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All About Candy Plus Candy History
   
 

   
 
     
  About Candy  
     
  What does candy have to do with tea? Very little actually except that we personally love "both", especially chocolate. So for those interested in candy or chocolate we've put together a section for you about both! If not then you can still grab your free tea samples and call it a day.  
 

Candy, also called sweets or lollies, is a confection that features sugar as a principal ingredient. The category, called sugar confectionery, encompasses any sweet confection, including chocolate, chewing gum, and sugar candy. Vegetables, fruit, or nuts which have been glazed and coated with sugar are said to be candied.

Physically, candy is characterized by the use of a significant amount of sugar, or, in the case of sugar-free candies, by the presence of sugar substitutes. Unlike a cake or loaf of bread that would be shared among many people, candies are usually made in smaller pieces. However, the definition of candy also depends upon how people treat the food. Unlike sweet pastries served for a dessert course at the end of a meal, candies are normally eaten casually, often with the fingers, as a snack between meals. Each culture has its own ideas of what constitutes candy rather than dessert. The same food may be a candy in one culture and a dessert in another.

 
     
  Sugar candies include hard candies, soft candies, caramels, marshmallows, taffy, and other candies whose principal ingredient is sugar. Commercially, sugar candies are often divided into groups according to the amount of sugar they contain and their chemical structure.  
     
 
Kompito Candy
Fruit Shaped Candy
Chikki Candy
Gummy Bears Candy
Kompitō is a traditional Japanese sugar candy. When finished, it's almost 100% sugar nd it's a true hard candy with little to no flavor.
Fruit-shaped hard candy is a common type of sugar candy, containing sugar, color, flavor, and a tiny bit of water. Some are filled with a sweet filling.
Chikki are homemade nut brittles popular in India. Between the nuts or seeds is where the hard sugar candy is. They come in many varieties.
In Germany, Haribo gummy bears were the first gummi candy ever made. They are soft and chewy and come in different colorful sizes.
       
     
Jelly Beans Candy
Pantteri Candy
Salt-Water Taffy Candy
Marshmallow Candy
Jelly beans are soft sugar candies with a relatively high water content. They have a hard candy coating with a softer but less flavorful center. Pantteri is a soft, chewy Finnish sugar candy. The colored ones are fruity, while black are salmiakki (salty liquorice-flavored), most always round. Salt water taffy is a soft candy traditionally wrapped in paper twisted at both ends. Contrary to popular belief there is no salt water in this candy. Marshmallow candy is really just flavored or colored marshmallow molded or twisted into fun shapes. They have a small amount of sugar.
       
     
Dark Chocolate Candy
Milk Chocolate Candy
White Chocolate Candy
Compound Chocolate Candy
Dark chocolate contains some sugar. It's produced by adding fat and sugar to cocoa. Dark chocolate is synonymous with bittersweet chocolate Milk chocolate contains milk powder, liquid milk or condensed milk and lower levels of cocoa solids. In Europe it's called "Family Milk Chocolate". Because white chocolate contains no cocoa solids, it is classified as sugar confectionery instead of chocolate. It has more of a creamy taste.

Compound chocolate is used in place of pure chocolate to reduce costs. And comes in different varieties shapes, used in many products.

 
     
  Candy History  
     
 

Between the 6th and 4th centuries BCE, the Persians, followed by the Greeks, discovered the people in India and their "reeds that produce honey without bees". They adopted and then spread sugar and sugarcane agriculture. Sugarcane is indigenous to tropical South and Southeast Asia, while the word sugar is derived from the Sanskrit word Sharkara. Pieces of sugar were produced by boiling sugarcane juice in ancient India and consumed as Khanda, dubbed as the original candy.

Before sugar was readily available, candy was based on honey. Honey was used in Ancient China, Middle East, Egypt, Greece and the Roman Empire to coat fruits and flowers to preserve them or to create forms of candy. Candy is still served in this form today, though now it is more typically seen as a type of garnish.

