Hard Candy has been with us for years, though originally it was only available to the wealthy and privileged. It is simple enough to make, simply put it is 100% sugar boiled at 320 degrees F and then poured into molds allowing it to dry into what ever shape the mold is made of, and adding whatever flavors and colors you want to add.
The very first known hard candies to be made were lemon drops, and they are still popular today. Obviously the original recipe called for sugar and lemon juice, and that was about it. Over the years we have learned to add all sorts of flavoring to candy making it available in nearly any flavor you can imagine.
Peppermint came next and has been a favorite particularly around the holidays in shapes of candy canes and peppermint fluff balls. Until the late 17th century, the candies were too expensive for the everyday person. As sugar became less expensive the price of the candy dropped, making it affordable to nearly anyone. It actually probably made life better for the nearly 400 companies that opened producing candy, expanding the industry by leaps and bounds.
For years Werther’s Originals led the list of candies as the most popular, and also earning the highest paycheck. In 2015, Jolly Rancher took the crown away from Werther’s. Other popular hard candies include, Dum Dums, Life Savers, Tootsie Roll Pops, and Charms Blow Pops. In Japan it is now very popular to put insects inside the hard candy giving you something to look at while enjoying the tasty treat.
How to celebrate – Find your favorite hard candy and enjoy it. Buy, or make, some molds and try making your own candy (be careful though as the boiling sugar is very sticky and can burn really, really badly). Make sure you leave a candy bowl out during the holidays.