The center part of a Candy Floss making machine consists of a small bowl into which sugar is poured and a food colouring powder added.
An electrical heating element near the rim heats this mixture to between 160 and 186 degrees centigrade (which is the melting point of sugar), and it is then spun out through myriad tiny holes where it solidifies in the air and is caught around the outside of the metal bowl. The operator twirls a stick or a cone (or the more experienced ones use their hands) around the rim of the large catching bowl and picks up the candy floss.
Because candy floss consists of mostly air , servings are large. A typical candy floss will be a little bigger than an adult's head.
Many people consider eating candy floss and toffee apples as part of the quintessential experience of a visit to a fairground or circus. The most popular colour of candy floss is pink, altough many colours are available. Eating candy floss is only part of the attraction however, watching it being made often fascinates children and adults alike. It is sweet and sticky, and though it feels like wool to the touch it readily melts in the mouth. It does not have much of an aroma although the machine itself has a cooked sugar smell when in operation. Candy Floss is soft when dry, but when it mingles with saliva it becomes sticky.
Candy Floss was introduced to the world at the St. Louis World fair as "Fairy Floss" with great success (selling 68,655 boxes at the then high price of $.25 - half the cost of admission to the St. Louis World's Fair itself.)