- The Origins of Hard Candy
- How Hard Candy is Produced?
- Most Famous Hard Candy
- Top Organic Hard Candies
- Old-Fashioned Hard Candy
- Sweet Adventure of Hard Candy
- Bottom Line
Our childhood memories are strongly linked to hard candy. Halloween, Christmas, Easter, birthdays, and all other special days are almost unimaginable without these sweet treats. Can you even think of your grandma’s house without a bowl of delicious treats in it? We bet this sounds familiar to you! And considering this, we can say that hard candy is the most admired and cherished candy among all.
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The Origins of Hard Candy
The first modern candies were actually made in the 16th century. Since the 19th century, the industry has been developing really fast. In that time, new ideas and inspirations came, and manufacturers started experimenting and adding some other ingredients.
In Southeast Asia, the sweet treats were made by boiling sugarcane juice and consuming Khanda. The word “candy” comes from “khanda”. This practice was especially widespread in India. Other cultures, such as the Persians and Greeks, later discovered that Indians were producing “honey without the bees.” After that, they adopted this practice and started candy-making.
The manufacturing process was specially raised during World War I. The hard candy was then produced in smaller pieces and distributed to the American soldiers. After World War I, there were more than 40, 000 hard candy bars produced.
Our favorite treats started to gain popularity in the 19th century. Peppermints and lemon drops were two of the first loved and most famous hard candies. And the first chocolate candy bar was made by Joseph Fry in 1847. It was made of cacao butter, cocoa, and sugar.
How Hard Candy is Produced?
Hard candy (also called boiled sweets) traces back to the ancient Egyptians. They used honey and mixed it with different kinds of fruit and nuts. However, honey was also widely used by the Greeks to make sweet treats with fruits and flowers.
Currently, most hard candies are sugar-based. The sugar gets heated to 160 degrees. Either sucrose, glucose, or fructose sugar syrup is made. After that, some additional ingredients are added. such as plant extracts, essential oils, colorings, flavorings, and others. In the end, the syrup is poured into the mold, cools down, and hardens.
Most Famous Hard Candy
Who can imagine a holiday party without red and white striped, minty-flavored treats? In fact, Peppermint Hard candy is an iconic symbol of Christmas which is why candy lovers around the world adore these Christmas candies.
The actual origin of peppermint candy is not clear. However, there are some facts from history stating that peppermint oils were used in ancient times to calm the stomach. In the late 1700s, farmers in Europe started to grow watermint and spearmint.
The first appearance of peppermint candy happened in 1780. At that time, Smith Kendon created Altoids that relieved interstitial discomfort and had a Pep-O-Mint. Eduard Haas, from Austria, was the one who actually invented peppermint Pez Candy. Today, we can see many different varieties and shapes of peppermint candy. However, one of them and a very famous manufacturer is Spanglers Candy. The brand makes traditional red and white peppermint candy canes alongside the new variations.
Peppermint candy canes have been a significant part of our Christmas celebrations for generations now. It became a holiday staple and a cultural phenomenon, the source of many sweet memories.
Lemon Drops are one of the most famous hard candies. With its name, we can guess that the candy has a lemon flavor and that the color is yellow, often shaped like a lemon. Candy can have a sour taste or a sweeter taste too.
It is made by boiling sugar with water and tartar cream. When it cools down, the lemon flavor is added. After that, the candy is rolled in sugar and the shape is determined.
Lemon Drops candy comes from England. There, the candy makers discovered that the lemon added acidity to the candy, and it all prevented the sugar from crystallizing. Different brands make similar candies; however, one of the largest manufacturers is Brach’s company.
Top Organic Hard Candies
Lemon and Raspberry Organic Hard Candy
Lemon and Raspberry hard candy is made by Torie & Howard organic candy brand. Torie and Howard are a couple who started organic candy manufacturing and it soon became really successful.
They created five reasons why you should eat organic candy. The first reason is “for the Earth”. Then comes the “for higher nutrition”. Number three is to “protect wildlife”. The reason number four is that organic food has a better taste because it is made in harmony with nature. And the last one, organic food is GMO-free. Not surprisingly, this hard candy comes in a reusable tin.
This candy has sweet and sour lemon and raspberry flavors. Also, additional flavors include pomegranate and nectarine, or blood orange and honey.
GoOrganic Organic Hard Candies
GoOrganic’s Organic hard candies are considered one of the healthiest options among our favorite treats. The brand itself is an organic candy manufacturer. Their candy has a few different flavors in their assorted flavor bag. Mainly, the Cherry, Honey Lemon, Pomegranate, and Apple flavors are used.
The candy does not contain any artificial flavors or colors. It is absolutely natural and the flavors come from the actual fruits themselves. The candies are, of course, gluten-free, non-GMO, vegan, and kosher certified. So, everybody can enjoy it without any fear or worry.
Holiday Candy Assortment
The Holiday Candy Assortment is an assortment of favorite candies from generations past. Originally, the candy was made and introduced in 1949, but it’s generally considered a ‘50s candy. The Creator was the Jolly Ranchers Company in Colorado, owned by Bill and Dorothy Harmsen. Currently, the Hershey company owns the brand.
Jolly Ranchers’ hard candies are especially popular with people because of their variety of flavors. There are different types of small, bite-sized candies in the assortment. including raspberry, grape, watermelon, and apple. These hard candies are individually wrapped, so they are made to be shared with loved ones. And one more thing, candy is absolutely sugar-free. It contains no cholesterol or fat. So, it is healthy to eat and enjoy it anytime.
