Discoveries at the Jungle Candy Month: Nordic Sweets Gummy Candy from Sweden and Leone Candies from Italy
From chocolate, to fruity gummies and hard candy, to liquorice, caramels, marshmallows, taffy, and more, candy has been around for centuries. It comes in all shapes and sizes, too! But where did “candy” come from? Let’s take a look.
Candy can be traced back to the ancient Egyptians where they, along with the Chinese and Indians, combined fruits, nuts and honey to make sweets. Once sugar processing was discovered, though, it kickstarted a new candy industry. In the middle ages it was only a delicacy, but once the 17th century hit, sugar was more common. The English and Americans boiled sugar to make candies mixed with fruit and nuts. From there the candy train was rolling full steam ahead. By the 19th century candy was being mass produced all over the world and a huge variety of products were hitting the market.
Chocolate came around about 4,000 years ago in pre-Olmec cultures living in present-day Mexico. It was first consumed as a bitter beverage rather than a sweet treat. They roasted and ground the cacao beans into a paste that they mixed with water, vanilla, honey, chili peppers and other spices to brew a frothy chocolate drink. Chocolate candy as we know it today was created in 1828, when Coenraad Johannes van Houten invented the cocoa press. It would squeeze the fatty cocoa butter from roasted cacao beans leaving behind a dry cake that could be pulverized into a fine powder that could be combined with other ingredients and molded into a chocolate treat.
Nordic Sweets Gummy Candy - Sweden
Where you can find these: Fairfield Location: Scandinavian Section // Eastgate Location: Yellow 4
Did you know: Scandinavian candy companies don’t use high fructose corn syrup which is in almost every candy and soda you can get here in the United States. This allows the flavor of the fruit and candy to come through without being masked by extra unnecessary sugar.
Leone Candies - Italy
Where you can find these: Fairfield Location: Yellow 6 // Eastgate Location: Yellow 8
Did you know: The recipe for basic candy is a simple one — dissolve sugar in water. Different types of candy will be produced by adjusting the heating level of the water: Cool temps make chewy candy; medium heat makes soft candy; and the highest heat will produce hard candy.
Check out our previous candy features!
Droste Chocolate from Holland, Kinder Happy Hippos from the UK, and Ricolino Duvalin from Mexico!