Ever wondered what your favourite sweets are made of? Well, I've looked up some of them, and here's what I found...
Note: I've only grabbed the parts of the articles about the ingredients, so if you want to know other things (like the history behind the sweets) you'll need to use the links provided to visit the articles for yourself.
Aniseed balls are a type of hard round sweet sold in the UK, New Zealand and Australia. They are shiny and dark brownish red, and hard like Gobstoppers, but generally only 1cm across. They are generally sold by weight, for example by quarter pound (or the equivalent in metric, 113 grams, which is mandated by law), in traditional sweet shops in the UK and Ireland.
They are flavoured by aniseed oil, have a very strong aniseed flavor, and last for a long time in the mouth before dissolving. In the center of the ball is a whole rapeseed that can be crushed.
Retrieved from "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aniseed_ball"
Liquorice is a confectionery flavoured with the extract of the roots of the liquorice plant. A wide variety of liquorice sweets are produced around the world. In the U.S., licorice is called black licorice, to distinguish it from similar candy varieties that are not flavoured with liquorice extract, and commonly manufactured in the form of chewy ropes or tubes. Most popular in the United Kingdom are liquorice allsorts. Dutch and Nordic liquorice characteristically contains ammonium chloride instead of sodium chloride, prominently so in salty liquorice.
The essential ingredients of liquorice candy are liquorice extract, sugar, and a binder. The binder is typically starch/flour, gum arabic, or gelatin, or a combination thereof. Additional ingredients are extra flavouring, beeswax for a shiny surface, ammonium chloride, and molasses to give the end product the familiar black colour. Ammonium chloride is mainly used in salty liquorice candy, with concentrations up to about 8 percent. However, even regular liquorice candy can contain up to 2 percent ammonium chloride, the taste of which is less prominent due to the higher sugar concentration.
Notable varieties of liquorice candy
* Black Jack
* Good & Plenty
* Liquorice Allsorts
* Liquorice root
* London drops
* Pontefract Cakes
* Red vines
* Salty liquorice
* Turkish Pepper
* Green Apple
Retrieved from "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liquorice_(confectionery)"
Chocolate most commonly comes in dark, milk, and white varieties, with cocoa solids contributing to the brown coloration.
Chocolate (pronounced En-us-chocolate.ogg /ˈtʃɒklət/ (help·info) or /-ˈələt/) comprises a number of raw and processed foods produced from the seed of the tropical cacao tree. Cacao has been cultivated for at least three millennia in Mexico, Central and South America, with its earliest documented use around 1100 BC. The majority of the Mesoamerican peoples made chocolate beverages, including the Aztecs and the Maya, who made it into a beverage known as xocolātl, a Nahuatl word meaning "bitter water". The seeds of the cacao tree have an intense bitter taste, and must be fermented to develop the flavor.
After fermentation, the beans are dried, cleaned, and roasted, and the shell is removed to produce cacao nibs. The nibs are then ground and liquified, resulting in pure chocolate in fluid form: chocolate liquor. The liquor can be further processed into two components: cocoa solids and cocoa butter. Pure, unsweetened chocolate contains primarily cocoa solids and cocoa butter in varying proportions. Much of the chocolate consumed today is in the form of sweet chocolate, combining chocolate with sugar. Milk chocolate is sweet chocolate that additionally contains milk powder or condensed milk. "White chocolate" contains cocoa butter, sugar, and milk but no cocoa solids (and thus does not qualify to be considered true chocolate).
Chocolate contains alkaloids such as theobromine and phenethylamine, which have physiological effects on the body. It has been linked to serotonin levels in the brain. Scientists claim that chocolate, eaten in moderation, can lower blood pressure. Dark chocolate has recently been promoted for its health benefits, including a substantial amount of antioxidants that reduce the formation of free radicals, though the presence of theobromine renders it toxic to some animals, such as dogs and cats.
Chocolate has become one of the most popular flavors in the world. Gifts of chocolate molded into different shapes have become traditional on certain holidays: chocolate bunnies and eggs are popular on Easter, chocolate coins on Hanukkah, Santa Claus and other holiday symbols on Christmas, and hearts on Valentine's Day. Chocolate is also used in cold and hot beverages, to produce chocolate milk and hot chocolate.
