‘Twas The Night Before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there;
The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads;
–Clement Clark Moore, “A Visit from St. Nicholas” (1822)
Between this iconic Christmas poem and the Nutcracker’s “Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairies” (pictured above), sugar plums have become part of our Christmas vocabulary. But what the devil are they? I always assumed they were just a sort of old-fashioned way of referring to sweets generally, but apparently there actually is a confection known as a sugar plum. This brave food blogger from Toronto tries it out.