Sweets from the Indian subcontinent

Sweets from the Indian subcontinent are the confectionery and desserts of the Indian subcontinent. Thousands of dedicated shops in India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka sell nothing but sweets. Sugarcane has been grown in the Indian subcontinent for thousands of years, the art of refining sugar was invented there 8000 years ago by the Indus Valley Civilisation; the English word "sugar" comes from a Sanskrit word sharkara for the refined sugar, while the word "candy" comes from Sanskrit word khaanda for the unrefined sugar– one of the simplest raw forms of sweet. Over its long history, cuisines of the Indian subcontinent developed a diverse array of sweets; some claim there is no other region in the world where sweets are so varied, so numerous, or so invested with meaning as the Indian subcontinent. In the diverse languages of the Indian subcontinent, sweets are called by numerous names, one common name being Mithai, they include sugar, a vast array of ingredients such as different flours, milk solids, fermented foods, root vegetables and roasted seeds, seasonal fruits, fruit pastes and dry fruits.

Some sweets such as kheer are cooked, some like burfi are baked, varieties like Mysore pak are roasted, some like jalebi are fried, others like kulfi are frozen, while still others involve a creative combination of preparation techniques. The composition and recipes of the sweets and other ingredients vary by region. Mithai are sometimes served with a meal, included as a form of greeting, religious offering, gift giving and hospitality in the Indian subcontinent. On South Asian festivals – such as Holi, Diwali and Raksha Bandhan – sweets are homemade or purchased shared. Many social gatherings, wedding ceremonies and religious festivals include a social celebration of food, the flavors of sweets are an essential element of such a celebration. Ancient Sanskrit literature from India mention offerings of mithas. Rigveda mentions a sweet cake made of Barley called apūpa, where barley flour was either fried in ghee or boiled in water, dipped in honey. Malpua preserves the essentials of this preparation.

One of the more complete surviving texts, with extensive descriptions of sweets and how to prepare them, is the Mānasollāsa. This ancient encyclopedia on food and other Indian arts is known as the Abhilaṣitārtha Cintāmaṇi. Mānasollāsa was composed about 1130 CE, by the Hindu King Somesvara III; the document describes meals that include a rice pudding which are called payasam in languages of the Indian subcontinent is called kheer. The document mentions seven kinds of rice. Mānasollāsa describes recipes for golamu, a donut from wheat flour, scented with cardamom. Mānasollāsa mentions numerous milk-derived sweets, along with describing the 11th-century art of producing milk solids, condensed milk and methods for souring milk to produce sweets; the origin of sweets in the Indian subcontinent has been traced to at least 500 BCE when, records suggest, both raw sugar and refined sugar were being produced. By 300 BCE, kingdom officials in India were acknowledging five kinds of sugar in official documents.

By the Gupta dynasty era, sugar was being made not only from sugar cane, but from other plant sources such as palm. Sushruta Samhita records about sugar being produced from mahua flowers and honey and Sugar-based foods were used in temple offerings as bhoga for the deities which, after the prayers, became prasād for devotees, the poor, or visitors to the temple. Adhirasam is a sweet similar to a doughnut originating from Tamil Cuisine made from rice flour, jaggery and pepper.. Barfi is a sweet made from milk solids or condensed milk and other ingredients like ground cashews or pistachios; some barfi use various flours such as besan. Barfi may be flavored with pastes or pieces of fruit such as mango, berries, or coconut, they may include aromatic spices such as cardamom and rose water to enhance the overall flavor. Sometimes a thin layer of silver or gold edible foil is placed on top of burfi for an attractive presentation. Gold and silver are approved food foils in the European Union, as E175 and E174 additives respectively.

