I love candy. It’s a toss up between your classic Peanut M&Ms, Butterfingers, and Sour Patch Kids. Really, any sour gummy type candy will do in a pinch.
During the Pandemic, I’ve been known to go through a Family Party Bag of M&Ms in about a week. We’ve decided it’s best not to keep them in the house or I will get even closer to the size of the house.
My dental hygienist does not share my enthusiasm, although 45 years of this habit have brought about only one cavity, filled 20 odd years ago.
Anyway, as we head into prime candy guzzling season, I dug about the youtube a little bit and found some interesting videos on candy making.
Hammond’s Candy has been around for a 100 years and says they still make candy by hand (although they use some pretty impressive machines to reduce the amount of physical labor involved). They make the ribbon candy in your grandmother’s candy dish, gigantic candy canes, and those swirly lollipops that look good but I’ve never seen anyone eat.
Kammy Stucker, who narrates the first video, says that Hammond’s is the largest hand-made candy manufacturer. Still, they use a number of heavy industrial machines to match their scale.
The next video is a narration-free walk-through of the Hammond’s Candy shop floor. Lots of people and big machines. I find the candy stretcher and the big heated roller that makes candy canes round fun to watch.
In thinks video, workers at a small shop called CandyLabs make hard candy completely by hand. They go into much more detail about the chemistry and workflow of actually making candy than the videos above. And they don’t have one of those neat candy pullers … the workers stretch the stiffening sugar by hand from a hook on the wall. The candy designs are fun and very labor intensive.
Candy No One Buys
A pastry chef in Korea makes chocolate candy I’ve only seen in the refrigerated case at tourist trap diners in New York state. His artistry is fantastic but I wouldn’t eat one.
It is the season for Candy Corn. Did you know it was originally called Chicken Feed?
Candy Corn is, essentially, vanilla flavored fondant. The guy below tries to make Candy Corn on his own, using ingredients he produces himself, including sugar from cane, cornstarch from real corn kernels, and real gelatin from a bone he found in a field (!!?!?!?!?!?). All in all, pretty gross.
The company that originally came up with Candy Corn is now known as Jelly Belly, who also make jelly beans that taste like snot.
Production is incredibly industrial and joyless.