Was it really 2006 when Simon L.A. introduced their junk food platter? Ah, how quickly that cotton candy grows up. Which gets us to this year in candy — quite a good one for the sugar set.

The sugar positives? Some of our favorites this year included the vegetable candies and Mexican piloncillo over at La Zamorana and those French sea salt caramels from Little Flower Candy Company. And the European-style toffee (and cool new Koreatown digs) over at Valerie Confections. Turkish Delight? Nory Locum, for sure. Yes, we are forgetting a lot of candies (Korean ginger candies, Jewish halvah?), so do share your favorites in town. When it comes to sugar diversity, no city does it better than L.A.

Toffee Samples At Valerie Confections; Credit: jgarbee

Toffee Samples At Valerie Confections; Credit: jgarbee

On the news front, the ongoing corn syrup debate turned into a legal battle. The U.S. District Court in L.A. began hearing arguments in September over false advertising charges filed by a group of sugar producers against produers/marketers of high-fructose corn syrup.

In lighter news, we did our best to dispel those Halloween urban legends once and for all. And Samira Kawash, a womens' studies professor turned “candy historian” (now that's pretty cool), argued over at The Atlantic that “The End of Candy” may be imminent due to the rise of the health food movement. Who knows, but we aren't betting our last bag of M&Ms on it. Have you ever truly witnessed candy being taken from a baby?

Sugar Baby Cover; Credit: sugarbabycookbook.com

Sugar Baby Cover; Credit: sugarbabycookbook.com

And let's not forget the L.A.P.D.'s warnings about marijuana candy potentially on the loose this Halloween (clearly they have a lot of time on their hands). But then again, they do have a point, as there was that cocaine Easter-egg smuggling attempt at LAX last year.

But ultimately, we spent most of the year dreaming of making our own cotton candy. Not just because it's fun, but because that junk food platter at Simon L.A. is a hefty $25. The Best Candy Cookbook of 2011? Sugar Baby. No contest there. Recipes for homemade honeycomb, cotton candy, taffy, butterscotch, macaroons…

Need we go on?

[More from Jenn Garbee @eathistory + eathistory.com]

LA Weekly