The New York Times Profiles a Candy Professor (and Atlantic Contributor)

Samira Kawash, who blogs about the cultural and social history of candy at CandyProfessor.com—and who has been writing a pre-Halloween series for us about it—just got a whole lot more famous: Julia Moskin wrote about her in today's New York Times. It's fabulous to see Samira getting the recognition she deserves, and the profile is worth reading—an exploration of not only her writing but also America's complicated relationship with sweets:

FOR Samira Kawash, a writer who lives in Brooklyn, the Jelly Bean Incident provided the spark.

Five years ago, her daughter, then 3, was invited to play at the home of a new friend. At snack time, having noted the presence of sugar (in the form of juice boxes and cookies) in the kitchen, Dr. Kawash, then a Rutgers professor, brought out a few jelly beans.

The mother froze. Her child had never tasted candy, she explained, but perhaps it would be all right just this once. Then the father weighed in from the other room, shouting that that they might as well give the child crack cocaine.

"It was clear to me that there was an irrational equation of candy and danger in that house," Dr. Kawash said in a recent interview. "And that was irresistible to me."

From that train of thought, the Candy Professor blog was born. In her writing there, Dr. Kawash dives deep into the American relationship with candy, finding irrational and interesting ideas everywhere. The big idea behind Candy Professor is that candy carries so much moral and ethical baggage that people view it as fundamentally different — in a bad way — from other kinds of food.

Read the full story at The New York Times.

Presented by

Daniel Fromson, a former associate editor at The Atlantic, is a writer based in Washington, D.C. He writes regularly for The Washington Post. His work has also appeared in Harper's Magazine, New York, and Slate.

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