A favorite of young and old alike, National Hard Candy Day on December 19th, recognizes the sweet tooth in all of us.
Most hard candies are 100% sugar with flavoring and colors added. To achieve a hard candy, confectioners boil a sugar syrup to 320 degrees Fahrenheit. Once the temperature is reached, the hot, pliable sugar is poured into molds or rolled and folded into shapes and left to cool. Once cool, solid sugar becomes hardened and brittle.
The first hard candies, such as lemon drops and peppermints, were likely prescribed as a remedy for stomach ailments.
Hard candy became popular in the seventeenth century as sugar prices fell. Previously, hard candy was something that only the well-to-do could afford. By the mid-1800s, over 400 companies were manufacturing this popular treat.
In 2015, Jolly Rancher surpassed Werther’s Original as the best-selling hard candy. Other popular hard candies include Dum Dum Pops, Life Savers, Tootsie Roll Pops, and Charms Blow Pop.
HOW TO OBSERVE HARD CANDY DAY
Enjoy your favorite hard candy. While shopping for some to taste, be sure to pick some up to fill those stockings, too. National Hard Candy Day is also an excellent time to discover the history behind your favorite hard candies. You can read about many of the candy makers from bygone days or who are still producing our favorites. Watch videos showing you how these colorful candies are made, too. You will be amazed at how innovative each candy maker had to be to develop their own unique process.
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