Through the gate of the building next to the sugar factory, we can enter a garden. Here stands the monument of Sámuel Tessedik, a pastor from Szerencs. He acclimatised sugar beet in Hungary at the end of the 18th century.
Entering the building, the exhibition starts with a film screening in the room on the left. The screening introduces the process of sugar manufacturing, from the harvest of sugar beet to packaging techniques.
The international collection of sugar types can be found in the opposite hall. The long exhibition space in the middle presents large, old pieces of solid sugar in different packages. The wrappings are decorated by pictures of buildings, paintings, graphics and advertisements. Old sugarloaves (which are conical blocks of sugar) are also on display.
The granulated sugar packed in small wrappings is a modern age product of sugar manufacturing and gastronomical trends. Colored pictures and advertisements decorate these packages. A series of illustrations is a valuable part of the collection. One of them delineates famous Zemplén sights on the wrappings.
Showcases on the wall display sugar wrappings from all over the world. Visitors can find centuries-old sugar packets from Switzerland, the Czech Republic, Spain, Brazil, New Zealand or Cape Verde. The packages contain large-crystal sugar types such as granulated sugar, lump sugar, powdered sugar and sugar-candy. Altogether 800 wrappings from 84 countries are displayed in the hall.
The upper floor of the museum contains hundred-year-old relics of the Szerencs sugar manufacturing. The 1889 founding documents of the factory, a photo collection on the production process and the power plant can be found in the first hall on the upper floor. The laboratory equipment is also exhibited. Visitors can also learn about chocolate manufacturing, which started here in 1923.
The second hall presents life in the sugar factory. Trophies of sports departments and pictures of the factory’s male choir and brass band are also displayed, together with labor safety and fire brigade equipment. The collection contains tools for sugar beet-growing as well.
Solid sugar was discovered in India between the 4th and the 7th century AD. Made out of cane, the new product spread slowly among customers. The first cargo of sugar arrived in England in the beginning of the 14th century. Even 150 years before, it was a commodity only for rich families. Earlier, meals were sweetened with honey. Scientists searched for sugar in European plants as well. In the 18th century, German chemist Margraff discovered how to subtract sugar from a beet or tuber.
The first sugar factory was built in Lower-Silesia in 1802. By the second half of the 19th century, sugar manufacturing was widespread across Europe. During the production, refined sugar extracted from the juice of the beet goes through complex procedures until it becomes white and crystallized. Granulated, lump and powdered sugar types are all results of this process. The sugar can be white or brown. The only difference is that brown sugar contains treacle.
Hungarian sugar consumption reached the European average level in the first half of the 20th century. The largest sugar beet-growing areas were in the counties of Trencsény, Nyitra, Pozsony, Bars, Sopron and Moson, with more than a dozen sugar factories.
The museum is currently closed due to renovation.
Address: 1 Gyár utca