Szaloncukor, the Hungarian Christmas candy
In Hungary, festive candy is an indispensable part of Christmas in almost every household.
Szaloncukor is a traditional chocolate sweet associated with Christmas in Hungary. Made of fondant, covered by chocolate and then wrapped in shiny colored foil, the sweet is hung on the Christmas tree as a decoration.
The ancestor of the Hungarian Christmas candy was made by the French in the 14th century. At that time it was a fondant sugar made by boiling the sugar solution. It was a soft, crystallized mass, which then came to Hungary through the German immigrant artisans.
Christmas candy has been made in Hungary since the early 19th century. A cookbook published in 1891 named 17 different flavors. Many housewives made it at home, but the real stars were the treats bought from confectioneries, or the famous Budapest pastry shops which had their own secret recipes. Stores today still sell their very own sweets!
Although Christmas candy is not a Hungarian invention, the idea that the Christmas tree can be decorated with it came from the Hungarians. Traditionally, the Christmas tree was decorated with fruits, gingerbread figures and paper ornaments, but after the appearance of Christmas candy in Hungary, people began to hang them on their trees all over the world.