Today’s Chocolate A Far Cry From Earliest Candy Confections
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.