Fun Facts About Candy
[click on the candy types listed in the left hand navigation to view fun facts about specific candy types]
- Candy is made simply by dissolving sugar in water. The different heating levels determine the types of candy: Hot temperatures make hard candy, medium heat will make soft candy and cool temperatures make chewy candy.
- About 65 percent of American candy brands have been around for more than 50 years.
- Halloween is the holiday with the highest candy sales, followed by Easter, Christmas and Valentine's Day.
- Cavemen who dug honey from bee hives were the first to enjoy a sweet treat. Recorded history traces candy to the Egyptians 3,500 years ago.
- During ancient times the Egyptians, the Arabs and the Chinese prepared confections of fruit and nuts candied in honey.
- In Europe during the Middle Ages, the high cost of sugar made sugar candy a delicacy available only to the wealthy.
- Cacao, from which chocolate is made, was discovered in 1519 by Spanish explorers in Mexico. The scientific name of the cacao tree's fruit is Theobroma Cacao, which means "food of the gods!"
- Boiled sugar candies were enjoyed in the seventeenth century in England and in the American colonies.
- By the mid-1800s, more than 380 American factories were producing candy – mostly "penny candy" which was sold loose from glass cases in general stores.
- Sweet-making developed rapidly into an industry during the early nineteenth century through the discovery of sugar beet juice and the advance of mechanical appliances. Homemade hard candies, such as peppermints and lemon drops became popular in America during that time.
- Less than two percent of the calories in the American diet are supplied by candy.
- A one-ounce piece of milk chocolate contains about the same amount of caffeine as a cup of decaffeinated coffee.
- Some candies, such as lollipops, candy canes, gummi bears, gum drops, licorice twists and sour balls do not contain fat or cholesterol. What's more, many of these candies are relatively low in calories. A cup of candy corn, for example, has fewer calories than a cup of raisins.
- Not all saturated fats raise blood cholesterol levels. The form of fat found in chocolate, cocoa butter, does not raise blood cholesterol levels. That's because cocoa butter is derived from plants, cacao trees; whereas other types of saturated fats are derived from animals.
- Most people are not allergic to chocolate. A recent study showed that only one out of 500 people who thought they were allergic to chocolate actually tested positive.