What Does Cotton Candy Taste Like?

When we think of amusement parks, and the treats that can be found there, one of the first ones that comes to mind has to be cotton candy.

What Does Cotton Candy Taste Like

Fluffy, pink, and swirled up atop a stick or cone, this really is the perfectly indulgent snack – sickly sweet with sugar and adored by adults and kids alike. 

But what exactly is cotton candy, and what does traditionally flavored cotton candy actually taste like?

What Is Cotton Candy?

Created in 1897 by – quite surprisingly – dentist William Morrison, and confectioner John C. Wharton cotton candy was first introduced to the public at the 1904 World’s Fair in St Louis, Missouri. 

Since its introduction, the recipe and process have remained pretty much the same, and consist of spun sugar containing small amounts of coloring and flavoring. 

There are many names for cotton candy around the world, including ‘candy floss’ in the United Kingdom, ‘Fairy Floss’ in Australia, ‘Grandma’s Hair’ in India, and ‘girl’s hair’ in the United Arab Emirates. 

What Flavor Is Cotton Candy?

While there are more than likely a multitude of different flavors throughout the world – differing from region to region – the predominant flavors within the United States are blue raspberry and pink vanilla. 

However, due to the relatively unreliable nature of cotton candy machines – especially earlier models – the color could end up varying somewhat, with purple cotton candy being common. 

Generally speaking, in modern times, cotton candy is sold and marketed under the name of its color alone – i.e. blue or pink. 

The most common flavor of cotton candy is the pink variation, which makes pink vanilla the most common, and in some senses ‘the original’ flavor of the product.

As such, this flavor is commonly used on other products that are advertised as being ‘cotton candy flavored’.

Is Cotton Candy Healthy? 

As you might imagine, cotton candy is not exactly healthy – as its ingredients consist of pure sugar and chemicals to flavor and color the finished article.

However, we imagine there are very few people who purchase cotton candy looking for a healthy snack – and as with most fairground snacks and guilty pleasures, you kind of have to take it as it comes. 

Is It Possible To Hand Spin Cotton Candy?

Is It Possible To Hand Spin Cotton Candy

Hand spun cotton candy is more than possible for you to do at home, and requires very basic equipment to make a reality.

This is great for those looking to enjoy their favorite fairground snack at home, and can be achieved by following a few simple steps. 

Step One

First, take a large saucepan and heat it over the stove. To ensure the sugar doesn’t burn, the temperature needs to be kept at a medium level.

Once it has reached a hot temperature, place the sugar, water, salt, and corn syrup into the saucepan, and stir until the sugar is dissolved completely. 

To ensure that the sides of the saucepan do not become encrusted with crystalized sugar, you can brush them down with a clean paintbrush, or a baking brush if you have one. 

Step Two

The mixture should continue to be stirred until it reaches 310 F (155 C), and this can be checked by using a cooking thermometer. This should then be poured into a slim, heat proof container, where the coloring and flavoring can then be added to taste. 

Step Three

The next stage involves making sure that the work surface (and maybe the floor) are covered and protected from potential hot sugar spillages. You could use baking paper to achieve this, and to minimize the clean up when you are finished. 

Step Four

The next step is where the spinning comes in, and to do this you need to use a headless whisk, tilting the container at an angle, and spinning the mixture while simultaneously allowing it to fall onto the baking paper. 

The process of turning the mixture, and allowing it to fall and become oxidized, will make it lighter and more malleable when it comes to finishing it off. 

Step Five

Once you have emptied the bowl and all of the cotton candy is ready, you can then wrap them around clean lollipop sticks – or some similar implement – to make eating them more simple. 

Hand spun cotton candy is better when consumed straight away, but if you have sealed, airtight containers, they might last a couple of days – perfect for if you need them for a party or event. 

Are There Any Downsides Of Cotton Candy?

Are There Any Downsides Of Cotton Candy

While cotton candy is delicious and widely enjoyed by countless people around the world, it is not a healthy food item, and as such there are certain downsides associated with the product. 

Oral Hygiene

As with any form of sugar or sweet product, cotton candy is bad for the teeth – especially when consumed in large quantities. For this reason, it is best to enjoy it as a rare treat – such as when you attend a carnival or fairground. 


If you or your family have a predisposition towards developing diabetes – or indeed if you have already been diagnosed – then cotton candy might not be a good choice for you, due to the high sugar content. 

Eating cotton candy in excess could cause your blood sugar to increase, potentially causing complications. 

Weight Gain

As with any sugary product, cotton candy can also cause weight gain, and as such should be consumed in moderation, or as a treat like we mentioned previously. 

For those looking to eat a balanced diet, there is no harm in occasionally consuming something sweet or ‘naughty’.

However, those who overindulge will undoubtedly see the effects of a poor diet down the line – reflected in weight gain, poor skin, and other more serious side effects that can be associated with bodily changes. 

Are There Benefits?

While introductory research has been done on sugar and chocolate, some of which suggests potential health benefits, there has not been conclusive findings to suggest a significant benefit to lifespan and health. 

Final Thoughts

And there we have it, everything you need to know about cotton candy, and what it tastes like. 

It’s true that cotton candy is hugely iconic and popular all around the world, and there are numerous ways that it can be consumed and utilized. However, when it comes to the original and familiar taste, there is only one way to enjoy it!

So if you are looking for the perfect fairground-style treat, then why not opt for cotton candy?

What Does Cotton Candy Taste Like?

Recipe by AubreyCourse: Taste Like


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