Retrieved from: "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chocolate"
The marshmallow is a confection that, in its modern form, typically consists of sugar or corn syrup, water, gelatin that has been softened in hot water, dextrose, and flavorings, whipped to a spongy consistency. One commonly proposed theory about the origin of marshmallow holds that the traditional recipe used an extract from the mucilaginous root of the marshmallow plant, a shrubby herb (Althaea officinalis), instead of gelatin; the mucilage was used to soothe sore throats. However, while concoctions of all parts of the plant have been used as medicine, a more likely origin for the modern sweet can be found in old recipes: Stems of marsh mallow were peeled to reveal the soft and spongy pith with a texture similar to manufactured marshmallow. This pith was boiled in sugar syrup and dried to produced a soft, chewy confection. Commercial marshmallows are a late-nineteenth-century innovation. Since Doumak's patented extrusion process of 1948, marshmallows are extruded as soft cylinders, cut in sections and rolled in a mix of finely powdered cornstarch and confectioner's sugar (icing sugar). Not all brands coat their marshmallows in confectioner's sugar.
Retrieved from "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marshmallow"
A lollipop, pop, lolly, sucker, or sticky-pop is a type of confectionery consisting mainly of hardened, flavored sucrose with corn syrup mounted on a stick and intended for sucking or licking. They are available in many flavors and shapes.
Retrieved from "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lollipop"
Fudge is a type of confectionery which is usually very sweet, extremely rich and sometimes flavoured with cocoa. It is made by mixing sugar, butter, and milk and heating it to the soft-ball stage at 240 °F (116 °C), and then beating the mixture while it cools so that it acquires a smooth, creamy consistency. Chocolate can also be mixed in to make chocolate fudge. Fudge can also be used in brownies.
Retrieved from "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/fudge"
Toffee is a confection made by boiling molasses or sugar (creating inverted sugar) along with butter, and occasionally flour. The mixture is heated until its temperature reaches the hard crack stage of 300 to 310 °F (150 to 160 °C). While being prepared, toffee is sometimes mixed with nuts or raisins.
Retrieved from "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toffee"
Jelly beans are a type of confectionery that comes in many different (primarily fruit) flavors. They are small (the size of a red kidney bean or smaller) and generally have a hard candy shell and gummy interior. The confection is primarily made of sugar.
The basic ingredients of jelly beans include sugars, gelatin, corn syrup, and starch. Relatively minor amounts of the emulsifying agent lecithin, anti-foaming agents, an edible wax such as beeswax, salt, and confectioner's glaze are also included. The ingredients that give each bean its character are also relatively small in proportion and may vary depending on the flavor.
Retrieved from "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jelly_bean"
Jelly Tots are soft, chewy fruit-flavoured sweets produced by Rowntrees. They are round, sugar-coated gumdrop-like confections about 7mm in diameter, and are advertised as containing 25% fruit juices and no artificial colours or flavours. According to the packaging, Jelly Tots are suitable for vegetarians or vegans as they contain no gelatin or animal-based ingredients.
A 168 gram tube of Jelly Tots contains: Sugar, Glucose syrup, Modified starch, Fruit juices 25% (Strawberry, Orange, Blackcurrant, Lime, Lemon), Acidity regulator (Trisodium citrate), Malic acid, Citric acid, Flavouring, Lactic acid, Colours (Anthocyanins, Copper complexes of chlorophyllins, Beta-carotene).
Retrieved from "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jelly_Tots"
Sherbet, Kali (Northern British), or Keli (Scottish) is a fizzy powder sweet, usually eaten by dipping a lollipop, or licking a finger.
Sherbet in the United Kingdom is a kind of fizzy powder made from bicarbonate of soda, tartaric acid, sugar etc and usually cream soda or fruit flavoured. The acid-carbonate reaction occurs upon presence of moisture (juice/saliva). It used to be stirred into various beverages to make effervescing drinks, in a similar way to making lemonade from lemonade powders, before canned carbonated drinks became ubiquitous. Sherbet is now used to mean this powder sold as a sweet. (In the United States and Australia, it would be somewhat comparable to the powder in Pixy Stix or Lik-M-Aid/Fun Dip, though having the fizzy quality of effervescing candy.)
Retrieved from "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sherbet_(powder)"