Gastronomy  The sweet story of the barley sugar
11/12/201507:00 TV5MONDE

Barley sugarcalled Sucre d'orge in Frenchwas invented in 1638 by the religious Benedictines in Moret-Sur-Loing (France).

The mixture ended up with a combination of pearled barley, sugar and vinegar. First cooked in the shape of a stick, it was given to the monks in order to calm their throat after intense readings of sermons. It used to have a yellowish, honey color. 

The candy then got more and more popular and appeared in the shape of small tablets in tiny tins.
Napoléon III was the one who gave a new impulse as he really liked it. The religious only handed the recipe to the confectioner Jean Rousseau in 1972. It is still possible to find some old style candies in tins today however
 it is mostly found in red and white colors, in a hook stick shape in fairs and in Christmas markets.

From the medecine to the Christmas symbol:

It was an American pastor called 
Clément Clarke Moore, who in 1821 wrote a Christmas tale in which he imagined Father Christmas represented in a chubby and happy character 
with a pleasant personalityMoore also replaced Saint Nicholas’s miter by a hat and his crosier by a hooked cane of barley sugar! The Donkey has also been replaced by 8 elegant reindeers …

And this is how a medicine became our today’s Christmas candy cane…

Last but not least, Sucre d’Orge is also used in the French language to call someone's loved one: mon petit sucre d’orge! Not so popular nowadays, but aren't French people so cute???

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