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Lemonade Beats Group

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Eldar Aksenov
Eldar Aksenov


Candy, also called sweets (British English) or lollies (Australian English, New Zealand English),[a] 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 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.[2]

The word candy entered the English language from the Old French çucre candi ("sugar candy"). The French term probably has earlier roots in the Arabic qandi, Persian qand and Sanskrit khanda, all words for sugar.[3]

Before sugar was readily available, candy was based on honey.[10] Honey was used in Ancient China, the Middle East, Egypt, Greece and the Roman Empire to coat fruits and flowers to preserve them or to create forms of candy.[11] 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 used as an aid to digestion. Banquet hosts typically served 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.[11]

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. There was also an increasing market for children. 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.[15]

In 1847, the invention of the candy press (also known under the surprising name of 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.[14]

As the path from producer to market became increasingly complicated, many foods were affected by adulteration and the addition of additives which ranged from relatively harmless ingredients, such as cheap cornstarch and corn syrup, to poisonous ones. Some manufacturers produced bright colors in candy by the addition of hazardous substances for which there was no legal regulation: green (chromium(III) oxide and copper acetate), red (lead(II,IV) oxide and mercury sulfide), yellow (lead chromate) and white (chalk, arsenic trioxide).[16]

In an 1885 cover cartoon for Puck, Joseph Keppler satirized the dangers of additives in candy by depicting the "mutual friendship" between striped candy, doctors, and gravediggers. By 1906, research into the dangers of additives, exposés of the food industry, and public pressure led to the passage of the Pure Food and Drug Act, the first federal United States law to regulate food and drugs, including candy.[16]

To this day, the process of going door to door to receive free candy during Halloween-time has become a major draw for children all across America. It is the one day of the year that ringing a neighbor's doorbell is socially acceptable. Children across the country will continually dress up in costume and go door to door. In turn, the residents of each house graciously buy candy for children and hand it out in small increments. Just as it had been in the mid-1970s, the main form of candy that is passed out is pre-packaged sweets. Parents feel much more easy minded allowing their children to eat pre-packaged candies because of the quality control that comes with each product. As a result, name brand candies have become a staple for Halloween and trick-or-treating up to the present. Some candies continue to be popular with trick-or-treaters, such as Reese's Cups, Kit Kat, and Snickers, which were the top three halloween candies of 2022.[17]

The idea of providing trick-or-treaters with candy was not fully conceptualized until the 1950s. Up until that point many households continued to provide children with soul cakes among other homemade goods. However, it was discovered by numerous candy producers that the holiday of Halloween could be marketed to sell their products. As a result, many households began to buy candy products. The main draw to these candy products were that they were inexpensive, took no time to prepare, and came in bulk. Nevertheless, candy would not completely take over until the 1970s. Up until that point, givers would continue to make treats or package small toys and coins specifically for Halloween.[19]

The main cause for the shift from homemade treats to pre-packaged candies was the result of speculation concerning tampered food. Many parents during this time were concerned that their children were being exposed to needles or toxic chemicals within their halloween goods. The lack of packaging made it much easier for a person to put dangerous substances into the food they were planning to give out. These worries were heightened because of a large number of false reports concerning medical attention relating to dangerous halloween treats. As a result, parents became much more likely to allow their children to participate in Halloween festivities when packed candy was introduced. They noticed that it would be much harder for a person to tamper with factory packaged sweets because the seal would be torn. It would be too noticeable if someone tried to affect the product.[20]

Judging from recent statistics, it is evident that Halloween candy is still at high demand. In 2021 alone, profits from halloween candy were up to at least "$324 million". From the same report, the demand for halloween candy was "up 59.8% from 2019". From these numbers it can be presumed that Halloween is still a big deal for Americans. An even bigger deal for the American public is the act of receiving candy from trick-or-treating. Candy continues to be a staple for the Halloween season and remains the biggest draw for participation.

Hard-boiled candies made by the vacuum cooking process include stick candy, lemon drops and horehound drops. Open-fire candy, like molasses taffy and cream taffy, is cooked in open kettles and then pulled. Pan work candies include nuts and other candies like jelly beans and sugar-coated almonds, made by coating with sugar in revolving copper kettles. Gum work candy is cooked in large kettles fashioned for melting and molded, dried and sugared like gum drops. They are soaked for a time in sugar syrup to allow crystals to form.[24]

Chocolate is sometimes treated as a separate branch of confectionery.[25] In this model, chocolate candies like chocolate candy bars and chocolate truffles are included. Hot chocolate or other cocoa-based drinks are excluded, as is candy made from white chocolate. However, when chocolate is treated as a separate branch, it also includes confections whose classification is otherwise difficult, being neither exactly candies nor exactly baked goods, like chocolate-dipped foods, tarts with chocolate shells, and chocolate-coated cookies.

Sugar 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 and brittle. The texture of candy depends on the ingredients and the temperatures that the candy is processed at.

The final texture of sugar candy depends primarily on the concentration of sugar. As the syrup is heated, it boils, water evaporates, the sugar concentration increases and the boiling point rises. A given temperature corresponds to a particular sugar concentration. These are called sugar stages. In general, higher temperatures and greater sugar concentrations result in hard, brittle candies, and lower temperatures result in softer candies.[27] Once the syrup reaches 171 C (340 F) or higher, the sucrose molecules break down into many simpler sugars, creating an amber-colored substance known as caramel. This should not be confused with caramel 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.[28] 041b061a72


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