To­day’s Choco­late A Far Cry From Ear­li­est Candy Con­fec­tions

Escalon Times - - CHOCOLATE FESTIVAL -

Hu­mans have loved their sweets for centuries. Early hu­man be­ings made candy out of honey by dry­ing it and form­ing a taffy-like con­fec­tion, while many mod­ern in­car­na­tions of candy in­volve dis­solv­ing sugar into wa­ter or milk to form a syrup. Candy is then made by vary­ing the tem­per­a­ture of the syrup and the sugar con­cen­tra­tion to achieve de­sired tex­tures. The word ‘candy’ is de­rived from the Ara­bic ‘quandi,’ mean­ing ‘made of sugar.’

Candy also of­ten refers to choco­late bars and other treats that peo­ple find so de­lec­ta­ble. An­cient Mayans and Aztecs were the first to ex­per­i­ment with the co­coa bean, the cor­ner­stone of choco­late con­fec­tions, in the 1500s. How­ever, their choco­late drinks were bit­ter and not the sweet de­lights we’ve come to as­so­ciate with choco­late. It wasn’t un­til the 19th cen­tury that in­no­va­tors be­gan mix­ing co­coa with sugar to cre­ate choco­late bars. Joseph Fry is cred­ited with mak­ing the first choco­late bar in 1847, us­ing bit­ter­sweet choco­late.

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