There were plenty of ailments in northern Europe for which sugar was considered suitable treatment--coughs, colds, chest infections, agues. Thomas Aquinas himself apparently considered and pronounced on the subject), which meant it could be legitimately nibbled during Lent, probably adding to its appeal.It is no coincidence that our earliest information about pulled-sugar sweets in Britian, using the very word penides that travelled all the way from the Orient, comes from compilations of medicinal formulae, not elegant books on fine confectionery.Sprinkle very lightly with green sugar." ---The Complete Tante Marie's French Kitchen, Translated and adapted by Charlotte Turgeon [Oxford University Press: New York] 1962 (p. For other people, it was a special treat saved for holidays (Christmas, Easter) and other special occasions (weddings, christenings). This idea survives today in the form of cough drops.
Force the cream lengthwise over the surface of the cake to give the appearance of bark. Decorate the cake with almonds and a sprig of holly made with strips of angelica and little rounds of candied cherries. Food historians tell us that hard candies (sticks, losenges, etc.) were originally manufactured for medicinal purposes.Before long, hard candies of all sorts of shapes, sizes, and flavors were produced for "recreational" purposes."The concept of sugar as medicine probably came from the tradition of Moslem physicians.84-5) "When sugar first became known in Europe it was a rare and costly commodity, valued mainly for its supposed medicinal qualities and finding its place in the pharmacopoeia of the medieval apothecary...Sugar gradually became more widely available in Europe during the Middle Ages.