How do candy makers infuse flavors into hard candy? For example, are they really adding mashed up blueberries and pie crust to a blueberry pie candy?
“Flavor is such a keynote to memory,” confectioner Greg Cohen notes as he reflects on candy making’s mix of chemistry and psychology. “It’s one of our most primal instincts. We can play games with flavors that people don’t understand.” From the Wired video above:
“We want to create something that brings back a memory because candy and flavors themselves are not the whole story, we’re just giving notes and your brain fills in what’s in between. You’re using your imagination to complete the picture here. Oh, and the picture happens to be one of flavor.”
“Here at Lofty Pursuits, we make hard candy not bubble gum, but we’re still gonna make a full meal in hard candy. We’re gonna have blueberry pie, sweet corn, apple cider, and ham. Yeah, ham, because you need a full meal.”
See how Cohen and candy makers Uri and Francesca use sugar, corn syrup, food coloring, flavoring, citric acid, malic acid, salt, baking soda, and various handling techniques to trigger and reinforce the flavors they’re aiming to create.
“…it goes back to Willy Wonka itself—the inspiration, the pure imagination.
“This is why I get up in the morning; this is why I love my job. We can do things that other people can’t do. We can do things that were only done in fiction. And we can take it another step and bring it into reality. We can bring imagination and you can taste it.”
Lofty Pursuits has skillfully kneaded, pulled, folded, molded, and dropped a lot of candy videos over the years. Find those and a few others in TKSST’s archives, including:
• How are candy canes made?
• How is Victorian Nectar Drop candy made?
• Making strawberry hard candy drops on a restored machine from Alaska, circa 1890
• How is 8-Bit Ghost Candy made?
• Made in Sheffield: How A L Simpkins sweets are made
• Amezaiku (飴細工) Japanese Candy Sculptures by Ame Yoshihara