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How Halloween Surrendered To Sweets: A Long, Old Tale

The interior of Shane Confectionery in Philadelphia decorated for Halloween. Credit: Copyright 2016 courtesy of Shane Confectionery

The interior of Shane Confectionery in Philadelphia decorated for Halloween. Credit: Copyright 2016 courtesy of Shane Confectionery

A walk down memory lane

Clear toy candies are made with a colored sugar syrup and are smiliar to lollipops. Credit: Copyright 2016 courtesy of Shane Confectionary

Clear toy candies are made with a colored sugar syrup and are smiliar to lollipops. Credit: Copyright 2017 courtesy of Shane Confectionary

With its rounded glass windows and Wedgewood blue display cases, Shane Confectionery in Philadelphia is a modern-day example of a mid-1800s candy shop. It is now run by the Berley brothers, who acquired the shop in 2010 after first opening an old-time soda fountain down the street. Shane’s is particularly famous for German-style “clear toy candy” featuring figurines made from translucent, colored sugar syrup like what is used for lollipops.  The toy candies and the company’s filled chocolates are produced using tin molds left behind by the Shane family after their nearly 100-year ownership of the business.

If Ye Old Pepper Candy Companie is like a treasure trove in grandmother’s attic, Shane’s is a jewel box with baubles waiting to awe and inspire. From the Berley brothers’ quirky style to the costumed store clerks and original brass cash register, every detail is carefully attended to for the purpose of showing off the dazzling array of candies.



Zester Daily contributor Ramin Ganeshram is a journalist and professional chef trained at the Institute of Culinary Education in New York City, where she has also worked as a chef instructor. She has won seven Society of Professional Journalist awards and been nominated for the International Association of Culinary Professionals' Bert Greene Award. Ganeshram's books include "Sweet Hands: Island Cooking From Trinidad & Tobago," "America I Am: Pass It Down Cookbook" (with Jeff Henderson) and "Stir It Up." Her book "Future Chefs" won an IACP Cookbook of the year award and she is the ghostwriter of the best selling Sweetie Pies Cookbook. Her book Cooking With Coconut will be out from Workman/Storey in December 2016.

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