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The History of Sponge Candy

Updated July 19, 2017

Sponge candy is popular in some parts of the world and in a few American states, but is an unheard-of treat in other regions. The American version of this crisp, caramelised sugar is often coated with chocolate and it originates from the Buffalo area. But sponge toffee, as it is called in England, is an identical dessert, first mass produced by Britain's Cadbury company.

British Sponge Candy

Sponge toffee and cinder toffee are the terms used to describe the British and Canadian equivalents of American sponge candy. The British started producing sponge candy as early as 1913 in Beamish, a village located in northwestern England's Durham county. Cooks and bakers used copper pans and an open fire when making the earliest forms of British sponge candy.

Cadbury Sponge Candy

Cadbury commercialised the production of sponge candy in 1929, by launching the Crunchie chocolate bar brand. Cadbury marketed Crunchies in British Commonwealth countries immediately after it appeared in the United Kingdom. In fact, Cadbury first set up operations in Australia in 1922 and during the second World War, it served as the Australian military's official supplier of candy bars, including the Crunchie.

Buffalo Sponge Candy

Some foodies think of sponge candy as a speciality of Buffalo, much like chicken wings. Sponge candy is widely available around the Great Lakes, particularly in New York and Michigan, but it is far less common in other parts of the United States. The modern, commercial form of Buffalo sponge candy dates back to 1985, when the Whitt family opened their candy factory and began producing 13608 Kilogram of the caramelised treat and related candies each year.

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About the Author

Rupert Winston has worked as a freelance writer for over five years and has published both online and in print, including in "The Jewish Tribune," "The National Post" and Transitions Online. Winston has a B.A. degree in English literature, as well as an M.A. in history. He is a professor of history and is preparing to defend his Ph.D. dissertation.