Last week, I made divinity for a friend's birthday, and along the way discovered that divinity is dead, or at least nearly extinct.
No one I asked had ever heard of this old-fashioned confection except the birthday boy (and not because he's a divinity school graduate, but because his grandmother used to make it at Christmas).
After doing a bit of research, I've concluded that capitalism may have killed the candy. Nearly every vintage cookbook features numerous recipes for divinity (and its contemporaries fudge and taffy). But unlike fudge and taffy, I've never seen a piece of divinity for sale. Could no one figure out how to make this meringue-like candy commercially viable? Since hardly anyone makes candy at home these days, if a specific candy isn't sold in stores, does it simply suffer the same fate as dinosaurs? Apparently so.
While I knew of divinity from reading old cookbooks, the real-life candy had eluded me -- I had never seen or tasted it. This lack of reference was challenging, and I admit to saying more than a few prayers last Saturday as the sugar syrup was boiling.
I wish I could say that the divinity (pictured above) at the very top was the one I made instead of an image I pulled off the internet. My divinity (too shiny, too flat) are pictured below.
Still the flavor was pretty good and I probably ate just as many as I boxed up for the birthday gift. I suspect I'll be making them for Christmas, on a very dry and sunny December day, and with an added teaspoon of confidence.