Before the Industrial Revolution, candy was often considered a form of medicine, either used to calm the digestive system or cool a sore throat. In the Middle Ages candy appeared on the tables of only the most wealthy at first. At that time, it began as a combination of spices and sugar that was used as an aid to digestive problems.

 
My M&M Candy

Digestive problems were very common during this time due to the constant consumption of food that was neither fresh nor well balanced. Banquet hosts would typically serve these types of 'candies' at banquets for their guests. One of these candies, sometimes called chamber spice, was made with cloves, ginger, aniseed, juniper berries, almonds and pine kernels dipped in melted sugar.

The Middle English word candy began to be used in the late 13th century.

The first candy came to America in the early 18th century from Britain and France. Only a few of the early colonists were proficient in sugar work and were able to provide the sugary treats for the very wealthy. Rock candy, made from crystallized sugar, was the simplest form of candy, but even this basic form of sugar was considered a luxury and was only attainable by the rich.

Industrial Revolution

The candy business underwent a drastic change in the 1830s when technological advances and the availability of sugar opened up the market. The new market was not only for the enjoyment of the rich but also for the pleasure of the working class as well. There was also an increasing market for children. Confectioners were no longer the venue for the wealthy and high class but for children as well. While some fine confectioners remained, the candy store became a staple of the child of the American working class. Penny candies epitomized this transformation of candy. Penny candy became the first material good that children spent their own money on. For this reason, candy store-owners relied almost entirely on the business of children to keep them running. Even penny candies were directly descended from medicated lozenges that held bitter medicine in a hard sugar coating.

In 1847, the invention of the candy press (also known as a toy machine) made it possible to produce multiple shapes and sizes of candy at once. In 1851, confectioners began to use a revolving steam pan to assist in boiling sugar. This transformation meant that the candy maker was no longer required to continuously stir the boiling sugar. The heat from the surface of the pan was also much more evenly distributed and made it less likely the sugar would burn. These innovations made it possible for only one or two people to successfully run a candy business.

 
     
  Candy Production  
     
 

Candy is made by dissolving sugar in water or milk to form a syrup, which is boiled until it reaches the desired concentration or starts to caramelize. Candy comes in a wide variety of textures, from soft and chewy to hard Candy Productionand brittle, and the texture of candy depends on the ingredients and the temperatures that thecandyisprocessed at.

The final texture of sugar candy depends primarily on the sugar concentration. As the syrup is heated, it boils,water evaporates, the sugar concentration increases and the boiling point rises. A given temperaturecorresponds to a particular sugar concentration. These are called sugar stages. In general, highertemperatures and greater sugar concentrations result in hard, brittle candies, and lower temperatures result in softer candies. Once the syrup reaches 171 °C (340 °F) or higher, the sucrose molecules break down intomany simpler sugars, creating an amber-colored substance known ascaramel. This should not be confused withcaramel candy, although it is the candy's main flavoring.

Most candies are made commercially. The industry relies significantly on trade secret protection, because candy recipes cannot be copyrighted or patented effectively, but are very difficult to duplicate exactly. Seemingly minor differences in the machinery, temperature, or timing of the candy-making process can cause noticeable differences in the final product.

 
     
  Candy Packaging  
     
 

Packaging preserves aroma and flavor and eases shipping and dispensation. Wax paper seals against air, moisture, dust, and germs, while cellophane is valued by packagers for its transparency and resistance to grease, odors and moisture. In addition, it is often resealable. Polyethylene is another form of film sealed with heat, and this material is often used to make bags in bulk packaging. Saran wraps arealso common. Aluminum foils wrap chocolate bars and prevent a transfer of water vapor while being lightweight, non-toxic and odor proof. Vegetable parchment lines boxes of high-quality confections like gourmet chocolates. Cardboard cartons are less common, though they offer many options concerning thickness and movement of water and oil.

Packaging may be used as a type of gift wrapping.

