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April 01, 2017
We have big news to share with you today, fellow candy lovers! It's not often that our field is the subject of "hard news," but a recently published article has some pretty amazing information about the world of candy and a prominent historical figure. Here's a really fascinating article about the discovery and the woman who made it happen:
According to this month's edition of Think Twice, the scholarly publication of the Falmouth Ontario Orators and Linguists Society, famed French visionary Nostradamus may actually have had a sweet tooth himself.
A four year study of recently uncovered manuscripts found at Nostradamus' boyhood home reveals that before he made a name for himself with prophecies of cataclysmic events and apocalyptic phenomena, young Nostradamus actually foretold the creation of some of the world's best-loved candies!According to Avril Jester, lead researcher on the project, "Nostradamus wasn't always the 'gloom and doom' guy we typically hear about. Earlier in his lifetime his prophecies were very much lighter, even jovial."These jovial writings include several quatrains (Nostradamus' famed four-line stanzas) that seem to foretell confections that would not be invented until hundreds of years after his death. The article publishes several of these quatrains and attempts to offer explanations for the symbolism they contain:
A parchment vesselin colors drawn from the fieldthe sands they containshall makest men wince
"What we think Nostradamus is describing here," says Jester "is Pixy Stix". "The 'parchment vessel' refers to those paper straws that they come in. They're all different colors, much like wildflowers, and then the powdered candy inside kind of makes you pucker because it has that tart flavor."Another of her favorites is the prophetic description of something that sounds an awful lot like Hershey's Kisses:
Sweetly silent bells, the flag of Herch doth flyWithin thy armor sweetness staysAnd through thy long reign not meltedShall change thy garments with the season
"It's amazing that he was able to foresee with such great detail. The fact that he could predict even the fact that Hershey's would start marketing seasonal wrappers on the Kisses is just incredible."
When asked about her favorite prediction, Jester hesitates.
"It's so hard to choose just one! I mean, there are seven different passages that we studied and researched over the course of four years, so we got to know the details of each one pretty well. I guess, if I had to choose just one, it would be this," she says, gesturing toward an oversized printout of a handwritten, illustrated manuscript. The stanza, translated to English, is as follows:
They shall barter for the smallest of gemsCrystals, as of mica, shuddering with dreadful powerInside the cave, the stones themselves shall boilYet man shall take them as his food
"It's Pop Rocks!," she gushes, eyes gleaming. "Nostradamus predicted Pop Rocks!"
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