Candy

Topics: Confectionery, Candy, Candy bar Pages: 5 (1685 words) Published: January 12, 2014
Candy, specifically sugar candy, is a confection made from a concentrated solution of sugar in water, to which flavorings and colorants are added. Candies come in numerous colors and varieties and have a long history in popular culture. The Middle English word candy began to be used in the late 13th century, coming into English from the Old French çucre candi, derived in turn from Persian Qand and Qandi, "cane sugar", probably derived from Sanskrit word khanda "piece ", perhaps from Dravidian . In North America, some use candy as a broad category that may include candy bars, chocolates, licorice, sour candies, salty candies, tart candies, hard candies, taffies, gumdrops, marshmallows, and more. Vegetables or fruit, or nuts which have been glazed and coated with sugar are said to be candied. Outside North America, the generic English-language name for candy is sweets or confectionery . In Australia and New Zealand, small pieces of sweet substance are known as "lollies". In North America, Australia, the Caribbean, NZ and the UK, the word "lollipop" refers specifically to sugar candy with flavoring on a stick. While not used in the generic sense of North America, the term candy is used in the UK for specific types of foods such as candy floss, and certain other sugar based products such as candied fruit. The global sales of sugar confectionery candy market in 2010 were about $57.5 billion. Candy is still served in this form today, though now it is more typically seen as a type of garnish. Candy was originally 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. 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 referred to as a 'chamber spice', was made with cloves, ginger, aniseed, juniper berries, almonds and pine kernels dipped in melted sugar. In contrast, since 1979 the world has produced more sugar than can be sold, making it very attainable and cheap. In 1847, the invention of the candy press 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. Commercially, candies are often divided into three groups, according to the amount of sugar they contain: The names come from the methods used to test the syrup before thermometers became affordable. The "thread" stage is tested by cooling a little syrup, and pulling it between the thumb and forefinger. When the correct stage is reached, a thread will form. This stage is used for making syrups. For subsequent stages, a small spoonful of syrup is dropped into cold water, and the characteristics of the resulting lump are evaluated to determine the concentration of the syrup. A smooth lump indicates "ball" stages, with the corresponding hardness described. At the "soft crack" stage, the syrup forms threads that are just pliable. At the "hard crack" stage, the threads are brittle. This method is still used today in some kitchens. A candy thermometer is more convenient, but has the drawback of not automatically adjusting for local conditions such as altitude, as the cold water test does. Once the syrup reaches or higher, the sucrose molecules break down into many simpler sugars, creating an amber-colored substance known as caramel....
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