Candy, specifically sugar candy, is a confection made from a concentrated solution of sugar in water, to which flavorings and colorants are added. Candies come in numerous colors and varieties and have a long history in popular culture.
The Middle English word "candy" began to be used in the late 13th century, coming into English from the Old French çucre candi, derived in turn from Arabic qandi and Persian qand, "cane sugar." In North America, candy is a broad category that includes candy bars, chocolates, licorice, sour candies, salty candies, tart candies, hard candies, taffies, gumdrops, marshmallows, and more. Vegetables, fruit, or nuts which have been glazed and coated with sugar are said to be candied.
Outside North America, the generic English-language name for candy is sweets or confectionery (UK, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and other Commonwealth countries). In Australia and New Zealand sweets are, in normal usage, further categorized as either chocolate or lollies (for all other non-chocolate candies).
In North America, the UK, and Australia, the word lollipop refers specifically to sugar candy with flavoring on a stick. While not used in the generic sense of North America, the term candy is used in the UK for specific types of foods such as candy floss (cotton candy in North America and fairy floss in Australia), and certain other sugar based products such as candied fruit.
A popular candy in Latin America is the so-called pirulín (also known as pirulí), which is a multicolor, conic-shaped hard candy of about 10 to 15 cm long, with a sharp conical or pyramidal point, with a stick in the base, and wrapped in cellophane.
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. The type of candy depends on the ingredients and how long the mixture is boiled. Candy comes in a wide variety of textures, from soft and chewy to hard and brittle. Some examples of candy are: caramel candy, toffee, fudge, praline, tablet, gumdrops, jelly beans, rock candy, lollipops, taffy, cotton candy, candy canes, peppermint sticks, peanut brittle, chocolate-coated raisins or peanuts, hard candy (called boiled sweets in British English) and candy bars.
Full article ▸