Tallahassee’s Public Displays of Confection specializes in Victorian candy making techniques.
I’ve spent hours watching candy being made on YouTube. By far the most active channel to get your molten sugar fix is Lofty Pursuits, the eponymous account for an ice cream, candy and toy shop located in Tallahassee, Florida. In the middle of the establishment you’ll find Gregory Cohen and his team at Public Displays of Confection making batches of jewel-like hard candies with Victorian methods (i.e. the hard way), and anyone is invited to come watch.
What may look like an expertly handmade piece of glass with three inset floating lavender blooms is actually candy. It’s a lavender-flavored treat from a confectionery that’s using old-fashioned techniques and modern media platforms to drum up interest.
Thanks to the ubiquity of YouTube, however, Cohen is also inviting people from around the world to take part in his demonstrations. The Lofty Pursuits channel now boasts over 150,000 subscribers and counting, and each video racking up hundreds of thousands of views. With limited editions, custom designs and made-to-order service, Cohen has a winning model for consistently creating new video content for fans to discover and enjoy.
The lavender candies are part of a larger project he’s working on, involving flower images set inside clear crystal-like sugar, which he intends to flavor with the appropriate floral essences. His first attempt, a rose, is equally gorgeous and drew comparisons to the iconic flower from Disney’s Beauty and the Beast.
A love of lavender also runs in his family, he says, as his cousin actually operates a lavender farm in Washington (though the oils Cohen used had to be sourced elsewhere for reasons he explains in the video). And if the sight of molten candy being smooshed, smoothed and stretched isn’t soothing enough for you, Cohen is even known to recite a poem now and then.
Want to try these treats? You can order directly from Public Displays of Confection online.