madam - Ponducherry candy flossToday I have an important question for you. One that has bemused me since I started living in India a couple of years back.

Let’s start with the basics.

Please have a look at the picture: this smiling chap is on Ponducherry beach.

But you can find similar equally cheerful types pretty much on any beach in India. Or even near any large crowd. I’ve seen them downtown in Bangalore and in the gardens of the palace at Mysore and all over the beaches in Kerala too. For all I know they are utterly universal to the whole of India.

He’s selling individual bags of pink candy floss – what I think in the US they call fairy floss. This is the Indian equivalent. Individual bags of pink stuff strung up to that pole for ease of carrying and so that it can be seen from a distance. They all have a small hand bell that he rings as he walks to attract attention to the delicious treat he’s purveying.

Though, I’ve not actually tried it to be honest. I can only imagine how very sweet it is compared to the already ultra sweet European version. Everything here is sweeter than elsewhere, as Indians generally have a very sweet tooth, and candy floss already makes my teeth ache just thinking about it.

What fascinates me… is why doesn’t it melt in the heat? The candy floss of my youth, would have been reduced to a nasty sugar water by the intense heat of India. What on earth do they put in it to stop it from doing that?

It’s hot here remember, and they sell it in particularly hot places, like the beach. In this case, look at how strong his shadow is – and this pic was taken pretty early in the day too – it can’t have been more than about 9am, and yet it was already sweltering. But the pink stuff holds up all day. Possibly for several days as I doubt they make it fresh every morning. Yet there it is each in its separate bag, all looking intact and the same all day. No sign of melting.



Anyone with any more information, do please solve this little mystery for me by adding a comment below.

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