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Tuesday, May 27, 2014

8 Summer Candy Ideas

Summer dreams are fast approaching, promising heights of green life across all the land. The pleasant hum of honeybees brings a drowsy peace to lush gardens, and vacationers are smiling already at the thought of what lies ahead. The season of comfortable heat, water slides and happy children calls for the very best treats.

1.  Reese's Pieces

Brilliantly conceived by an unknown genius who must have remembered his childhood with great fondness, this modern miracle from the Hershey company possesses the power to leap happily into the mouths of both adults and little ones. An army of brightly colored, sugary-crisp shells slyly hides an explosion of peanut-butter flavor that reveals itself to the eager chomps of a candy lover. Our 5.3-ounce bags are just right for the playful appetites of an afternoon, and we even offer a 25-pound bag meant to heartily fill the needs of a larger group.

2.  Gummy Candies

Immensely popular with hard-core fans of militant sugar, gummies have gleefully taken over entire cities and conquered even the grim-faced inhabitants of corporate boardrooms. Fruity flavors such as peach, apple and watermelon dominate the leading battalions of gummies, and it's easy to see their appeal in either sweet classics or mouth-puckeringly sour varieties that will virtually order you to have a great time. Naturally, you'll find Sour Patch Kids™ and Starburst™ fighters in our ranks, and we've made certain to recruit Trolli™ octopuses and other exotic troops for a maximum of jolliment. Be sure to examine our entire line of soldiers in the war for the ultimate triumph of flavor.

3.  Maple Candies

Often overlooked in a sea of bright confections, leaf-brown maple candies firmly evoke the goodness of natural sugars. Available all year round, the carefully condensed syrup of the maple tree flows into artistic shapes that snuggle into protective boxes for the pleasure of discerning customers. Our store carries a thoughtful selection of maple-sugar fancies meant to delight your taste buds or to surprise a good friend.

4.  Hard Candies and Lollipops

From the timeless caramel drops that proudly march from a Werther's Original™ bag of hard candies to a monkey jumble of Jolly Rancher™ lollipops, we can satisfy any taste for bold slurping. Traditionalists may especially enjoy brightening up their patio tables with uncompromisingly striped rods of upright flavors that make their home in a steel tin of Gilliam Old-Fashioned Sticks™, and no decorative guest platter for your living-room coffee table is complete without red-and-white jumbo mint balls mixing it up with a gang of blue raspberry and cherry balls.

5.  Jelly Belly Jelly Beans

The boffins at the Jelly Belly company have long been known for their astounding ability to imbue ordinary jelly beans with vivid flavors, some of which might almost have leaped out of a fever dream from the psychedelic Sixties. Our 3.5-ounce bags of assorted flavors from Jelly Belly will startle your taste buds into singing praises unto the warm blue skies, and kids of all ages will adore emptying a box or three of Jelly Belly's amazingly multicolored Wrecking Ball™ jawbreakers as they race about fulfilling the promise of unending weeks without school.

6.  Twizzlers Candy

Emerging from a bout of splashing noisily in the great sea or in the clear, calm water of a swimming pool almost demands lazing afterward on a beach chair with a tall glass of iced tea and a few sticks of cherry-flavored Twizzlers. Happily munching on this old standby virtually defines summer for many people, and needless to say, strawberry-flavored Twizzlers™ are also available from our store.

7.  Hershey's Giant Bar

After a vigorous romp at the park with a Frisbee™ or a pigskin, king-sized appetites and hungry buddies will yell for their share of a generous 7-ounce bar of Hershey's famous milk-chocolate bar. Nut enthusiasts will want their bars of Hershey's milk chocolate with almonds sent out promptly, without delay and with all due haste. Hershey's candymakers are justifiably known as world leaders in confectionery, and we're proud to carry these gigantic versions of their famed bars.

8.  Fluffy Stuff Cotton Candy

Carnivals and county fairs are marvelous occasions, but fans of the cotton candy found everywhere at these events need not wait to soothe their sweet tooth. We offer yummy bags of Fluffy Stuff™ cotton candy for any time you want to chow down on the meltingly delicious stuff. They keep forever, so you can safely stock up on them to make sure you never run out!

