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home > food & wine dictionary > candy

Food and Wine Dictionary


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 candy 

n.  Any of a number of various confections — soft and hard — composed mainly of sugar with the addition of flavoring ingredients and fillings such as chocolate, nuts, peanut butter, NOUGAT, fruits and so on. Sugar syrup is the foundation for most candies, the concentration of the mixture depending upon its temperature, which can either be checked by a CANDY THERMOMETER or by a series of cold-water tests. The tests and appropriate thermometer readings are as follows: thread stage — the point at which a spoon coated with boiling syrup forms a 2-inch thread when immersed in cold water (230° to 234°F); soft-ball stage — a drop of boiling syrup immersed in cold water forms a soft ball that flattens of its own accord when removed (234° to 240°F); firm-ball stage — a drop of boiling syrup immersed in cold water forms a firm but pliable ball (244° to 248°F); hard-ball stage — a drop of boiling syrup immersed in cold water forms a rigid ball that is somewhat pliable (250° to 265°F); soft-crack stage — a drop of boiling syrup immersed in cold water separates into hard though pliable threads (270° to 290°F); hard-crack stage — a drop of boiling syrup immersed in cold water separates into hard, brittle threads (300° to 310°F). Candy may come in tiny bits, small one- or two-bite pieces, or in the form of a candy "bar," containing several bites. Candy bars usually have a chocolate coating. So-called "nutritious" candy bars usually contain honey instead of sugar, and often substitute CAROB for chocolate. candy v.  To sugar-coat various fruits, flowers and plants such as cherries, pineapple, citrus rinds, ANGELICA, GINGER, CHESTNUTS, violets, miniature rose petals and mint leaves. Candying food not only preserves it, but also retains its color, shape and flavor. The candying process usually includes dipping or cooking the food in several boiling SUGAR SYRUPS of increasing degrees of density. After the candied fruit air-dries, it is sometimes dipped in granulated sugar.

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Material adapted from the The New Food Lover's Companion

© Copyright Barron's Educational Services, Inc. 1995 based on
THE FOOD LOVER'S COMPANION, 2nd edition, by Sharon Tyler Herbst.


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