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Shane Confectionery explores candy medicine

A spoonful of sugar does help it all go down, apparently.
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    Several of our jarred cough drops that we sell in Shane Confectionery. The labelin|The image is used by kind permission of The College of Physicians of Philadelphia. Photography by Ev

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    A close up of one of our drop rollers. The rolling dies are changeable, this one s|The image is used by kind permission of The College of Physicians of Philadelphia. Photography by Ev

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    The molten sugar is poured onto marble slabs to cool it to a malleable and managea|Chris Crimson

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    Some finished cough drops on a tray

    |Chris Crimson

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    It takes three people to work the drop roller; pushing the candy through, cranking|Chris Crimson

It’s the height of flu season in Philadelphia, and the celebrated Shane confectionery in Old City thought it would be fun to explore the concept of candy medicine to cure your ills. Hence the special event: “A Spoonful of Sugar: Candy Medicine Talk & Taste.”

The history of the relationship between candy and medicine will be discussed. Chocolate, for instance, was paired with laxatives back in the day to cover up the taste of the active ingredient: cod liver. (Yuck!)

In a press release, Shane archivist Laurel Burmeister notes: "Candy and medicine have a long and intertwined history, starting with pre-Roman digestive cures that used honey and herbs, up through the Middle Ages when questionable and often deadly sweeteners were employed in the apothecary.”

Hopefully the most deadly thing you’ll be dealing with is the sugar coma you'll have after spending a small fortune eating the treats in this shop, which is the oldest-running confectionery in the whole country.

The talk itself will be held in Shane’s famous kitchen where you’ll be able to make your own cough drops using antique rollers.

If you go:
A Spoonful of Sugar: Candy Medicine Talk & Taste
Saturday, March 11
7 p.m., $12
Shane Confectionery
110 Market St.


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