Summer only comes once a year, and walking in the park with a loved one, gazing quietly at fluffy white clouds that sprawl across an impossibly blue sky and dancing with abandon at a festival all contribute to the slow weave of memories that defines our lives. Adding excellent candies brings a sweet flavor to those memories, and our shop boasts aisles of quality choices that are sure to bring that last, fine edge of joy to the long, warm days of summer.

Monday, May 5, 2014

How Gummy Candy is Made

In the early 1920s, Hans Riegel created the first gummy bear and started a company named Haribo to produce and distribute his candies. Trolli created the first gummy worm in the early 1980s, stimulating a competitive market for unique shapes and flavors. Today, Haribo and Trolli are leading brand names in the candy industry and are known for creating unique gummy shapes and flavors, such as Haribo's Smurf gummy candy.

Gummy Ingredients

The main ingredient in most gummy candies is gelatin. This is a protein derived from the collagen found in animal skin, tendons, ligaments and bones. These animal byproducts are boiled in water over low heat for an extended period of time in order to form the gelatin used to create gummy candy. When the gelatin is dried, it takes on the chewy, elastic consistency that is characteristic of gummy candy.

Gelatin softens and eventually liquefies when heated, and that is why gummy candies seem to melt on your tongue if you hold them in your mouth rather than chewing them up immediately. While gelatin is what makes gummy candy unique, it is odorless and colorless. To create the sweet flavors that consumers enjoy, manufacturers mix the following ingredients with gelatin:
  • Flavorings
  • Sweeteners
  • Starches
  • Food coloring
  • Citric acid
Many manufacturers are now creating gummy candy from pectin instead of gelatin. Pectin is made from fruits and plants rather than animal byproducts, so it appeals to vegetarians. These candies are made in virtually the same way as gelatin candy, but the ingredient list varies.

A Gummy is Born

The creation of gummy candy starts at the design table. Creative thinkers determine the shape, flavor and color for the product and create drawings to reflect the design. From gummy bears and worms to sharks and bottles of root beer, these candies start out as fun characters with interesting shapes. Flavors and colors are selected depending on the character of each candy product.

Different companies work through the creative process in their own way. For example, Haribo design teams sketch each gummy candy by hand before creating designs on the computer. Other companies may start out with computer animations of their designs. Either way, the designs are used to create molds that will ensure a uniform shape for each gummy candy produced.

Once the molds are created, a manufacturing plant creates large batches of liquid gelatin or pectin flavored and colored according to the creative design. This liquid product is injected into the molds, and the molds are stored in a drying room. The liquid sets into the chewy, stretchy gummy consistency characteristic of gummy candies.

To prevent the candies from sticking together when packaged, they are covered with a thin layer of wax. The candies are then processed into sealed packages so that the manufacturer can distribute them to stores around the world. To ensure consistency in packaging, the candies are weighed to ensure each package contains the right amount of candy. While most candy is sold in individual packages, some gummies are also sold through bulk candy bins and are shipped to storefronts in bulk packages.

Testing for Quality

Manufacturers must check every batch of gummy candy created to ensure that it meets all industry regulations as well as expectations of quality upheld by the company. After the liquid gelatin or pectin is mixed with the flavorings and other ingredients required by the recipe, it is sent to a quality control laboratory to ensure that it is high enough quality for production. This is done before the actual gummy candy is created, so manufacturing teams can make adjustments as necessary.

Manufacturing plants also implement quality checks before the gummies are packaged for distribution. The final product should have a uniform appearance and taste, and all packaging is checked for tight seals to ensure the candy remains fresh.

The Legacy Lives On

In October 2013, Hans Riegel passed away at the age of 90, but his gummy creations continue to please taste buds around the world as the Haribo company thrives. Competing manufacturers continue to enter the market due to the extreme popularity of gummy candy around the world.