Packages are often sealed with a starch-based adhesive derived from tapioca, potato, wheat, sago, or sweet potato. Occasionally, glues are made from the bones and skin of cattle and hogs for a stronger and more flexible product, but this is not as common because of the expense.

History

Prior to the 1900s, candy was commonly sold unwrapped from carts in the street, where it was exposed to dirtand insects. By 1914, there were some machines to wrap gum and stick candies, butthis was not the common practice. After the polio outbreak in 1916, unwrapped candies garnered widespread censure because of the dirt and germs. At the Candy Historytime, only upscale candy stores used glass jars. With advancements in technology, wax paper was adopted, and foil and cellophane were imported[vague] from France by DuPont in 1925. Necco packagers were one of the first companies to package without human touch.

Candy packaging played a role in its adoption as the most popular treat given away during trick-or-treating forHalloween in the US. In the 1940s, most treats were homemade. During the 1950s, small, individually wrapped candies were recognized as convenient and inexpensive. By the 1970s, after widely publicized but largely false stories of poisoned candy myths circulating in the popular press, factory-sealed packaging with a recognizable name brand on it became a sign of safety.

 
     
  Candy Shelf Life  
     
 

Because of its high sugar concentration, bacteria are not usually able to grow in candy. As a result, the shelf life is longer for candy than for many other foods. Most candies can be safely stored in their original packaging at room temperature in a dry, dark cupboard for months or years. As a rule, the softer the candy or the damper the storage area, the sooner it goes stale.Candy Shelf Advice

Shelf life considerations with most candies are focused on appearance, taste, and texture, rather than about the potential for food poisoning. That is, old candy may not look pretty or taste very good, even though it is very unlikely to make the eater sick. Candy can be made unsafe by storing it badly, such as in a wet, moldy area. Typical recommendations are these:

  • Hard candy may last indefinitely in good storage conditions.
  • Milk chocolates and caramels usually become stale after about one year.
  • Dark chocolate lasts up to two years.
  • Soft or creamy candies, like candy corn, may last 8 to 10 months in ideal conditions.
  • Chewing gum and gumballs may stay fresh as long as 8 months after manufacture.
 
     
  Candy Nutrition  
     
 

Even in a culture that eats sweets frequently, candy is not a significant source of nutrition or food energy for most people. The average American eats about 1.1 kg (2.5 pounds) of sugar or similar sweeteners each week, but almost 95% of that sugar—all but about 70 grams (2.5 ounces)—comes from non-candy sources, especially soft drinks and processed foods.

Meal replacements

Candy is considered a source of empty calories, because it provides little or no nutritional value beyond food energy. At the start of the 20th century, when undernutrition was a serious problem, especially among poor and working-class people, and when nutrition science was a new field, the high calorie content was promoted as a virtue. Researchers suggested that candy, especially candy with milk and nuts, was a low-cost alternative to normal meals. To get the food energy necessary for a day of labor, candy might cost half as much as eggs. During the 1920s and 1930s, candy bars selling for five cents were often marketed as replacements for lunch.

In more recent times, a variety of snack bars have been marketed. These include bars that are intended as meal replacements as well as snack bars that are marketed as having nutritional advantages when compared to candy bars, such as granola bars. However, the actual nutritional value is often not very different from candy bars, except for usually a higher sodium content, and the flavors (most popularly, chocolate, fudge, and caramel) and the presentation mimic candy bars.

Among the Bengali people, candy may be eaten for an entire meal, especially during festivals. Candy may also be offered to vegetarian guests in lieu of fish or meat dishes in India.

Vegetarianism

Traditional holiday candy house.

Most candy contains no meat or other animal parts, and many contain no milk or other animal products. Some candy, including marshmallows and gummi bears, contains gelatin derived from animal collagen, a protein found in skin and bones, and is thus avoided by vegans and some vegetarians. "Kosher gelatin" is also unsuitable for vegetarians and vegans, as it is derived from fish bones. Other substances, such as agar, pectin, starch and gum arabic may also be used as setting and gelling agents, and can be used in place of gelatin.

