Indulging in Neuss

28 / 7 - 13 / 10 / 2019


People have always had a special fondness for sweet foods. However, sweet dishes were hardly available for thousands of years.

That changed 2,000 years ago: the Romans introduced cultivated fruit to our region which could be boiled to make jelly and

used to sweeten food. In the High Middle Ages merchants brought sugar, made from sugar cane, from the Orient to Europe.

The East Asian sweet grass had been cultivated in the Middle East since ancient times. But until the 17th century, sugar remained

a scarce luxury that only the nobility could afford.


18th-century British sugar cane plantations in the Caribbean made sugar affordable for wider parts of the population. Following the

end of the Napoleonic embargo over Great Britain in 1813, cheap cane sugar flooded the market. Pastry shops emerged all over the

Rhineland, and their main specialities were fancy cakes, or “Torten”. Through the cultivation of sugar beet, beet sugar was turned

into a mass product in the middle of the 19th century – meaning sugar was now affordable for all social classes. Today's highly popular

sweets and biscuits were new to the market then. At the end of the 19th century, large confectionery companies such as Stollwerck,

Trumpf and Neugebaur & Lohmann settled in the Rhineland. Neuss was one of the centres of the Rhenish confectionery industry: the

“Zuckerwarenfabrik Otto Mayser”, founded in 1881, mainly produced sweets and lollies. The cocoa and chocolate manufacturer

Novesia achieved international significance, not least through its “Novesia Goldnuss-Schokolade” which guaranteed 27 whole hazelnuts.


supported by

Landschaftsverband Rheinland          Ministerium für Kultur und Wissenschaft des Landes Nordrhein-Westfalen          Museumsnetzwerk Rheinland