Old-Fashioned Hard Candy
Root Beer Barrels
Root Beer Barrels can be considered as one of those old-fashioned candies. Hard Candy is manufactured by F.B. Washburn Candy Company. The company is considered to be one of the oldest family-owned businesses in the United States. They are located in Massachusetts and have been on the market since 1856.
Root Beer has a very distinct flavor, and it is the most authentically American flavor available. While eating these dark-colored candies, the delicious root beer flavor bursts and fills the head with happiness and memories.
Washburn’s Old-Fashioned Hard Candies
Washburn’s company is based in Massachusetts and has been the producer of one of the best hard candies on the market. The candy is specially designed so that it creates the Christmas spirit and feeling. It has been in our homes or generations, and just looking at it can bring up many memories. There was always a supply of Washburn’s hard candies in our grandmas’ houses, and it made the environment even warmer and more relaxing.
The candies are located in a 16-ounce container. There are different types of delicious treats mixed together. They differ in shape, color, and flavor.
LifeSavers Hard Candy
Lifesavers is a classic American hard candy that has been around since 1935. The package contains five different flavors, including Raspberry, Watermelon, Cherry Pineapple, and Orange.
Candies are shaped like hoops and have an empty circle in the middle. Packaging has beautiful, eye-catching, vibrant colors. Different fruits are shown on it, and it is see-through. With just a look at the package, one would want to just taste it and enjoy the sweet fruity taste.
Sweet Adventure of Hard Candy
Classic Guava Hard Candy
Classic Guava Hard Candy is not known to everybody. But it is often given in Chinese restaurants at the end of the meal and therefore, tends to be one of the most exotic Chinese candies. If you taste it once, then you will absolutely fall in love with it.
Classic Guava Hard Candy is manufactured in China by the Guangdong Hongyuan Company. Mostly, it comes with a fruity flavor and has a great fruity aroma. They are green in color and come in separate packaging.
Watermelon Hard Candy
Another healthy hard candy is Jolly Rancher’s Watermelon Hard Candy. Candy is actually fat-free and cholesterol-free. Candy comes in individual wrappings.
Watermelon hard candy is truly a classic. The sweet watermelon taste affects the receptors greatly and creates a taste celebration in the mouth. The wrapping is designed beautifully. There is a smiley watermelon looking at us from the wrapping and giving us great, positive vibes.
Werther’s Original Hard Candies
If you love caramel, then Werther’s Original Hard Candies are for you. Actually, this sweet treat is made with real butter and real cream. Candy is absolutely gluten-free. It’s a classic German candy that’s considered a retro treat.
The actual name of the candy brand comes from a European village called Werther. These delicious caramel treats were invented by Gustav Nebel.
Candy melts in the mouth while eating and creates a creamy and delicious taste. Werther’s original has two types of feelings: hard center and soft center. They are individually wrapped. Containers normally consist of 50% hard-centered and 50% soft-centered candies.
Shoutout to Cinnamon Lovers. There is a candy just for you, one that will satisfy all your needs and wishes. Fireballs Candy, known by all and very famous, is produced by Ferrara Pan Brand. Candy is fat-free and gluten-free too. Candy consists of little, bite-sized, red balls that are individually wrapped.
Hard Candy was created by Nelson Ferrera in 1954, who was the son of Salvatore Ferrera. He wanted to develop spicy candies. This hot panned candy was created using the hot candy process.
Spicchi-Italian Hard Candy
Let’s travel to Italy now. As we have heard, one of the most famous hard candies in Italy is the Sunny Island Candy Spicchi candy. The sweet treat is manufactured by the Perugina Sorrento brand. The brand is well known for its delicious and mouthwatering treats. The candy is sold under the Perugina brand but is manufactured and sold by Sunny Island Corporation.
The bag weight is around two pounds, and there are many individually wrapped delicious candies. Candies are gluten-free. Those candies have a citrus flavor, including orange, lemon, and tangerine, and have orange and yellow wrappers.
Charms Sweet N Sour Pops
Sweet N Sour Pops will open up your taste buds and can cure any sweet tooth. It is like a blend of sweet flavors and tastes with sour hints. Lollipops come in a box with 48 individually wrapped candies. Flavors such as Sweet Strawberry/Sour Lemonade, Sweet Pineapple/Sour Grapefruit, Sweet Mango/Sour Tangerine, and other flavors are included in the assortment. Each lollipop is divided into two halves, and each half is either sweet or sour—so unique.
Blueberry Candy Sticks
Blueberry candy sticks are the most “blue” candy you have ever seen. It is blue in color and has the flavor and taste of blueberries. So, blueberry fans, here we go. We just found the perfect candy for you. Hard Candy Sticks come in a box with 80 individually wrapped delights.
Sticks themselves have the colors of light blue and dark blue. And the blueberry flavor just takes the candy to the next level. The sticks are around 5 inches long. After eating, the tongue is left with a blue tint. Actually, the blueberry hard candy sticks are gluten-free and Kosher certified.
Now you can see that hard candy is one of the most popular types of candy on the market today. It is widely used and purchased, especially on special occasions and celebrations. It is a great treat for family and loved ones. Also, hard candies are an important part of parties, and you can see them at many offices and receptions.
Starting with peppermint candies and ending with lemon drops, we may not notice, but hard candies have a very important part in our lives. Tastes are strongly linked to our childhood, home, celebrations, and grandparents, and this has been the case for generations. Who can imagine Halloween without hard candy? Or Christmas without beautiful peppermint canes?
Which hard candy is bringing us beautiful memories of your childhood? Share your thoughts and sweet memories with us in the comments below.
Nato is a content writer and researcher with a background in psychology. She’s passionate about writing about the candy industry and exploring the cultural significance of sweets and treats. She believes that the stories behind our favorite snacks can reveal a great deal about our values.
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