Candy, or lollies, or more generically sweets, is a kind of confection with a very ancient origin. The first candy used to be made with honey: at the time of the Roman Empire, but also Greece, Middle East and ancient China, they used to honey-coat fruits and flowers to preserve them. When the technique to extract sugar from cane was found out, sugar replaced honey.
The main characteristic of candy is, of course, the high sugar content, together with the addiction of flavor to aromatize (usually fruit, liquorice, milk, coffee, cocoa…), and often some kind of food coloring agent.
Besides the different taste, on the market, you can find Sugar Candy with many different textures: hard candies, toffee, fudges, jellies, marshmallows, etc… That’s because ingredients and production temperature and method may vary considerably. Usually, in order to make Sugar Candy you need to dissolve sugar in water or milk to get a syrup, and cook it till it starts to caramelize, or reaches the right concentration. Then you need to add food coloring agents and flavors. Of course, most candies are now made commercially, with an automated process.
Among the best-known candy here in Italy, both for their delicious taste and for the possibility to be used to make cookies, liqueurs, etc., or sometimes even due to the relevant commercial, we have Rossana (produced by the Italian confectionery company Perugina) with a soft hazelnut heart, Morositas (a kind of liquorice jelly), Fruit Joy (fruit jellies) and, of course, candy canes, the famous candy sticks of Christmas period.