Home >> Comptons-pictured-encyclopedia-vol-02-bro-edi-p3 >> A Folklore Tale Of to Thomas 1795 1881 Carlyle >> Candy


sugar, starch, glucose, candies, little, cool, hard and molasses

CANDY. When the children who lived a century or so ago saw a sweetmeat that looked like our candy, the first thing they thought of was—what do you suppose? Medicine ! Because in the old days, what we call candy was made only by druggists and was used almost entirely to coat little pills and disguise the bitter taste, just as we today coat pills of quinine and other bitter medicines with chocolate.


The druggists of those times also used to make candy drops containing peppermint, hoarhound, win tergreen, and other medicinal substances like those still sold in drugstores today. But all these candies were considered as medicines rather than as pleasant things to eat. The child of that time had only honey, jams, cakes, and similar foods to satisfy his sweet tooth. The nearest thing he had to our candy was "sugar candy" which was made at home by dissolving sugar in water and letting it crystallize.

A little more than a hundred years ago, enterprising men conceived the *dea of making and selling candies for heir own sake, instead of as medicines, and the candy industry was born. At first everything was on a small scale.

Old-fashioned stick candy, molasses taffy, and sugar-plums--which are not plums at all, but little plum-shaped bonbons—were the principal products ; and the makers retailed their own can dies. Later, with the invention of in genious machinery, the industry grew rapidly, especially in the United States, which is the greatest candy-eating and candy-making nation in the world.

If you ever get a chance to go through a large candy factory, you will be delighted to see what a sunny, airy, shining-clean place it is, with all the workers wearing spotless aprons and caps. Nearly everything is done by wonderful machines. One of the most complicated of these passes a tray under a cascade of finely powder ed corn-starch, levels the starch off, makes impressions or molds in the starch, fills the molds with cream, and passes the filled tray on to the drying room. At the same time it takes a pile of starch trays from the drying room, picks out the bottom tray, and turns it up side down on a screen, where the starch is shaken off the hardened candy.

You have noticed, of course, that there are two principal classes of candy, hard and soft. Most of the hard candies are made by boiling sugar, water, and a little glucose, flavoring, and dumping the thick syrup on a slab of marble or steel to cool. The nearly hard

candy is then rolled and cut into balls, sticks, slabs, or squares. In making taffy the mass when it has become stiff enough is kneaded and pulled either by one of those pulling machines you have seen in the windows of large candy stores or by workers equipped with hooks. The pulling makes the mass white and porous.

Brittle candies like the familiar peanut brittle are made by merely melting sugar and glucose over a slow fire, adding nuts or other desired ingredients, and allowing the mass to cool.

intervals sheets of heavily waxed paper. As each of these is filled it is removed by an attendant and carried on a truck to a cool room to dry. Very fine grades of chocolates are still coated by hand. The process of stamping the manufacturer's name on the bottom of the pieces is accomplished by placing them while warm and soft on tins or heavy papers on which the name is embossed.

Some unscrupulous manufacturers used to use harmful coloring agents, as coal-tar and some contain ing arsenic, but stringent laws today prohibit such practices, as well as adulteration. Only such harm less coloring materials are now used as saffron for yellow, spinach for green, and beet juice for red. So the consumer now may be satisfied that practically all the candy sold in the United States is pure and free from harmful substances.

American candy-makers have developed an almost endless variety of forms. The simplest kind is the gum drop made from finely ground sugar mixed with a gum arabic solution or sometimes with gelatin and glucose, molded into the desired shape, and sprinkled with sugar. Marshmallows are made with a mucilage-like liquid obtained from the root of the marshmallow plant. Caramels consist of sugar, glucose, and flavoring matter cooked with cream. Cane molasses is used in making the popular molasses taffy. Fruits, nuts, and flowers are candied by dipping them into a syrup which has been boiled until it is just at the point of crystallizing into sugar. Rock-candy is prepared by allow ing a cooked sugar syrup to crystallize around strings stretched through the liquid. Various confectionery products are also imported from Eastern countries, the best known of which is the delectable "Turkish delight." This is a sticky confection made of gum arabic and gelatin, flavored with orange, cinnamon, attar of roses, or the like.