The independent European food-safety certification agency, TÜV Rheinland, has deemed gold leaf safe for consumption. Gold and silver leaf are certified kosher; these inert metal foils are neither considered toxic to the broader ecosystem. Chhena murki, or chenna murki, is a sweet made from an Indian version of cottage cheese and sugar in many states such as Odisha. Milk and sugar are boiled to a thick consistency and round, cuboid or other shapes of cottage cheese are soaked in the milky condensate; the sweet originated in the coastal areas in the district of Bhadrak and nowadays is available in all parts of Odisha. Other flavors and aromatic spices are added, it is known by Bengali and Guyanese people as pera. Chhena Poda is a cheese dessert from the state of Odisha in eastern India.'Chhena poda' means'burnt cheese' in Odia. It is made of well-kneaded homemade cottage cheese or chhena, cashew nuts and raisins, is baked for several hours until it browns; the best quality of Chhena Poda is found in the localities of Nayagarh District

Crestwood Publications

Crestwood Publications known as Feature Publications, was a magazine publisher that published comic books from the 1940s through the 1960s. Its title Prize Comics contained what is considered the first ongoing horror comic-book feature, Dick Briefer's "Frankenstein". Crestwood is best known for its Prize Group imprint, published in the late 1940s to mid-1950s through packagers Joe Simon and Jack Kirby, who created such prominent titles as the horror comic Black Magic, the creator-owned superhero satire Fighting American, the first romance comic title, Young Romance. For much of its history, Crestwood's publishers were Mike Bleier. In the 1940s the company's general manager was Maurice Rosenfeld, in the 1950s the general manager was M. R. Reese. In the mid-1950s, the company office manager was Nevin Fidler. In addition to Simon and Kirby, notable Crestwood/Prize contributors included Leonard Starr, Mort Meskin, Joe Maneely, John Severin, Will Elder, Carmine Infantino, Bruno Premiani, Dick Ayers, George Klein, Jack Abel, Ed Winiarski, Dick Briefer.

In 1940, Crestwood's Prize Publications established as a producer of pulp magazines, jumped onto the superhero bandwagon with the new title Prize Comics. The first issue featured the non-superpowered, costumed crime fighter K the Unknown, whose name was changed to the Black Owl in issue #2, April, 1940). In Prize Comics #7, writer-artist Dick Briefer introduced the eight-page feature "New Adventures of Frankenstein", an updated version of 19th-century novelist Mary Shelley's much-adapted Frankenstein monster. Considered by comics historians including Don Markstein as "America's first ongoing comic book series to fall squarely within the horror genre", the feature, set in New York City circa 1930, starred a guttural, rampaging creature dubbed "Frankenstein". Launched with a cover date of September 1947, the Prize Group title Young Romance signaled its distinction from traditional superhero and genre comics with a cover banner stating the series was "designed for the more adult readers of comics".

Told from a first person perspective, underlining its claim to be recounting "true" stories, the title was an instant success, "bec Jack and Joe's biggest hit in years" and selling "millions of copies" and a staggering 92% of its print run. Crestwood increased the print run by the third issue to triple the initial numbers, well as upgrade the title from bimonthly to monthly through issues #13–72. Within a year-and-a-half, Simon & Kirby were launching companion titles for Crestwood to capitalize on the success of this new genre; the first issue of Young Love sold well with "indistinguishable" content from its parent-title. Further spin-off titles Young Brides and In Love followed from Crestwood/Prize, were produced by the Simon & Kirby stable of artists and writers; the long-running horror/suspense title Black Magic debuted in 1950. According to Jack Kirby, the idea for Spider-Man originated with him and Simon, who developed a character called The Silver Spider for Black Magic, subsequently not used.

In 1954, a Crestwood/Prize salesman urged Kirby and Simon to launch their own comics company, Mainline Publications, while the duo continued to produce work for Crestwood under contract. When the duo rearranged and republished artwork from an old Crestwood story in the Mainline title In Love, Crestwood refused to pay Simon and Kirby. After reviewing Crestwood's finances, Simon & Kirby's attorney's stated that the company owed them $130,000 over the past seven years. Crestwood paid them $10,000 in addition to their recent delayed payments. Crestwood gave up publishing comics in 1963, selling off its remaining romance comics to publisher DC Comics, it continued to publish humor magazines, such as Sick, up until 1968. Airmale American Eagle Atomic Man Black Owl Blue Streak Bulldog Denny Captain Gallant Dr. Dekkar, Master of Monsters Dr. Frost The Futureman & Jupiter Green Lama Junior Rangers Master Magician Power Nelson Ted O'Neil Yank & Doodle Crestwood/Prize characters at International Superheroes