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Cotton Candy, early evening at Mijares Square, San José del Cabo, Mexico | by Rana Pipiens
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Cotton Candy, early evening at Mijares Square, San José del Cabo, Mexico

It's hard to imagine that a large share of the invention of Cotton Candy, or as it was originally called: Fairy Floss, goes to two dentists: Joseph Delarose Lascaux (of Louisiana) and William J. Morrison (1860-1926) of Nashville, Tennesse. Apparently Morrison and John C. Wharton, a Nashville candy maker, were the first to patent an electrical spinning machine that pressed pure, liquid sugar through a grilling of very tiny holes to produce the sweet strands that are called cotton candy today. They patented their finding in 1897 and introduced the sweet stuff at the St. Louis World's Fair of 1904 (which celebrated the Louisiana Purchase by Thomas Jefferson 101 years before). Lascaux never patented his own finding. Another cotton-candy machine was developed and patented by Thomas Patton; it was gas-fired and used caramelised sugar. But the electrical system carried the day.

This photo was taken at the tip of Baja California Sur on the pleasant main square of San José del Cabo, opposite the church founded by Father Nicholas Tamaral (1687-1735). In its facade is pictured his martyrdom at the hands of the Pericú who resisted the missionary's attempt at establishing monogamy.

The cotton candy is awaiting the children who at the time of the taking of this picture were just about to come out of the church.

In the background is the orange-flowering, mighty Spathodea campanulata. It is usually called the African tulip tree because of the shape of its flowers. But it also has the name 'Fountain tree', because the buds of the flowers contain a lot of moisture and are known to 'shoot' it on being touched. The word 'fountain' as well as 'Shooters' is appropriate just here: on the roof terrace of Shooters - the back-drop cafe - we had plenty of margaritas!

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Taken on April 2, 2008