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What to Know When Purchasing Candy

The English word for this confection goes back as far as the 13th century and is based on the Arabic word "qandi" meaning "made from sugar." Hard treats such as lemon drops and peppermint gained popularity in the 1800s and remain favorites to this day. This guide will help you when you are looking to select candy for your next party or just to have on hand at home.

What types of candy favorites are available?

There are many traditional choices that you are probably familiar with, including:

  • Hard candy consists of boiled sweets that slowly dissolves in the mouth. It is not designed to be chewed, but rather to be enjoyed for its taste, which is often a fruit flavor.
  • Taffy candy is made with sugar that has been boiled and added to butter or vegetable oil, colorings, and flavors. The consistency is created by pulling this sticky mass until it becomes aerated, containing tiny air bubbles.
  • Sweet and sour candies are chewy, with some types having a sugar or hard shell coating. Often the coating is the sweet part of the piece, while the chewy part of the candy is sour.
  • Black licorice flavor originally came from the roots of the plant Glycyrrhiza glabra that is commonly known as the licorice plant. Licorice root was originally chewed for hydration. The natural sweetness in the licorice root is up to 50 times sweeter than sugar.
Sweets for special occasions

When we think of Easter, chewy jelly beans come to mind as a traditional favorite. Hard sweets such as candy canes are celebrated Christmas favorites. When it comes to Halloween, candy corn is offered to many trick-or-treaters.

Brand names you can purchase

Today's popular brands of hard confections include Life Savers, Jolly Rancher, and PEZ, all of which have been enjoyed for half a century. Saltwater taffy is famous on the East Coast as a summertime treat. Sweet and sour brands, like Starburst and SweeTARTS, are family favorites for young and old alike. A licorice favorite is Twizzlers, whose flavors include traditional black and red twisted sticks. Look for your favorite types of candy on eBay.

Tips for selecting sweet treats

When you are looking to purchase candy online, there are some factors to consider, including:

  • Occasion – Will the candy be for a party or just to keep at home?
  • Age – Consider whether the product will be primarily for adults or children.
  • Specialty – Do you want to buy just one type of candy or do you prefer a mixture? If you want just one kind or even several, consider the taste and texture: sweet, sour, fruity, nutty, hard, soft, chocolate, etc.
  • Shelf life – How long do you intend to keep the sweets on hand? Typically, the softer the confection, the shorter the shelf life.
  • Health concerns – Consider whether the people who will be sharing the treats have any health issues or specific medical problems that require limiting products with a large proportion of sugar.