The Science Behind the Shiny Rock Candy

Posted on by Jack Johnson

Do-it-Yourself rock candies have become a very trendy and tasty way to connect cooking with science. Some very precise steps need to be taken for the rock candy to turn out good. It is very easy to make rock candies. All we need is loads of sugar, some water and a bit of patience. 

Take about 3 cups of sugar and add it to a cup of water and bring the mixture to a boil while stirring constantly. Let the sugar dissolve completely and wait until the solution becomes clear. Now pour the solution into a glass. Hang a stick or string in the mix. Then walk away.

After a few days or a week, sugar crystals will have built up on the string, making a sticky-sweet candy. But the candy would not look anything like the sugar you started with. The sugar molecules have instead become highly organized into a crystal structure.

Here are some crazy facts about Rock Candy that we never knew:

  1. In China, rock candy sticks are used to sweeten Chrysanthemum tea, Cantonese dessert soups, and even some kinds of liquor.
  2. In India, many people enjoy rock candy as a mouth freshener after meals, especially since in that country, rock candy usually comes infused with aniseed.
  3. The first rock candy confection sold in the US was sold during the 1970s’s as white rock candy on a string.
  4. The most popular flavors of rock candy stick today are cotton candy, cherry, watermelon, strawberry, grape, and blue raspberry. 

Rock candy sticks are a classic. At baseball games, weddings, or on the school bus, rock candy holds a special place in our hearts – and in our normal day-to-day lives. Most of us are used to enjoying these delectable sweet treats on their own, but did you know that they also have a place at the dinner table? Yes, they do!

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