Other ingredients commonly found in candy that are not suitable for vegetarian or vegan diets include carmine, a red dye made from cochineal beetles, and confectioner's glaze, which may contain wings or other insect parts.

 
     
  Candy Health Effects  
     
 

Cavities

Candy generally contains sugar, which can be involved in tooth decay-causing cavities. Sugar is a food for several types of bacteria commonly found in the mouth, particularly Streptococcus mutans; when the bacteria metabolize the sugar they create acids in the mouth which demineralize the tooth enamel and can lead to dental caries. To help prevent this, dentists recommend that people should brush their teeth regularly, particularly after every meal and snack.

Glycemic index

Most candy, particularly low-fat and fat-free candy, has a high glycemic index (GI), which means that it causes a rapid rise in blood sugar levels after ingestion. This is chiefly a concern for people with diabetes, but could also be dangerous to the health of non-diabetics.

Health benefits

Candies that primarily consist of peppermint and mint, such as candy canes, have digestive benefits. Peppermint oil can help soothe an upset stomach by creating defense against irritable bowel syndrome and is effective in killing germs.

Mint-flavored gum increases short-term memory, heart rate, and the amount of oxygen in the brain. The correlation between heart rate and oxygen in the brain triggers short-term memory. Chewing gum can also provide a burst of insulin in the anticipation for food.

When eaten in moderation, dark chocolate can have health benefits. The cocoa in chocolate can help reduce the risk of heart disease. Vitamins and minerals such as calcium, magnesium, and sodium can be found in chocolate, as well as antioxidants.

In a study of approximately 8,000 individuals, candy consumers enjoyed an average of 0.92 years of longer life, with greater consumption of candy not associated with progressively lower mortality. Non-consumers typically ate less red meat and salads, drank more and were more likely to smoke. Mortality was lowest among those consuming candy 1–3 times a month and highest among those consuming candy three or more times a week. The study concluded that one possible explanation for this was the presence of antioxidant phenols in chocolate, but the study could not differentiate between consumption of sugar candy and chocolate in they study.

Contamination

Some kinds of candy have been contaminated with an excessive amount of lead in it. Claims of contamination have been made since shortly after industrial-scale candy factories began producing candy in the mid-19th century.

Choking deaths

Hard, round candies are a leading cause of choking deaths in children.Some types of candy, such as Lychee Mini Fruity Gels, have been associated with so many choking deaths that their import or manufacture is banned by some countries.

Non-nutritive toy products such as chocolate eggs containing packaging with a toy inside are banned from sale in the US. If the material attached to confectionery does have a function and will not cause any injury to the consumer, it is allowed to be marketed. In the EU however, the Toy Safety Directive 2009/48/EC specifies that toys contained in food only need separate packaging that cannot be swallowed.

 
     
  Candy Sales and Culture  
     
 

Global sales of candies were estimated to have been approximately US $118 billion in 2012.

Because each culture varies in how it treats some foods, a food may be a candy in one place and a dessert in another. For example, in Western countries, baklava is served on a plate and eaten with a fork as a dessert, but in the Middle East, Northern Africa, and Eastern Europe, it is treated as a candy.

Candy is the source of several cultural themes:

  • Adults worry that other people will use candy to poison or entice children into harmful situations. Stranger danger warnings include telling children not to take candy from strangers, for fear of the child being abducted. Poisoned candy myths persist in popular culture, especially around trick-or-treating at Halloween, despite the rarity of actual incidents.
  • The phrase like taking candy from a baby is a common simile, and means that something is very easy to do.
  • A 1959 Swedish dental health campaign encouraged people to reduce the risk of dental problems by limiting consumption of candy to once a week. The slogan, "All the sweets you want, but only once a week", started a tradition of buying candy every Saturday, called lördagsgodis (literally "Saturday candy").
 
   
     
 
We hope you enjoyed our special section all about candy! 
 
     
   
     
   
 

 

 

 

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