Art or Science: A Brief History of Candy

  • Richard W. Hartel
  • AnnaKate Hartel

Numerous articles, blogs and even books have been written about the history of candy. Many of them start with natural sweeteners, like honey and maple syrup, and then move on to refined sugar, which is a relatively modern development. We’ll focus here on the history of candy science, since this provides a unique perspective to how candy developed and where we are now.

Is candy-making an art or a science? More than 50 years ago, candy maker Jimmy King of the American Molasses Co. was asked by his peers in the candy industry to give his insight into the difference between art and science in candy making. He suggested that candy making developed over the years as an empirical or “non-rational” art. That is, early candy makers took whatever ingredients were available and experimented with their different attributes until they made something that looked and tasted good. No science was used; it was all trial and error.

Have things changed since then? Candy makers still argue, or at least...


Science Debate Processing Line Small Batch Substantial Experience Late Advance 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Richard W. Hartel
    • 1
  • AnnaKate Hartel
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Food ScienceUniversity of WisconsinMadisonUSA
  2. 2.MarionUSA

Personalised recommendations