(WWTI) – I hope you’ve got a sweet tooth because today is National Candy Day.
The story of candy starts in India, between the 6th and 4th centuries BC. The Persians and Greeks learned that people in India had, reeds that make honey without bees; sugarcane, which is indigenous to Southeast Asia. They would boil sugarcane juice, turning it into individual pieces of sugar, which was called “khanda.” Honey was used before the domestication of sugarcane in ancient China, the Middle East, Egypt, Greece and Rome to coat fruits and flowers, which would preserve them and turn them into a form of candy.
Candy first came to America in the 18th century from France and Britain. In the 1830s, during the Industrial Revolution, technological advances allowed candy to be more accessible, particularly to a new market demographic: children. Candy stores were becoming a staple in America, especially for children across the country. Penny candy was the first thing children would spend money on and candy store owners relied mainly on the business of children and families.
Today, candy is just as popular, here are some candy statistics:
- 65% of the total candy produced is consumed by Americans over the age of 18;
- 65% of U.S. candy brands were introduced more than 50 years ago;
- 36 million heart-shaped boxes of chocolate that are sold on Valentine’s Day;
- 2.8 billion pounds of chocolate is consumed in the United States each year;
- 22 pounds of candy consumed each year by Americans, on average;
- $7 billion is spent on chocolate every year; and
- 25 pounds of candy is eaten per person per year in the United States.
- 1 cup Granulated Sugar
- 1/2 cup Water
- 1/4 cup Light Corn Syrup
- Food Coloring
- 1/2 teaspoon of Your choice of Flavoring Oil
- Place the first three ingredients in a small saucepan and stir to combine.
- Turn on the heat to medium-high and bring the mixture to a boil.
- Boil for approximately 10 minutes until the mixture thickens and reaches the hard crack phase (310 degrees on a candy thermometer).
- Remove from heat and wait for boiling action to calm down, about a minute.
- Pour in food coloring and flavoring oil and whisk quickly to combine, keeping your face away from the steam. Whisk well.
- Working quickly, pour the mixture into molds or out on a sheet of aluminum foil that has been dusted with powdered sugar. Sprinkle more powdered sugar on top of the candy.
- When the candy cools slightly, use a large knife to cut it into small bite-size pieces. When it cools completely, breaks into pieces. Store in an airtight container.
Happy National Candy Day!