I don’t know if you’re up for any more talk of elections and politics on this day after Election Day, but it’s also National Candy Day, and I bet I can interest you in something sweet, even if it is on Capitol Hill.
It’s the story of the U.S. Senate’s candy desk, which is exactly what it sounds like: an old-timey desk that’s full of candy!
It’s been that way since the 1960s, when California U.S. Senator George Murphy took a seat in the back row of the Senate chamber, near the most-used entrance, and decided to keep candy in the desk to share with his colleagues.
Murphy invited other senators to add candy too, and it remained the candy desk even after he left office in 1971.
In fact, holding the candy desk has been kind of a big deal for senators who represent states with big candy factories.
Senators from Pennsylvania, which of course, is home to Hershey, have held the seat for many years.
But at one point an Illinois senator, Mark Kirk, joked that he’d pushed to get the desk so that his state’s candy makers, like Wrigley’s and Jelly Belly, could get some attention.
The candy desk is currently held by Pennsylvania’s Pat Toomey, though he’s planning to retire in 2022.
So let the candy-themed maneuvering begin.
In Japan, candy isn’t just a treat, it’s also fine art, thanks to the practice of amezaiku.
Artisans sculpt ornate creatures and scenes out of molten sugar syrup that reaches 176 degrees Fahrenheit.
And because they only have five minutes to shape the syrup before it hardens, they usually pick it up with their bare hands.
And yes, they say it hurts!
The History Of The Senate’s Sweet Candy Desk (DCist)
Reviving a Centuries-Old Japanese Confectionery Art (New York Times)