The latest trend on the food scene is a nostalgic, sugary treat: cotton candy. Chef Najat Kaanache of P|S mixes savory and sweet by topping a fried chicken skewer with cotton candy. And Chef Joel Peña is debuting his bacon cotton candy at the Texas Motor Speedway events in April.
But entrepreneur Yasmeen Tadia is taking a different approach to the fluffy goodness with her new Dallas-based cotton candy company, Fluffpop.
The single mom says that she is always on the lookout for fun treats and unique things to do for her 3-year-old son. Tadia and her son both love the taste and texture of cotton candy, but the only kinds available were too sugary and filled with chemicals and dyes. So, after some experimenting, she decided to create her own.
wFluffpop comes in flavors like guava, cappuccino and peppermint, but owner Yasmeen Tadia can spin any hard candy into cotton candy.
"I modified an ordinary machine so I could spin any candy," Tadia says. "I'm no engineer. I had help with the construction."
She says the same person who created the box to cover the machinery — which also makes it suitable to take to events — creates many of the display cases for Neiman Marcus. That explains why we didn't even recognize her spinning machine.
The process is called spinning because Tadia drops the candy into a heated machine, which spins and turns it into a soft, airy substance. As the machine does its magic, she quickly turns a skewer around the center of the machine to collect the fluff.
Tadia wouldn't reveal the exact science or the construction of her machine — but we wouldn't, either, if we had come up with idea ourselves.
Aside from the small and therefore transportable scale of her machine, the greatest part about Fluffpop is the taste. The confection takes on the flavors of whatever candy is spun. And the white hue means there are no additional dyes or fortified ingredients.
Currently Tadia spins three kinds of flavors, which are available for purchase online: gourmet (guava, lychee, sparkling strawberry and cappuccino), organic (cherry and pomegranate) and sugar-free (peppermint, lemon, orange and pineapple). She plans to introduce new flavors as time goes on.
But if you hire Tadia to spin at an event, she can make whatever flavor you like, as long as it comes in hard-candy form. If she doesn't have the flavor you want, she says she'll find it.
In the future, Tadia hopes to open a cotton candy store similar to an old-school candy shop. Instead of selecting the candies to eat right away, Tadia will take the selected sweets and spin them into Fluffpop.
Now that's our kind of sugar rush.