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 Persian Qand (=قند) and Qandi (=قندی), "cane sugar", probably derived from Sanskrit word khanda (खण्ड) "piece (of sugar)", perhaps from Dravidian (cf. Tamil kantu for candy, or kattu "to harden, condense"). In North America, some use candy as a broad category that may include candy bars, chocolates, licorice, sour candies, salty candies, tart candies, hard candies, taffies, gumdrops, marshmallows, and more. Vegetables or fruit, or nuts which have been glazed and coated with sugar are said to be candied.
Gummi candy, gummy candy, gummies, or jelly sweets are a broad category of gelatin-based, chewy candy. In the United States and Germany, gummi bears are the most popular and well known of the gummi candies. Other common shapes include bottles, worms, frogs, hamburgers, sharks, army men, full-size rats, large human body parts (hearts, feet, faces), Ampelmännchen and Smurfs.
Gummi candy is sometimes combined with other forms of candy, such as marshmallow, chocolate or sour sugar.
A hard candy, or boiled sweet, is a candy prepared from one or more syrups boiled to a temperature of 160 °C (320 °F). After a syrup boiled to this temperature cools, it is called hard candy, since it becomes stiff and brittle as it approaches room temperature. Hard candy recipes variously call for syrups of sucrose, glucose, or fructose.
Once the syrup blend reaches the target temperature, the confectioner removes it from the heat source, and may add citric acid, food dye, and some flavouring, such as a plant extract, essential oil, or flavorant. One might then pour the syrup concoction (which is now very viscous) into a mold or tray to cool. When the syrup is cool enough to handle, one can fold, roll, and mold it into the shapes desired.
Hard candies and throat lozenges prepared without sugar employ isomalt as a sugar substitute, and are sweetened further by the addition of an artificial sweetener, such as aspartame, or a sugar alcohol, such as xylitol.
Among the many hard candy varieties are stick candy (such as the candy cane), the lollipop, the aniseed twist, and the bêtises de Cambrai.
A lollipop is a type of confectionery consisting mainly of hardened, flavored sucrose with corn syrup mounted on a stick and intended for sucking or licking. Different informal terms are used in different places, including lolly, sucker, sticky-pop, etc. Lollipops are available in many flavors and shapes.
Lollipops are available in a number of colors and flavors, particularly fruit flavors. With numerous companies producing lollipops, the candy now comes in dozens of flavors and many different shapes. They range from small ones which can be bought by the hundred and are often given away for free at banks, barbershops, and other locations, to very large ones made out of candy canes twisted into a circle.
Most lollipops are eaten at room temperature, but "ice lollipops" or "ice lollies" are frozen water-based lollipops. Similar confections on a stick made of ice cream, often with a flavored coating, are usually not called by this name.
Some lollipops contain fillings, such as bubble gum or soft candy. Some novelty lollipops have more unusual items, such as mealworm larvae, embedded in the candy. Other novelty lollipops have non-edible centers, such a flashing light, embedded within the candy; there is also a trend of lollipops with sticks attached to a motorized device that makes the entire lollipop spin around in one's mouth.
In the Nordic countries, Germany, and the Netherlands, some lollipops are flavored with salmiak.