Sweet as Sin: The Unwrapped Story of How Candy Became America’s Favorite Pleasure | News Release | City of Alexandria

Sweet as Sin: The Unwrapped Story of How Candy Became America’s Favorite Pleasure

A Lecture Examining the African American role in American Candy Making

Saturday, October 21, 2017 at 11:00 a.m.


Author and historian Susan Benjamin discusses candy’s incredible history. The story of candy is also intertwined with African American history via the sugar cane industry—infamous for its widespread use of enslaved labor. Within that story are the lives of compelling people, from unknown African Americans who invented machines to process pecans to Norbert Rillieux, the renowned mid-19th century engineer who invented a sugar evaporate, still in use today. They also include African American abolitionists, who developed alternatives to cane sugar and propelled the free product movement; and Delta Blues musicians of the ‘20s, whose stories launched classic candies such as the Charleston Chew.

Susan Benjamin is an author and the founder of True Treats Candy, the nation’s only historic candy company,listed by Food Network Magazinedelish.com and Holiday Lettings, Trip Advisor, among others, as one of the nation’s top 50 “Sweet Spots.” Benjamin is also a journalist, former college professor and radio show host, and a member of the Culinary Historians of Washington. Articles featuring Ms. Benjamin have appeared in such places as Salon.comthe Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the Arizona Republic, the Sacramento BeeWoman’s Day, and Bon Appétit. Her tenth book, “Sweet as Sin: The Unwrapped Story of How Candy Became America’s Favorite Pleasure” made the Smithsonian’s “Best of Books about Food for 2016.”

This lecture and tasting will be presented on Saturday, October 21, 2017 at 11:00 am at the Alexandria Black History Museum. The event costs $15 per person, with a complementary treat bag. It is open to the public, and it is appropriate for all ages.  Reservations are Strongly Recommended via the Office of Historic Alexandria Shop website: shop.alexandriava.gov

The Alexandria Black History Museum is located at 902 Wythe Street, Alexandria, Virginia  22314, and it is five blocks from the Braddock Road Metro Station on the Yellow and Blue Lines. Street parking is available. For more information, please call 703.746.4356.The City of Alexandria is committed to compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, as amended. To request a reasonable accommodation, e-mail black.history@alexandriava.gov, or call 703.746.4356, Virginia Relay 711.


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