Introduction

What do you know about Candy? Do you know how it is made and its different types? If you want to learn more about it, join me in this Do You Know episode from English Plus Podcast.

Audio Podcast

What Do You Know about Candy?

What do chocolate bars, jellybeans, caramels, lollipops, and licorice all have in common? Answer: They’re all types of candy.

WHAT IS CANDY?

Candy is one of the world’s most popular sweet-tasting foods. Sugar is the main ingredient in most candy. Other ingredients, such as honey, are sometimes used as sweeteners.

Many other ingredients are used in different candies. They include milk, eggs, flour, nuts, fruit, and flavorings such as vanilla and peppermint. The kinds of candy made are nearly endless!

WHAT ARE THE MAIN KINDS OF CANDY?

Candy comes in all shapes, sizes, colors, and flavors. Some candies are hard while others are soft and creamy or sticky and chewy. What’s the difference? It’s in how the candy is made.

Hard candies, such as lollipops and lemon drops, are made by boiling sugar with corn syrup and water. Butter or vegetable oil boiled with sugar produces butterscotch and brittles. Most brittles, including peanut brittle, are made with nuts.

Chewy candies, such as caramels and toffees, are made by boiling sugar, milk, and vegetable oil. Gumdrops are made by boiling sugar with gelatin or cornstarch.

Candies such as nougats and marshmallows are made by whipping air into sweet syrups. The air adds volume and makes the candy feel smooth in your mouth.

Chocolates are the most popular candies of all. Chocolate is made from the cocoa bean, a type of seed. Chocolate candies are sold mainly as solid bars, chocolate-covered bars, and other chocolate-covered treats.

THREE FUN CANDY FACTS

The simplest candy is cotton candy. It has one ingredient: sugar. The sugar is melted in a container with tiny holes and then spun very fast. The whirling container forces the sugar through the holes, making those thin threads that melt in your mouth.

The flavoring for black licorice comes from the root of the licorice plant. Licorice is one of the world’s oldest candies. The ancient Chinese, Egyptians, and Greeks used licorice as a medicine.

Do you know why a candy cane is curved at the top? Because shepherds often carried curved sticks, and the first visitors to the baby Jesus were shepherds. That’s why candy canes are especially made for Christmas, a day that celebrates the birth of Jesus.

WHEN DO WE EAT CANDY?

Candy is good just about anytime. But people eat more of it than usual at certain times of the year.

In the United States, where trick-or-treating is popular, the most candy is eaten around Halloween. The second-most popular time for candy is Easter. Many people receive Easter baskets filled with sweet treats. Next comes Valentine’s Day, which is for giving candy to loved ones and friends. Winter holidays such as Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa are also special times to share candy.

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