to try to put a deep fryer on my wedding registry. When this was vetoed by Mrs. Sip, I launched a petition campaign to get the fryer on the ballot. Speaking of fried delectables…

Deep Fried Anything

From pickles to Mars bars, hot dogs to onions, anything can be wrapped in dough, shoved into a fryer, and found at a fair… and they all taste fantastic! I implore you to find me something that doesn’t taste like it was meant for a deity after it’s been glorified in batter.

Deep Fried Everything

Popcorn/Caramel Corn

I’m not a fan of the stuff, but Mrs. Sip is and if I don’t include it, I fear for my safety. Why don’t I like popcorn and other kernel-based snacks? Because I always seem to get those damn kernels stuck in my teeth, along my gums or worst of all, in my throat. For me, the risk-reward just doesn’t pay off. Mrs. Sip, on the other hand, could eat the stuff for dinner after loading it with butter and mixing the occasional Junior Caramel into each handful.

Corn on the Cob

Probably (and sadly) the healthiest item on this list. This is the one exception I will make in the kernel wars, as I don’t really care how much of the yellow stuff I get caught in my teeth or how much butter ends up smeared across my mouth… it’s all worth it in the end when I go for a smooch with Mrs. Sip and she realizes how messy I am…

Of course, you could always drink your carnival treat… yeah, let’s do that!

Drink #103: Candy Apple

Candy Apple

  • 0.5 oz Crown Royal
  • 0.5 oz Sour Puss Apple
  • 0.5 oz Cranberry Juice
  • Garnish with Caramel/Candied Apple Slice

This shot was a great excuse to buy an entire, delicious caramel apple just to decorate it with… as if we need much of an excuse around here to go over the top! For those of you who don’t buy an entire candy apple each time you make this shot, a nice garnishing detail can be to rim the glass with caramel.

Well, I wish you all a wonderful trip to the fair, where I hope the food is awesome, the rides don’t make you yak, and that the demolition derby is still presented in your neck of the woods!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4 Sips out of 5):
The pleasure of this shot was two-fold, as the shooter itself was quite tasty and then Mrs. Sip and I chased the liquid with the absolutely scrumptious Caramel Apple. We even fought over the last piece, before she distracted me with another shot!